Sam N. Clements | General Overseer
1 Peter 1:23-25
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
We all know the Bible is the Word of God. The incorruptible seed that produces life, a living message containing within itself God’s own life.
Jesus said in John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Now that is a powerful promise, but God would not promise something that was not true. The life of God is in His Word.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful…” In the Bible, it is God who speaks. We often quote the prophets and the apostles, but it is important for us to realize that it was not just the word of the prophets, it was not the word of men, but God who spoke through the prophets. “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear His voice, Harden…” (Hebrews 3:7-8) is actually a quote form Psalms 95:7-8, “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:”
These scriptures tell us that the Holy Ghost is the author of the Scriptures. The prophets of the Old Testament did not always understand the meaning of what they themselves had written, but were simply reporters of what they heard rather than formulators of that which they delivered. They wrote down what they were told to write whether they understood it or not. They did not originate their message; the message came from God. Peter said the prophets themselves inquired and searched diligently for the salvation, for the grace that they prophesied that should come unto us – “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify” (1 Peter 1:11)…it was God speaking through them. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul commends the Christians at Thessalonica for receiving his word, “not as the word of men, but for what it is, the Word of God.”
When you think about it, the Bible was written by forty men living all over a sixteen-hundred year span from Moses to John. They lived in six different countries and wrote in three different languages. It is possible that many did not know other writers. Some were rich, some were poor, some were on thrones, and some were in prison. Some were shepherds, others were fishermen, kings, etc., yet when they finished it was all in harmony and free from contradictions. Amazing yes, but the answer to how this could be is given by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16 when he said, “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God…” It is God breathed.
Think about it, if we did not have this Word, we would know nothing about the will of God for our lives. We might be able to recognize the fact that there is a God by observing His mighty works in nature, but we would know nothing about the nature of God, we would know nothing about Jesus Christ and eternity. We would know nothing about how to get out of our lost condition and be forgiven of our sins. We would know nothing about the church, how to worship God, or how to live a Christian life because all this knowledge is contained in His Word.
Now for the Word of God to effectually work in our lives, there are certain things we must do. First, we must hear the Word. God desires to communicate with us through the Word. The dictionary defines communication as an exchange of thoughts or knowledge. The keyword to that definition is “exchange.” Two actions must take place— transmitting and receiving, speaking and hearing. The breakdown usually comes on the receiving end because hearing is difficult for us. Many times when we read the Bible or listen to a sermon, we usually see others rather than ourselves. Sometimes we do not hear because we already have our preconceived ideas of what is truth. The Pharisees could not simply “hear the Word.” The Romans had a similar problem—they liked to listen, but did not want to hear. They did not mind being preached to, but they were not excited about absorbing the truth and being taught. Paul stated in Romans 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We hear, yet we do not hear; we know, yet we do not know! I know this may sound confusing, but the mind has a way of just tuning out what it doesn’t want to hear. People who already have their minds set do not want to be confused with facts. In Matthew 13, Jesus gives a lesson in hearing. It is obvious from Jesus’ teaching that a person’s life, their soul, their effectiveness, and their eternal destiny is at the mercy of the ear. In this chapter, Jesus calls this parable the Parable of the Sower, but we notice in studying this that the accountability was given the soil, the emphasis is on hearing and receiving the Word. Jesus talks about four different conditions of the soil; when God’s Word is preached there are four types of hearts as was represented by the four types of soils. There are hard hearts that refuse the Word; there are shallow hearts that get excited about what they are hearing, but their experience is not deep enough to follow through; there are crowded hearts where truth is literally choked out by other values, preconceived ideas, or traditional thinking (it may be their minds are so preoccupied with other things that there is no room for the Word); then there are fruitful hearts that receive the Word, apply it to their lives, and they grow and produce fruit.
Secondly, for the Word to be effective in our lives, we must retain the Word. Bibles are not meant to be on tables or on shelves. David hid the Word in his heart. It is great to memorize Scripture, but the Bible is not merely to be memorized, it is to be digested and lived. God didn’t give us the Holy Scripture to make us smart; our problem in inspiration is not to get it on the page, but to get it off the page and into our hearts. James says, “Be ye doers of the Word” (James 1:22). It is our responsibility to live the Word. Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man” (Matthew 7:24–27). You will notice in the parable of the sower that only one of four soils could produce fruit. That is something to think about, one out of four people are really going to be affected by the Word; one of four are going to produce fruit, and even then, they have a different fruit gauge. Some bring forth 30-fold, some 60-fold, and some 100-fold.
I challenge you today to hear the Word, believe it, receive it, hide it in your heart, love it, meditate on it, obey it, live it, and rejoice in it! The Word will cleanse and comfort, edify, heal and protect, quicken and strengthen, sustain you, and make you bring forth fruit. Allow the Word to be effective in your heart and life.