The Word as Sword (2) By Babatunde Olugboji
This week, we will conclude our two-part series on the Word as a sharp sword. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve examined Jeremiah’s depiction of God’s Word as fire, and the Word as that powerful tool called hammer. The term ‘active’ in Hebrew 4:12 means effective, powerful, producing or is able to produce a projected result. The Word of God is vibrant, energizing, dynamic, and productive. It is not dormant or idle in the lives of genuine believers. Paul explained that the Word of God is “at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Word of God is powerful, not only to give life, but also to deliver warnings and bring judgment and punishment to the disobedient: “Is not my Word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29).
God’s living Word is not something to read or listen to passively and then move on. James admonished believers to look “intently into the perfect law that gives freedom” and to focus on it by doing what it says (James 1:23–25). Paul told Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17) If we allow God’s word to do its work deep inside of us, it will change our character and behavior.
God’s Word has the ability to accomplish its purpose: “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:11). On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached the message of salvation, those who heard it “were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37), and about 3000 people were saved (Acts 2:41).
The author of Hebrews described the Word of God as “sharper than any double-edged sword.” Paul called it “the sword of the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:17). This sword imagery also appears in Isaiah 49:2, Revelation 1:16, and Revelation 2:12. As a sharp, double-bladed sword, the Word of God is our offensive weapon against the assaults of a spiritual enemy. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, our Lord wielded the sword of God’s Word to counter the devil’s attacks (Matthew 4:4). His example teaches us to do the same.
The vital power of God’s message exists in its ability to pierce and penetrate the innermost depths of the human soul. It can cut through any obstacle to access and inspect our unspoken thoughts and hidden secrets (Mark 4:22). It can cross-examine and judge the attitudes of our hearts.
Because the Word of God is living and active, Peter encouraged Christians to pay close attention to it (2 Peter 1:19). May we let it be a lamp to guide our feet and a light to illuminate our path through this life (Psalm 119:105).
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.
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