This word of God is:
Living—constantly and actively alive.
Cutting—sharper than any two-edged sword.
Dividing—piercing the soul and spirit, the two invisible, nonmaterial parts of man. Piercing the joints and marrow, the joints permitting the outward movements and the marrow being the hidden but vital life of the bones.
Discerning—discriminating and judging with regard to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is the word that judges us, not we who judge the word.
The Word of God may here mean the gospel revelation in all its fullness, especially as contrasted with that under the law; the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. 1. “The Word of God is quick.” This is an ancient expression that signifies living: it occurs in our Creed and in our Advent Collect, “the quick and the dead.” This use of the word is frequent in Scripture (see John 5:21; John 6:63; Romans 8:11). Stephen, in Acts 7., describes the ancient Scriptures as “the lively (or living) oracles,” those testimonies from God, by which at that time the means of life were communicated. We now inquire, what is the meaning of the Word of God giv ing life. And clearly it relates to an operation upon the soul of man, to some new state of being generated and produced. A new store of knowledge is brought to the understanding; a flood of light is poured in which arrays every object in a new colour; an influence works upon the affections by which they are refined and changed, made to delight in new purposes and pursuits, to flow in a new channel, and raised from earth to heaven. The Word and its accompanying grace, with its doctrines, and promise, and ordinances, with the manifold ministrations of the Spirit, brings the mind altogether into a new condition. And by the hearing of the Word, and the deep study of the Word, and by the willing and faithful acceptance of all that it reveals, this life of God in the soul is maintained; renewed as it languishes from its corrupt communication with earth, and daily carried on to further advancement and strength. The Word is “quick and powerful”: energetic, active. It has the power because it has life. The life is such as to exert a perpetual energy within us: we might say, powerfully alive. It will move upon the mass of corruption; it will convince of sin; it will change the love of sin into the love of holiness; and will, if applied and carried out by the Church’s wisdom, bring the wayward and ungodly affections into a stale of self-denying discipline, into humble submission to the Divine will. 2. The text moreover declares that the Word “is sharper than any two-edged sword.” This figure seems to be borrowed from the prophets (Isaiah 49:2; Hosea 6:5). St. Paul in Ephesians 6. speaks of “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” The Word of God has always been found, from the beginning, capable of penetrating deeply into the heart of a sinner; of producing a sudden and terrible alarm in the conscience, of striking conviction into the trembling frame, and lowering the rebel to the ,lust. To the humble, pious, faithful disciple also the Word of God is a sharp instructor, a penetrating sword; often bringing truths to remembrance, which in mortal weakness had been forgotten; often giving a new colour and force to truths already in the mind. And how quick, and mighty, and prevailing are the truths of the gospel for the furtherance of grace, and the increase of heavenly comfort in the soul; depths of wisdom newly discovered; rays of consolation beaming forth; lights of unearthly brightness successively rising to the eye of faith.
A man who was in the habit of going into a neighbour’s corn-field to steal the ears, one day took his son with him, a boy of eight years of age. The father told him to hold the bag while he looked if anyone was near to see him. After standing on the fence, and peeping through all the corn rows, he returned and took the bag from the child, and began his guilty work. “Father,” said the boy, “you forgot to look somewhere else.” the man dropped the bag in a fright, and said, “Which way, child? ” supposing he had seen some one. “You forgot to look up to the sky to see if God was noticing you ” The father felt this reproof of the child so much, that he left the corn, returned home, and never again ventured to steal, remembering the truth his child had taught him, that the eye of God always beholds us.
. “THE WORD OF GOD.” There are many such words. There is a Word of God in Nature. Order diversified, which is a true description of Nature, tells of a power which is no brute force; in other words, of a mind at work in its exercise. There is a word of God in nature, and there is a word of God in providence; there is a word of God in science, and there is a word of God in history; there is a word of God in the Church, and there is a word of God in the Bible. And yet all these are external, as such, to the very “spirit of the man that is in him.” The Word of God, which is the real speech and utterance of all these voices, comes at last to the man himself in conscience.
The Word of God is a personal word — it speaks to the personal being, as God made and as God sees .
We can no longer sail with the world’s wind and expect a better life and promising future for our children, ourselves and communities. For an aircraft to increase in altitude, it must fly against the wind. As Christian men, we must fly against personal, tumultuous world-winds to propel our families and communities to higher ground in God’s Kingdom