For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
In 1966, the year I graduated, the Beatles were in their prime, Hippies were wearing flowers in their hair, and the Vietnam War was raging. And on the cover of the April 8 Time Magazine the question was posed, “Is God Dead?”
The Death of God movement was the brainchild of philosophers and theologians who apparently had nothing better to do. Jesus warned us about them. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) Here the sheep’s clothing took the form of university professors’ robes.
Even today, God’s word is under attack. It may be called political correctness, but it’s still sheep’s clothing.
It’s hard to believe Paul wrote the following words nearly 2,000 years ago. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
God’s word was never intended to tell us what we want to hear. God gave it to us to tell us what we NEED to hear.
In our focus text we read, “For the word of God is alive and active.” God’s word is not dead — but very much alive. The Bible is not just a book on a shelf containing old worn-out theories and myths. It is alive and active, working to accomplish God’s purposes.
The next point the writer of Hebrews makes explains why so many people challenge the authority of God’s word. That’s because it is “Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…” The word of God cuts into the soul of man. It challenges, corrects, warns, reveals, and opens our hearts and minds.
God’s word “…judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” We don’t like to be told what to do. We prefer suggestions over commands. And we don’t like to hear the truth about ourselves. But that’s precisely what the Bible does. It probes our thoughts and attitudes.
Reading the Bible can be like going to the doctor and getting a bad report; the frightening diagnosis no one wants to hear.
But hold on. If you dismiss God’s word because it challenges your views or because it requires changes you’re not willing to make, you are missing the main point. You’re only seeing what you perceive as bad news. And that’s the wrong impression. The word of God is good news.
True enough, God’s word makes you aware of judgement for your sins. But the gospel (good news) of Christ is that you can be freed from that penalty by trusting Jesus as your Savior. Then as you serve the Lord, He enables you to keep His commands. It’s not automatic. You still have to work at it. The Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truth of God’s word and guides you into right thinking and godly behavior.
The truth of God’s word produces love, joy, peace, satisfaction, and eternal hope. When you step out of line that razer-sharp sword will again pierce your heart to bring you to your senses and get you back in line.
God sets the bar of expectation high, but He also gives you all you need to victoriously live the Christian life. Don’t be misled, the word of God is alive and active. Abide by it and glorify God with your life.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Why the Bible Is the Greatest Book Ever Written
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.