258 – Hebrews 4 – The word of God
I wish I could sit down and have a conversation with you. I would like to ask you how you respond to the word of God? My favorite (I think) verse in the Bible is Hebrews 4:12.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
As like minded believers we say the Bible (word of God) is accurate and true, but I wonder how deeply we believe verses like this one. Maybe we believe it, but attempt to distance ourselves from the impact? Do we experience the piercing division between our own soul/spirit? Or do we resist the “discerner” of the thoughts and intents of our hearts?
Look at what Isaiah said prophetically about Jesus.
Isaiah 49:1-2 (NKJV)
1 “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The Lord [Yahweh] has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.”
It doesn’t take much study to connect the person of Jesus to the word of God. As a starting point just read John chapter one and you’ll see what I mean.
One interesting thing about Hebrews 4:12 is it does not exist in a vacuum. There are verses before and after that form a more complete perspective on what the author is attempting to communicate. For example look at the very next verse.
Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV)
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
For many of my Christian years I adopted the wrong perspective that “God can’t look at sin”. One natural conclusion we draw from that lie is that God really isn’t watching us when we sin. But does that agree with Hebrews 4:13? There is no creature, not you, not me, that is hidden from His sight. All things are exposed and open (like a window) to His eyes! And here’s the final kicker of that verse, it is to God that “we must give account!”
So back to my question, “how do you respond to the word of God”? When you read verses like this, is your immediate reaction something like, “oh so-and-so needs to hear this! God’s sword is going to cut them!” Or do you allow the word to challenge you right where you are in your life. Do you respond by saying something like, “that’s right! God knows my heart. Everything I do, everything I am is totally exposed to Him and one day I will give account to Him. Do you, do we allow the scriptures to challenge us and change us? Do we notice the disparity between God’s word and how we actually live and commit to making the appropriate course adjustments?
I’m so glad that verse thirteen isn’t the final word on the subject. Look at the next three verses.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV)
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
There is so much here we could (and probably should) talk about. Jesus is a “great High Priest”, He passed through the heavens! He IS the Son of God! We are commanded to, which means we are able to hold fast our confession. Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses, which suggests that He doesn’t condemn us. He doesn’t excuse our weaknesses, He provides a solution for them!
And finally, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace”, not based on our own merit, but based on Jesus our High Priest. Not based on our actions, but based on His! What will we find at the “throne of grace”? Well mercy, but also grace. Should we expect to find anything less than grace at the throne named the “throne of grace”?
So how ever you respond to the word of God when you hear it let me encourage you, don’t resist it. Press into and embrace the truth clearly revealed and let it change your heart. Experience the throne of grace. Get your mercy and grace when you need it. After all, Jesus gave His life to buy it for you.
Remember, you cannot experience the resurrection power of Jesus the Christ outside of His life, death and burial. Faith alone in Christ alone!
Yahweh God is truly worthy of all praise, worship, and adoration. Don’t you want to be counted among those expressing it to Him?