Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Living and Active Word

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“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Scripture is sometimes referred to as a sword, but what does this mean? When we think of a sword, we probably think of it as a weapon to be used in battle. We pick up our sword, and we go on the offensive. This is a common way to think of the word, but in Hebrews 4:12 sword is not used in this way. It is not a weapon for battle, but rather a scalpel for surgery. The sword is not used on others but turned on ourselves. We are able to judge people by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-20), but not by the “intentions of the heart.” Only God can judge the heart (1 Cor. 4:5). This means Hebrews 4:12 is a passage about how the word of God works in our lives.

We should spend time reflecting on how we use God’s word. Are we using God’s word to win an argument? Are we using it as a weapon against another person? This is not what God’s word was designed to do. It was designed to live and work within us. It was designed to work on our soul and spirit. It was designed to transform us into the image of Jesus. The word of God speaks to us like no other written text can. How we use the word of God is of upmost importance. If we are not using it as it was designed to be used, then it will not produce what it was designed to produce.

The word of God is closely tied to prayer. Immediately after the author of Hebrews explains what the word of God is intended to do, he talks about prayer (Heb. 4:14-16). Simply reading the word of God is not enough. We must have a relationship with God. We must spend time in prayer. We need this. Jesus is able to relate to us (Heb. 4:15). God grants us the grace we need in our time of need (Heb. 4:16). It is not just God’s word that is alive within us, but the Holy Spirit, God himself, dwells in us. Together the word and the Spirit help to transform us to look like Jesus.

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