The Living Word of God: An Effective Authority Regardless of the Era

September 24, 2020

12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Written by Russell A. Newman and Erin M. Newman from the Brentwood Campus

Can the Bible still be applicable as our primary decision-making guide today? As we look at the world in 2020, we are faced with losing loved ones, enduring sickness, overcoming loneliness and fear, dealing with uncertainty, restrictions on gathering and a highly contentious society. Are the challenges we face today really that different than in biblical times?

Our problems may appear to be new, but the eternal principles contained in the Bible will always apply. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is living. Just as God lives forever, the Word of God lives forever. What does that mean? Isaiah 40:8 proclaims: “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.” The Word has the ability to bring about everlasting change in a person. The Word of God can guide a sinner into eternal life, heal a broken family, or comfort a grieving heart.

Hebrews 4:12 also says the Word of God is effective. This means it will accomplish what God intends it to do. We see in Acts 2:41 how three thousand people were added to the church after listening to the Word of God. We can see God’s Word in action today as people turn to God for salvation in such places as North Korea and Iran, countries where being a Christian or reading the Bible can result in torture or a death sentence. Even in the face of such evil, God’s Word will accomplish its purpose and will bring salvation to all who seek Him.

Finally, Hebrews 4:12 states the Word of God is sharp and piercing, cutting to the very core of our being. It illuminates sin and our deepest darkest secrets. Unless our conscience is hardened beyond remedy, the Word cuts deeply. We will be convicted of the sin in our lives as we read the Bible or hear it preached.

Just as God is the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the end) who will always be sovereign over creation, His written Word is the ultimate authority regardless of the time in history in which it is spoken or read. We should not shy away from turning to the Word of God when we’re faced with sickness, loneliness, fear or loss. God’s Word can lead us through uncertainty and conflict. Just as people for thousands of years have relied on the comfort and promises in the Bible during difficult times, we too should rely on God’s Word.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How have you allowed God’s Word to be effective in guiding your life?
  2. Have you ever read a verse that pierced straight to your core and convicted you to change course in your life? How are you better as a result?

Missions Prayer
Pray for Katie, serving in East Asia. Pray that she will continue to have open doors to share the hope Jesus offers, both here in this life, and for eternity. Learn more about Katie and East Asia here.