The word of GOD is living and powerful

Dr. Koshy Mathew

There is no book that has influenced humanity like the Bible. Every sphere of human development is influenced by the Bible. Whether it is arts, literature, social science, technology, politics, finance, management or name any thing it has the influence of the Bible. Dark continent of Africa was enlightened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only Africa, the whole world is blessed by the Bible. Our own country too is blessed; both ignorance and superstitious beliefs got expelled from among the masses.

Hebrews writer explains the transforming power of the Word of God, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)

Five characteristics of the Word of God is mentioned here it is. 1) Living 2) Powerful 3) Sharp 4) Piercing and 5) Discerning

The Word of God is Living

The Word of God quickens those who are dead in sin. We who received the Word got spiritual life. Jesus is the life (John14:6) Jesus said, “the Words I speak unto you, are life” (John 6:63). It is called “Word of life” (Phil.2:16). In every sense Word of God is living.

The Word of God is Powerful (Active)

Like a hammer it can break hard hearted men. Paul who was “breathing out threatens and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” was broken down at the Words of the Lord that came from Heaven (Acts 9:1). Nebuchadnezzar one of the most powerful kings; during the last days of his life, broke down and confessed his sins and worshipped God of Heaven (Dan 4:34-37). Powerful Roman centurion who was in charge of crucifixion, heard the seven utterances of our Lord on the cross. Finally confessed and said, “Truly, this was the Son of God” (Mat.27:54). He was the first one who glorified God by looking at the cross (Luke 23:47). Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes (Rom.1:18). Word of God is always dynamic and active. It never remains inactive. Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days (Ecc. 11:1).

“Powerful” is translated as 'active' in RSV and NIV. The Greek Word used is 'energes'. Of course, word of God is not only life giving; it also sustains the life. We get energy from the food and it sustains life. Jesus Christ said, 'I am that bread of life' (John 6:48).

The Word of God is sharper than two-edged sword.

The Word of God is Judicial in its nature. In Rev.1:16 we read the two edge sword proceeds from the mouth of Son of man. He reveals Himself to the Church of Pergamum as the possessor of two edge sword (Rev.2:12). Worldliness entered inside the Church. It was a Church that compromised with the things of the world. Both true and nominal Christians were there in that gathering. Two-edged sword is meant for judging the sinner and correcting the saints. “Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth'. Two edge sword will be used against those who fail to repent (Rev.2:16).

The Word of God is piercing

The Word can penetrate deep into the heart of man and even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow. When people heard the message of Peter, they were pricked in their heart and convinced of their sins (Acts 2:37). Word reveals the real nature of man.

This verse speaks about the penetrating Judgment of the sword. The word for sword here is machaira not the word rhomphaia which is the big broad sword but machaira, the dagger, the incisive dagger that can make deep and accurate cut. And God's word is penetrating and like a knife that can go in and thrust itself through the joints and the marrow; Word pierces into the innermost parts of a man. Even it can divide asunder soul and spirit. Word goes deep into the unseen areas of human heart. Joints are visible by their movements whereas marrows are invisible, similarly soul is self-consciousness whereas spirit is unseen. Word of God can make accurate cut in the accurate place.

The Word of God is the discerner

In Greek the word 'kritiko' is used for 'discerner' from which the word 'critic' is derived. Like a 'critic' it carefully dissects the intents of our heart. It is like the knife in the hand of a priest. He cuts the sacrificial animal in such a manner to examine thoroughly any defilement within it. Author points out three distinct spheres of operations
1. Soul and Spirit 2. Joints and Marrow and 3. Thoughts and Intents

'Soul' is self-consciousness, 'joints' are outward expression of our movements and 'thoughts' come out in the form of words. But the next three- spirit, marrow and intents are vital parts that direct the former three. World can see only the outer things but Word can expose the inner most part. God examines our intention. “...all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” “Our God is a consuming fire” having eyes as a flame of fire (Heb.4:13; 12:29; Rev.1:14)


Dr. Koshy Mathew

About the author:

Dr. Koshy Mathew is the Editor, Harvest Times for Family, GLS Mumbai.

This article appeared in the August 2018 publication of Harvest Times.