God’s word in all its power and beauty
Living and powerful, sharp and piercing: the word of God is full of surprises. And a single Bible verse makes this abundantly clear: a small lexicology from a divine service by the Chief Apostle.
“The Bible text describes God’s word in a very comprehensive and beautiful way.” This is how Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider started the divine service on 22 November 2018 in Palangkaraya on the island of Borneo (Indonesia). He was talking about Hebrews 4: 12: “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.”
The living word
The word of God is living. Here the Chief Apostle saw a triple significance. First he explained that the word of God is the source of eternal life: “You have to believe it and do it in order to be saved.” Then he said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is not some old story: it’s a current reality. It is still valid.” Finally, he said, “It is the living word because it is still being preached today to teach us how to live according to the gospel.” And this is precisely the mission of the Apostles today.
The effective word
God’s word is powerful. “The word of God contains the full power of God.” It was the origin of creation. Through His word, Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. And His word is still active today: it heals from sin and prepares for resurrection. “Don’t ask God for great miracles, just do His word.”
The word that differentiates
God’s word is sharp. It clearly distinguishes between good and evil and between truth and falsehood, the Chief Apostle said. Acting upon it inevitably means that one makes a a definitive decision for Jesus Christ. “Let us make clear decisions. We have decided that the gospel of the Lord is the truth. We do not follow the main stream, we do God’s will.”
The penetrating word
God’s word penetrates. “That means it penetrates deeply into man.” The word of God is directed at the heart, not at human reason, the Chief Apostle said. “That is the essence of the whole Bible. God loves you and tells you, ‘Come!’” This message wants to and must permeate our entire lives—our marriages, our families, our congregations, our workplaces, and society in general.
The word that recognises
God’s word: a judgement? “God knows us better than we know ourselves,” the Chief Apostle said and went on to say, “Let us be humble enough to accept that He wants to tell us something through His word.” His judgement of a person does not only include his or her deeds, but also the motivation behind them. “Love for God and our neighbour is our true motivation. Let us act accordingly, and we will be saved.”