The Word of God Pastor A. W. Weckeman – October 2014
Before studying the internal evidence which define the nature of God’s word it would be profitable to point out a critical distinction: The capitalization of “Word” in the scriptures, i.e. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14) refers to the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God; whereas, the word of God (small “w”) refers to the written or spoken revelation of God’s truth. i.e., “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph.6:17).
It is essential to sound interpretation that we recognize and maintain this important distinction made by the Holy Spirit.
Not of Man
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it NOT AS THE WORD OF MEN, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thess.2:13) [Emphasis added]
In the preceding verse, the apostle Paul affirms the Bible to be the very word of God, not the word of men. Jesus declared, “It is the spirit that quickeneth [gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63). Although the Bible is constructed of physical material, paper and ink, Jesus declared His words to be, “spirit” and “life.”
Scripture declares itself a living Entity
“For the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any two edged 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.” (Heb.4:12).
There is a supernatural, indivisible union between God and His word; therefore, unlike human words God’s words have a life of their own “…the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Peter 1:23).
The Personality of the word of God can be seen by comparing Gen. 22:18 with Gal.3:8.
God speaking from Heaven to Abraham: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen. 22:18).
The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal.3:8)
In these verses, we see that the scriptures, foreseeing the future, preached the gospel to Abraham!
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim. 3:16). Literally “God-breathed words”
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24); God in His essence is a spirit being: the written word of God is the material revelation of the non-material God.
Words clothe thoughts, making concrete that which is abstract; when the Holy Spirit communicated the word of God to a yielded vessel, who in turn recorded or spake them, the intangible became tangible. In the process, the very mind, heart, and will of God were made known.
Comparing scripture with scripture consider the following parallel verses for example:
“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness…” (Ps.95:7-8).
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness…” (Heb.3:7-8).
Upon comparing the above New Testament cross-reference we find the second passage ascribes authorship to the Holy Ghost, not David. The words which David spoke in Psalm 95 were not his own; they were inspired by the Holy Ghost.
A second witness is recorded in David’s last words:
“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me…” (2 Sam. 23:1-3).
God’s reliance upon a yielded human conduit to communicate His truth is once again confirmed by the fact that God not only spoke TO David but THROUGH David in the preceding verse.
The scriptures were not written by man; they were penned by the Spirit of the living God guiding the mind of holy men of God.
Although God’s written revelation is complete, His dependence upon surrendered vessels through which to communicate His truth continues to this day.
As in days of old, the Lord seeks humble men who are fully persuaded that the Bible is the very word of God; men who God can employ to faithfully expound that which has been providentially recorded and preserved.
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people…and when he opened it, all the people stood up…” (Neh.8:5).
When a prepared preacher or teacher stands before the congregation with an open Bible and reads the word of God in the ears of the hearers, he becomes a human conduit…a vessel through which heavenly power reaches into earthly hearts.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt.4:4)
Today more than ever, God’s people desperately need manna from heaven; they are starving on the stale bread of theological lectures, personal opinions, and private interpretation.
“For we preach NOT OURSELVES, but Christ Jesus the Lord…” “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, AND NOT OF US.” (2 Cor. 4:5 & 7) [Emphasis mine].
The power to preach and teach the scriptures lies not in the preacher’s oratory skills, education or intellect but in the word of God itself!
“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” (Ps.36:9).
“So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” (Neh.8:8).
The word of God is the fundamental dynamic of spiritual growth.
“…the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thess.2:13)
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up…” (Acts 20:32)
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Ps.119:130).
Jesus and the word
The scriptures refer to the Lord Jesus as the “The Word of God.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” (Rev.19:13).
Therefore, everything that Jesus is, the word must be; God’s attributes and character must be perfectly reflected in His word. If God is absolute, the same must be true of His word, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”(John 17:17). Contrary to the opinion of the darkened mind of man, Truth is never relative…it is absolute!
Examples of comparisons between the Lord Jesus Christ and the word of God:
Salvation is found in Christ, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
The word of God also contains the power to save, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Eph.2:8) and “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
The word of God, operating in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, has the supernatural ability to cut to the heart and soul, convince and convict of sin. (John 14:26, 8:7-9) “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph.6:17). “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” (Ps.19:7).
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23).
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21).
Everlasting life is revealed in a Book…believing and trusting God’s word imparts eternal life, “…thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). “Holding forth the word of life…” (Phil.2:16).
Jesus has the power to give life: “Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth…” (John 11:43-44). Jesus is referred to as, “…the Word of life…” (1 John 1:1).
The same is true of God’s words, they give life, “It is the spirit that quickeneth [impart life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63).
“God is light…” (1 John 1:5.) Not a light or the light, He is pure light, “…and in him is no darkness at all.”
“The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Ps. 119:130).
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps.119:105)
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life…” (Prov.6:23).
“…my heart standeth in awe of thy word.” (Ps.119:161). Our attitude toward God’s word motivates our obedience, which in turn determines the amount of light that reaches our soul:
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20).
Discerns the Heart
Just as Jesus has the supernatural ability to see into man’s heart and read his mind (something only God can do, 2 Chron. 6:30) so does the word:
“And behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, why think ye evil in your hearts? (Matt.9:3-4).
The same is true of the word of God; in its presence nothing can remain hidden, “For the word of God is quick, [alive] and powerful…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in HIS sight: but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of HIM with whom we have to do.” (Heb.4:12) [Emphasis added].
God’s living word simultaneously convicts the conscience, discerns our thoughts and reveals our hearts.
It is crucial that we recognize our inadequacy so as to learn to rely on the power of God’s word, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” (Rom. 1:16) [Emphasis added].
The preceding comparison of Jesus (the Word) and the word of God should dispel any doubt as to the inseparable nature of God and His word.
The word of God has life and personality; living, inspired, incorruptible Spirit words, pure and eternal.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Ps.12:6) K.J.B.
Truth cannot contain error…truth, to be truth, must be without admixture…perfectly pure. “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor.5:6).
If the Bible is not the pure, preserved word of God then it stands to reason that it is impure, imperfect and fallible. If it contains errors, then it has been corrupted and is no longer pure…therefore the work of man; it CANNOT be the word of God.
Certainty or Uncertainty?
“Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the CERTAINTY of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Prov.22:20-21) [Emphasis mine].
Faith in the purity and preservation of the Scriptures produces CERTAINTY…immovable convictions, which provide full assurance and security.
Without absolute certainty regarding the infallible authority of God’s word we are left open to the danger of doubt…uncertainty. “Yea, hath God said…” (Gen. 3:1); are you SURE what you read is what God actually said?
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8).
“Every word of God is pure…” (Prov.30:5); God is pure, holy and infallible…so is His word!
“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” (Ps.119:140).
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Ps.138:2)
“The name of God includes all the perfections of God; everything that God is, and which God has revealed Himself as having…” “And yet he has magnified something above his name…His word…His truth.” Joseph Philpot
“A man’s word exalts or tarnishes his name; if you can’t take God at His word, His name is forever tarnished.”
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the WORDS OF HIS MOUTH more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:10-12) [Emphasis added].
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23) [Emphasis added].
“Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word…” (Jer.26:2).