The Power And Nature Of The Word Of God
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
When we understand It in Its Biblical sense, the concept of the Word of God is an awesome wonder to our limited understanding. On the one hand, the awesome power of the Word of God formed and energized all the stars in space with their unmeasureable power (John 1:3), while on the other hand, that same Word continues today, giving instruction to storms and breezes (Psalm 148:8). But even in light of this great active power of God's Word, Its most impressive work is as God's Instrument which takes a sinner who is at odds with God and convinces him that God has forgiven and accepted him in the work of Jesus Christ, and makes him a new creation with a different nature than he had before (Romans 10:17 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).
In short, the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit of God (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12) as He continues to actively call men to grace through faith in God's promises. This Word is the most powerful enemy that Satan has in the creation, for it exposes him and his tactics, shows his lies to be lies, rescues from his power and his kingdom, and It forgives what he accuses. Even debating the Word of God can be a successful strategy for him only when the victim is fairly ignorant of that Word. So the devil has struck at the very heart of the power of that Word. He knows that God has limited Himself to using the Word to make citizens of heaven; God has refused to simply sweep His Hand over the world and "make" everyone a believer - He uses the Word. So the devil has developed the strategy of discrediting the Word by encouraging the idea that it is merely human - a product of natural human evolution. This is really the message behind the historical critical methods as well as their starting assumption.
But the devil has also anticipated that some people would not accept this - especially those within the Church, and these, after all, are his main targets. Therefore his strategy has yet another step to it - the Bible has a naturalistic origin - but its spiritual truths are still true in a spiritual sense. The hidden hook in this lie is that the Bible is removed from being meaningful in the solid, material world in which we live - in other words, the Bible contains some spiritual truth, but it "is not a textbook on science." Under this system the Biblical concept of faith must be accounted for as a "leap" one makes in spite of or without expecting any physical evidence of its truth.
One tactic which we often hear is that the Bible only contains the Word of God - the Bible Itself is not the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." First, we must know that the original Greek word here for "inspired" means "God breathed." This is a very special word which is only found in this one place in the whole New Testament. However, this word is also used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) to describe how man became a living soul. "God breathed" life into Adam. So we see that this Greek word Theopneustos is not a static word but a powerful, dynamic word.
St. Paul is here making a statement both about the nature and purpose of Scripture, and nature and purpose are tied together. He is saying that all of Scripture has a very special nature because all of Scripture is intended for a very special purpose, which is making man wise unto salvation. This is the purpose of all of Scripture, and therefore, in God's economy of things, there is nothing superfluous or "expendable" in the Bible. As a result, all of the Bible is the inspired Word of God. The gospel in the Bible is inspired, as is the Scriptural material which describes historical events, and the creation (that is, science) is also just as inspired. All of the Bible is the Word of God!
While the Bible identifies itself completely as the Word of God, specific Scriptural statements identify every type of material in the Bible as the Word of God. Passages of Scripture which are law and condemnation are specifically called by Scripture the "Word of the Lord" or the "Word of God." Scripture explicitly states that words of cursing and punishment are God's Word just as much as the gospel is in passages like Isaiah 1:10 ff., Isaiah 4:16 ff. God's commands are clearly called the "Word of God" in passages like Psalm 119:1-16 and 57-58. Ezekiel 31 is specifically called "the Word of the Lord against Egypt."
An even wider range of identifications is made for "the Word of God" in the New Testament. Jesus is God and by the power of His Word He cast out demons (see Matthew 8:16). Mark 4:33 says that Jesus taught the Word of God with parables - parables against unbelief (law), as well as parables which invited into God's kingdom (gospel). In John 5:39 Jesus Himself says that the Scriptures (referring to the Old Testament at this point) bear witness of Him. And in Luke 16:27 He describes God as saying to the rich man, "If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead." A close examination of historical critical materials on the Old Testament clearly shows that those who try to understand the Bible from a naturalistic worldview do not listen to Moses and the prophets. And an examination of their New Testament materials shows that, as Christ stated, neither do they believe that anyone, specifically Christ, rose physically from the dead. Truly the Lord knew the leaven of naturalism well when He spoke these words.
The reason that it is important to stress that all of Scripture is the Word of God is because all of Scripture has been given to make us wise unto salvation which is by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Although those who follow the historical critical methodology may speak much of love and of the gospel, it should be clear that, without the supernatural world view of the Bible as the Word of the God Who is our Creator and Savior, the love and the gospel they offer must be very different in nature from the love and gospel of Scripture. May God grant us always to hear, study, and believe His inerrant Word!
Enlightening resources on this topic:
Science, Creation and the Bible-Video
Former evolutionist Walter Brown explains how evolutionary assumptions conflict with hard science. Uses examples from life sciences, astronomy, and earth sciences to demonstrate that the earth is young and evolution could not have happened.
1019-5 $19.95; 49 Minutes
The Bible has the Answer
How do we know the Bible is true? Why did God create the universe? This book answers over 250 questions on various subjects. Morris and Clark show that the Bible is clear and easy to understand-and always gives the right answer. Interest level: High School-Adult
1018-0 $11.95; Paperback, 394 Pages
Copyright Â© 1986 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329