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)
One of the greatest tragedies of the modern church is the failure of both pulpit and people to honor God’s word. There are many that regard the Bible as a stuffy book that was written by ancient men who were overly superstitious and whose opinions are not really applicable to the modern world. If the Bible is read in church, it is a version that has been stripped of its original meaning and paraphrased so that it reads like the newspaper or a cheap novel.
Modern Bible translators are of the opinion that God is incapable of saying what He meant to say. It is therefore their task to put scripture into a more readable form so that anyone is capable of understanding it. In doing so, their eclectic translations interpret scripture rather than translate. Their actions deny a fundamental element of Bible comprehension, which is the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to the heart and mind to reveal truth. The Bible is not man’s book but rather as Hebrews 4:12 describes, it is the word of God.
The Bible has special characteristics that make it more than just an “ancient” book. It is “quick” which means it is alive. It does not die like an ancient language. It is as new and fresh to every generation as if it was spoken this morning. It is also “powerful,” which is a word from which we get “energy.” The Bible is constantly active so that it is able to awaken people that are dead in trespasses and sins and give them spiritual birth (1 Pet. 1:23).
The writer also says it is “sharper than any twoedged sword.” We should pay particular attention to this phrase because this speaks of God’s judgment. Those who do not listen to the word and heed its commands are going to be judged severely by it. It is able to reveal the “thoughts and intents of the heart.” Those that reject the message of the scripture, the way of eternal life through the gospel of Christ, will be held accountable in the Day of Judgment.
It is really not very hard to understand the reason so many churches have abandoned scripture. As churches desire an atmosphere that caters to an unregenerate crowd, the word of God becomes a terrible sore spot because of its exposing and condemning nature. The scripture says that people love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. The word of God is a glaring spotlight on an evil generation, so trying to draw a worldly crowd by preaching the truth of the word is an exercise in futility.
At Berean, we are committed to reading and preaching the Bible and are content to let the Holy Spirit work on the hearts of the people. The Bible does expose sin, but the Holy Spirit is able to take the preached word and break down the resistance of the sinner. Clever tactics and manipulation are not our method. We depend solely on the work of the Holy Spirit as He uses the “quick” and “powerful” word to draw sinners to Christ.
Pastor V. Mark Smith