Regular readers may recognize this post. I wrote it in May of this year. I wanted to re-post it today, with a few updates, because the information is foundational to understanding “hearing and doing the Word”, as commanded in our key verse, Matthew 7:24-25. I think this “old” post gets right to the point of what I wanted to say today!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:1-4).
“Word” in these verses comes from the Greek “Logos”. Some Greek philosophers used Logos to mean actual words, or a saying, others used it to mean the reasoning or rational thought (the wisdom) that precedes and becomes spoken word. Other thinkers took Logos a step further to represent the larger cosmic reasoning, which animated the universe to bring it together. Finally, some philosophers felt that Logos was an actual being who served as an intermediary between the material world and God (Thanks Wiki!). The choice of Logos here is intentional and is an extension of all of the various meanings and understandings of it; it is not limited to one meaning. Logos was the actual Word that came from God’s mouth. Logos was generated in His mind, by His wisdom. Logos animated the Universe, bringing God’s intent to life by the power of His creative reasoning. Logos (Jesus Christ) served as an intermediary between God and the material world. And He still does.
For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Heb 4:12-13). In this verse, “Word” has the same translation as “Word” in John 1; it comes from the Greek “Logos”.
God’s Word (Jesus) is living and active; it (He) has power. I can easily see the relationship of Logos (the spoken Word of Creator God, Elohim) to both: to the creative being Jesus, and to the written Word of God, the scriptures. Like Logos (the Word that proceeded from God’s mouth in John 1), all Scripture [the written word of God] is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). So God’s written Word has transformative power; it is at work in us to help accomplish His plan for us.
God’s plan is different for everyone, yet in some ways it is the same for everyone too. We are called to be in relationship with Him. We are promised: draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Studying and memorizing scripture is one way we can draw near to Him, to know Him better, to keep Him first in our hearts and uppermost in our minds. Taking the Word into us, changes us, strengthens us. How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:9-11).
Daily time in the [written] Word helps us to incorporate the Living Word [Jesus] into our lives. The Words that came from the breath of God’s mouth, the Words that inspired the scriptures; they were generated in His mind. In the same way that Logos animated the Universe, God’s Word can animate our lives. Jesus, Himself, quoted scripture throughout His ministry and life. He did so because it had the authority to convict sinners, to rebuke the Devil, to encourage believers. The “scripture” Jesus quoted was what we call the Old Testament. The Word of God is the Word of God, Old or New Testament; it has power.
Think carefully about all of the words I have announced to you today. I want you to command your children to be careful to obey all of the words of this law. They aren’t just useless words for you. They are your very life. Deut 32:46-47 There are those who disparage “the law” as obsolete, as a heavy yoke that we must shed, now that we have been given Grace through Jesus Christ. It is not that simple. As Paul said, whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4).
The whole of God’s Word tells us about God’s desire for relationship with us, and studying it teaches us about His Character and about how we can demonstrate our love for Him. Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matt 7:24-25). Hearing and doing God’s Word is the method for weaving Him, the Living Word, into the very fabric of our lives – more on that soon, I promise!