Summary: #8 in a series on Hebrews. This sermon gives four reasons that we should not disregard the word of God.
A Study of the Book of Hebrews
Jesus is Better
Sermon # 8
“The Transforming Power of the Word of God.”
I was thirteen years old when I first became aware of being under the scalpel of God’s word. It was then that I heard and understood clearly that I was a sinner and as such had no right to eternity in heaven. I don’t remember who was preaching or what he was preaching about but I do remember being cut through with the conviction of my sin. There and then in a small rural Methodist church I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior. That was my first experience with the penetrating power of the Word of God but it would not be my last. Over the years there have been many times that the Word of God has cut me and convicted me.
Today we come to the classic text on the power of the Word of God in Hebrews 4:12-13. Would you join me in turning in your Bible as I read the text?
“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. (13) 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.”
This section begins with “for” or “therefore” tying what follows with what the author has previously told us about the consequences of Israel’s disobedience. The author wants us to get it through our thick heads that Israel’s awful tragedy can strike us as well.
Today I want you to see with me four reasons why we should not disregard the Word of God!
First, It is A Living Word (v. 12a)
“For the word of God is living…”
The Bible, the word of God, is unlike any other book you have in your home or in the library. The Library of Congress lays claims to being the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approxi-mately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 58 million manuscripts. Yet among all these volumes the only ones that can lay claims to being alive and powerful are copies of the Bible. This places the Bible in a unique category all to itself.
The word “living” (zon) is placed in the empathic position in the original language. The word of God is no dead letter, but as the word of the living God it cannot itself fail to be living. As the living word it continues through each age with compelling relevance. “Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “then you will tell a different story!”
[source unknown - www.bible.org/illus/Bible (application)]
The Word of God is not only a living word but
Secondly, It is an Powerful Word (v 12b)
“For the word of God is living and powerful.”
The word translated “powerful” (energes) is the word from which we get energy and energetic. The word literally means “at work.”
Charles Swindoll comments, “News articles may inform us. Novels may inspire us. Poetry may enrapture us. But only the living, active Word of God can transform us.”
[Charles Swindoll, p. 73]
“One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible’s divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the “Bounty.” Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahatian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive—John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island’s population.
So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remark-able. About this time, Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God’s Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean—and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian. [Signs of the Times, August, 1988, p. 5. - www.bible.org/illus/Bible (changes it makes)]