“Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18 (NKJ)
How do you read the Bible? Do you read it intent on analyzing its meaning? I must admit, this is the lens I most frequently use. I invest in Bible commentaries and lexicons, with great intentionality and expense, to insure that I am “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Though all these efforts are important in accurately interpreting Scripture, the “power and wonder” of the Word is best understood when we realize its “supernatural origin and source”—God Himself. Viewed from this perspective, God’s Word will quickly become a greater influence and authority in our lives.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3:16). “Given by inspiration of God” in Greek is one word, theopneustos which means “God breathed” (theo=God and pneo=to breathe). What does that mean? God, through the Person of the Holy Spirit and the personality of the biblical writer, enabled every letter, word, and sentence that is included in each biblical text. Through His Word, God gives believers everything they need to live “profitable and righteous” lives. God’s Word is the authoritative source for truth, encouragement, and correction. It comes not only with meaning and purpose but also with God’s absolute power. This is witnessed in the power of His Word to “covert souls” (Ps. 19: 7) and “enlighten eyes” (Ep. 1:18).
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish …” (Isaiah 55:11). God’s Word is not simply a means of communication. It is “The Means” whereby God makes “things happen.” In Genesis, God spoke and it was accomplished. Darkness separated from light and the result He called night and day (Gen. 1:4-5). God said “let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven” and the sun and the moon came into existence (Gen. 1:15-16). Throughout the Old and New Testament God spoke and His Word was accomplished (Num. 23:19; Ep. 1:4-5). God has spoken to us in these last days through His Son Jesus Christ, the Living Word, who came to release us from the penalty and power of sin (Heb. 1:2). Jesus’ cry from the cross, “It is finished” witnessed the fact that God’s Living Word accomplished His divine purpose.
God’s Word is best appreciated and celebrated as we personally experience its transforming power. Upon hearing the Gospel of Salvation (Ep. 1:13), we are instantaneously confronted with the Power of God (Rom. 1:16-17). Rescued from the kingdom of darkness, we are transplanted into the kingdom of love (Col. 1:13). The penalty of sin is removed and our identity is immediately changed from a child of disobedience to joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). As we grow in Christ through reading and meditating on His Word, we are moment by moment changed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), our mind renewed (Ro. 12:2) until we have the same mind as Christ (Phil. 2:5). As we read God’s Word, let us remember the power and authority behind it—God the Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth.
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” Hebrews 4: 12