Sermon #22 Hebrews Notes
Title: "THE WORD OF GOD IS…"
Text: Hebrews 4:12-13
Subject: The Word of God
Date: Tuesday Evening --
Tape # V-87a
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. — Hebrews 4:12
The word of God is a name for Christ as well as for the Scriptures. It is difficult to say whether this text speaks of the written Word (The Bible), or of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the incarnate Word (John 1:1-3). The fact is, we cannot sever the two.
· Christ is the Word, of whom all the written Word speaks (Luke 24:27; 44-47).
· The Word of God is what it is because the Lord Jesus Christ is embodied in it.
Illustration: -- The Alabaster Box
I. Our text tells us seven things about the Word of God.
A. It is "the Word of God" (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
This Book is God's final, full, complete and perfect revelation of himself and his will to man. Since the Book of God is complete, we no longer have and no longer need the signs of the apostles. God no longer gives revelation to men. The Holy Spirit now gives us illumination by the Word, revealing Christ to us; but he does not give additional revelation.
B. It is living. -- "The Word of God is quick."
· Our words, which pass away, God's word lives on (Isa. 40:8).
· God's Word has life in itself. It is the living and incorruptible seed.
· It creates life where it comes.
The word 'quick' is an old English word which means alive. This is a living Book, the words of our living Redeemer (1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18). The Word is the living seed.
C. It is effectual. -- "quick, and powerful"
· It brings conviction and conversion.
· It gives comfort to believing hearts and confirmation our faith.
· The Word of God has power to elevate our hearts and minds to Christ and things above.
Christ and his Word are active and effectual. He spoke for the elect in the council and covenant of grace (Heb. ). He spoke all things out of nothing in creation (Heb. 11:3; Gen. 1:6, 9). He spoke and revealed the Father (John ). He speaks and the dead come forth (John -25).
D. It is cutting. -- "Sharper than any two-edged sword"
The Word is all edge. It has no blunt side. It is alive all over. It wounds, in one way or another, all who touch it. You cannot come near the Word of God without its having some effect on you (2 Cor. -16).
Our Lord comes "not to send peace but a sword", and that sword begins in our own souls, wounding and killing. Yet, it kills nothing but that which ought to be killed -- our pride, self-righteousness, envy, lust and sins.
E. It is piercing. -- "even to the dividing asunder"
· It forces its way into the hardest of heart.
· It can find its way anywhere.
It penetrates the smallest opening, like the arrow which entered between the joints of the harness. Although the soul and spirit are invisible and the joints and marrow are covered and hid, so penetrating is the divine Word that it reaches the most hidden and secret things of men and women. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Christ knows the heart and will make manifest all that is in it by the Word (Luke ).
F. It is discriminating. -- "to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit"
· It separates the precious from the vile, the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats.
· It divides "joints and marrow," families and churches.
· It does this by its own penetrating and discerning qualities.
G. It is revealing. -- "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
· It cleaves a man and exposes up the secret thoughts, imaginations, and corruptions of his heart, like a butcher splits a carcass and exposes all within.
All this we have seen in the preaching of the word of God. Have you not felt it to be so? Does the Word of God pierce your heart? Does it reach your soul? If you it does, thank God for it. Does this Sword of the Spirit prick your heart? Does its edge draw out the blood of your heart's lusts? Bless God for it. You would do as much to a surgeon who lanced your diseased body, and severed a putrifying cancer part from your body. Though he put caused you great pain, you would thank him for his service, and pay him, too. How much more ought we to bless God for his work for, upon, and in our souls by his Word.
The puritan, William Gurnall, wrote, "There is not another sword like this in all the world that can cure with cutting; not another arm could use this sword, to have done thus with it besides the Spirit of God."
II. It is by this Book, specifically by the preaching of this Book, the preaching of the Gospel, that God saves his elect and instructs his saints (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21-23; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 23-25).
I realize that there are many who object to the fact that this Book declares plainly that God saves sinners only by the preaching of the gospel. They tell us that such doctrine limits God's sovereignty. But the teachings of Scripture in this matter are crystal clear, as we have seen in these passages. That puts an end to the matter. It is not a debatable issue.
If God has purposed something, he has purposed all the means necessary for its accomplishment. Why does the farmer till his ground and sow his seed? He knows he cannot cause seed to vegetate and grow! But he also knows that if God gives the increase, it will be through the instrumentality of these means and that it is only in the use of these means that he can hope to receive the increase.
We know that all the means used to effect the salvation of God's elect are, in themselves, utterly powerless unless God makes them effectual. What encouragement was there for the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones except this -- God had determined in connection with his preaching to give them life. What encouragement do we have to preach the gospel of Christ to those who are dead in trespasses and sins except this -- God has determined to give efficacy to the Word of His grace.
God has a chosen people on
this earth; and, as the gospel is the appointed means for effecting
the salvation of His chosen, He will send it to those whom He designs to save.
God had much people in
This is a matter of tremendous importance. God saves his people by the Word of the Gospel ("By which ye are saved" -- 1 Cor. 15:3; Eph. ).
It is the naked, unadorned Word of God, plainly preached, by which Satan is conquered, dead sinners are brought to life, and our thoughts and imaginations are brought into captivity to Christ. This Book, and this Book alone is our weapon of warfare (2 Cor. 210:3-5).
III. Now, look at verse 13 for a moment, and understand this. -- The Word of God is designed to strip us naked before God.
Christ, our Lord, is the omniscient God. Nothing is hidden from him. By his word, he strips us naked and lays us open, exposing the thoughts and intents of the heart.
· Believers rejoice and find comfort in this – Peter!
· Unbelievers, hypocrites are made to tremble at the thought of it.
1. Let us ever reverence this Book as the Word of God.
2. Let us come to the Scriptures for quickening for our own souls.
3. Let this Book alone determine both our faith and our practice.
4. Pray that God will make his Word effectual (2 Thess. 3:1).