Summary: Preaching is not the task of “making” scripture come alive; rather it’s “drawing out the life” that’s already in it.
A. Look Closely At Hebrews 4:12-13
“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. 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.” NKJV
B. Notice At One Moment It Seems To Be Talking About Scripture, And The Next Moment It Seems To Be Talking About The Son Of God (i.e., “there is no creature hidden from HIS sight…”)
I. WHICH IS HEBREWS TALKING ABOUT – SCRIPTURE OR THE SON?
A. Is It Talking About…
1. The word in print or the Word made flesh?
2. Word of God inspired or the Word of God incarnate?
B. Indeed There Is A Distinction
1. “Word of God” in Bible does refer to “scripture”
(Rev 20:4) “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God , who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.” [Notice “word of God” is lowercase – when referring to scripture]
2. Yet Jesus is also referred to as the “Word”
(John 1:1-2) “In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
(1 John 5:7-8) “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word , and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
(Rev 19:13-14) “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” [Notice “Word of God” is upper case - when referring to the Son]
B. In Truth –Hebrews 4:12-13 Referring To Both!
1. The revelation of God through the scriptures – “For the word of God is living and powerful” – notice the lower case
2. The revelation of God through the Son – “And there is no creature hidden from His sight…”
C. Christ and His Word Must Go Together – They Are Inseparable
1. As Christ reveals God, so this Book reveals Christ
2. The Bible both contains truth and proclaims The Truth
3. Christ not only proclaimed scripture, He fulfilled scripture
II. WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE WORD OF GOD TO BE “LIVING”
A. King James Version Uses “Quick”
1. Instance of old English translation
2. “Quick” meant “alive”
a. heard of “quickening the dead” or quicken our spirits”
b. to rouse, to enliven, to make alive
3. Doesn’t mean “quick” like “swift”
a. some would assume “swiftly” read through Bible
b. quick & hurry through devotions – NO!
4. Richest devotions are those where take time – go slow – one verse at a time, one verse a day, marinating in it!
5. So what does it mean to be “living”?
6. By “living”, we don’t mean –
a. some figment of our imaginations
b. something that was once non-living that’s now living just because man made it “living”
c. 1931 movie Frankenstein - The mad scientist (Dr. Henry Frankenstein) shouted, "It’s alive" with the stirring of life within his non-human Monster
B. Spring 2006 Senate Confirmation Hearings on Supreme Court Nominee Alito
1. Specter said Alito views the Constitution as "a living thing in the sense that it protects rights by setting out principles to be applied in changing circumstances."
2. Alito: “I think the Constitution is a living thing in the sense that matters, and that is that it is -- it sets up a framework of government and a protection of fundamental rights that we have lived under very successfully for 200 years. And the genius of it is that it is not terribly specific on certain things. It sets out -- some things are very specific, but it sets out some general principles and then leaves it for each generation to apply those to the particular factual situations that come up. ...”
3. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in 1920, "The constitution’s words called into life a being" whose "development … could not have been foreseen completely by the most gifted of its begetters." Hence we must interpret our Constitution "in the light of our whole experience and not merely in that of what was said a hundred years ago."
4. In some sense, you might say that the Bible is “living” in the sense that the US Constitution is “living”
a. setting out Kingdom of God principles
b. to be prayerfully applied to particular time & place situations
c. example = Gal 5:13-14 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."