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The Living and Active Word of God

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (CSB)

Some people say it’s only a book, written by men. 

God says it’s much more than that.

In fact, the Bible does such a good job of explaining itself that we will let it show us how we can know that God’s Word is the final word, the living and active word of God.  

God’s Word Is Living And Active

Isaiah 55:11

“My word that comes from my mouth, will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

God’s word is active and accomplishes exactly what He intends for it to do. This passage from Isaiah verifies that when God speaks, His word is always meaningful and worthwhile.

Ephesians 6:17

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God.”

God’s Word is powerful. Paul is telling us here that God’s Word can be used for protection from satanic forces which are always in opposition with God. God’s word actively gives us protection, if we will utilize it. Paul refers to the Bible as the sword of the Spirit, and it’s true: God’s word is a weapon. For more reading on this subject see Equipping For Spiritual Battles:Putting On The Armor Of God, and The Battle Between Good And Evil: Spiritual Warfare Scriptures .

1 Peter 1:23

“For you have been born again, but not to a life that well quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. (NLT)

God’s word is alive and forever. True believers that have been born again through Jesus are guaranteed a new life that will last forever, because the new life comes from Jesus, also known as The Word.

The living and active Word of God - New Day of Simplicity
(ESV)

1 Thessalonians 2:13

“This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe.”

The word of God is effective. The Bible is not simply words that men thought up. It is the actual Word of God. Paul was so thankful for the people in the church at Thessalonica because they received God’s word with welcome. Paul also adds another dimension of this living Word –  that it is not merely a human message, but truly from God.

2 Timothy 3:16

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

God’s word is inspired and literally “breathed out by God”. Here we see that all of Scripture is valuable because it originated from God, put to the pen by individual men, and of good use for teaching, rebuking, corrected, and training in righteousness..

The living and active Word of God - New Day of Simplicity
(ESV)

The Living And Active Word Of God, Put To The Page

The decicions about what to include in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God was a process that took centuries and much painstaking investigation by many scholars.

They made these decisions based on concrete guidelines in addition to common sense reasoning, expert investigating, and taking every aspect of the writing into thoughtful and prayerful consideration before finalizing their decisions.

Because of this, we can be sure that what we read in the Bible is the true Word of God. Josh McDowell gives us the general guidelines that were used to weigh out these decisions in his blog post entitled “An Investigation: Who Decided What To Include In The Bible?”

2 Peter 1:19-21

“We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

We can rest assured that the Holy Scriptures weren’t chosen hastily or haphazardly. Peter addresses this concern in the above passaage, by assuring us of the method by which God’s living and active word was received, when he tells us that these prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and spoke from God

The Bible Interprets God’s Living And Active Word

Have you ever read the Bible and wished you had more information about what you’ve read? There are lots of good Bible tools that can help us understand, but it’s important to rely the most heavily on the living and active Word of God – the Bible – to interpret itself. 

God has told us through the pens of men exactly what he wants us to know – not more, and not less. If we go digging, we can usually find other Scriptures that explain or more fully describe what we’ve read. 

Just as each of the above Bible verses fit together with one another to more fully explain the concept of the living and active Word of God, we can use various passages throughout the whole Bible to better understand what God and the writers were saying. 

If your Bible has cross-references printed in the text, you can use these to take you to other similar passages. 

Bible apps such as the YouVersion Bible App make it easy to check other translations for wording that may be easier to understand. Just be careful to use a strong, Christian translation of the Bible.

Some excellent Bible translations that I can recommend are CSB, HCSB, NASB, AMP, ESV, GNT, NKJV, NIV, NLT, and NCV. I will occasionally use the MSG Bible if I want a very simplified version that speaks more like we speak today. A good translation for children is the NIRV. 

Interpreting The Living And Active Word Of God

We must be careful that we don’t misinterpret the Scriptures or take them to mean something other than what God meant to say, and we must also be careful not to add anything that may not have been intended in the first place. 

It’s ok to use your imagination to get a picture in your mind of what the surrounding sounds, sights, and smells may have been, and the historical context of what you’re reading. 

But be careful not to make changes or to say that God meant something more or other than what the Biblical text says. This is called false teaching and is strongly warned against throughout Scripture.

2 Peter 3:16

“He speaks about these things in all his letters. There are some things hard to understand in them. The untaught and unstable will twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.”

Peter has warned us about twisting the Scriptures to say they mean something they don’t. Peter referred to Paul’s writings when he wrote the above passage. Changing Scripture to mean what we want it to mean rather than what God intended it to mean is a serious and destructive offense.

2 Timothy 2:15-17

“Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. Avoid irreverent and empty speech, since those who engage in it will produce even more godlessness, and their teaching will spread like gangrene.”

Here is even further warning not to change the words of the Bible. Paul is warning Timothy that The Bible is truly God’s message to us, His living and active word. It tells us of His will, His love, His commands, and His warnings, The Bible also tells us of things to come that we would not know in any other way. It is interlaced together by an invisible, but incredibly strong thread, woven in by God, who placed it there for us to find, and mine like treasures. 

Reading, studying, and allowing God’s Word to influence our thinking develops a Biblical Worldview. Read more about this type of worldview in What Is A Biblical Worldview.

Learning from examples of unity throughout the Bible can help us be unified as we are faced with a growing list of problems and controversies in our local churches.

God’s Word truly is living and active, and timeless. Reading and learning about the character of God and how He dealt with sin in the world, ultimately sending His Son to save all who are willing, can show us the relevance and truth that we still need so badly today.

The Living and Active Word of God - New Day of Simplicity

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