Hello and welcome to episode 78 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and with this episode, we’re kicking off a three-part series about the Word of God.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  It is able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the Heart.”  We talked about this scripture in another episode from the viewpoint of the traditionally taught theological position of this verse referring directly to the Bible when it says Word of God.  For this series, we’re going to focus more on the context of what, in my opinion, Paul was most likely referring to when He wrote this passage.
 
The first piece of evidence that Paul isn’t actually talking about the Bible when reading this is a detail that doesn’t occur to most people.  When this was written the "word of God" was just what we would call the Old Testament.  All of Matthew through Revelations wasn’t considered a part of the word of God yet.  Notice Paul doesn’t say that God revealed this information to him about the future formation of the Bible, and unless Paul had some prophetic gifts that the Bible never lets us in on then it would have been really difficult if not impossible for him to be talking about the Bible when writing this scripture.
 
The second thing we have to consider is the next scripture, Hebrews 4:13, “No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.”  I understand that the Him in that scripture could easily be taken as the speaker of “the Word of God” from verse 12 which would still point to the Bible since we largely consider the Bible to be inspired by, if not the direct words of God.  But, when we take into account 2 Corinthians 5:10, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  It becomes a little clearer what he is referring to when he says, “the Word of God.”  Just like expressed in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  Then in John 1:14 it says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..."  Paul here is using that same language talking about Christ when he says, “the Word of God.”  Moving on to the next verse Hebrew 4:14, Paul re-emphasizes the point, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens -- Jesus the Son of God -- let us hold fast to our confession.”  Paul hasn’t switched to a new topic, he’s continuing on with the basis that he’s already laid.  Reading that straight through Hebrews 4:12-14 reads, "For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  It is able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the Heart.  No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens -- Jesus the Son of God -- let us hold fast to our confession."
 
Taking into account all of that, over the next 6 minutes or so we’re going to take a look at the living and effective Christ.  Obviously, no Christian objects to Christ having been raised from the dead and now sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.  That’s basic Christian theology, right?  We see the evidence of that in Acts 2:33, “Therefore since (Jesus) has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear.,” Acts 7:55-56, “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven.  He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  He said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!,” Romans 8:34, “Who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.,” Ephesians 1:20, “(God) exercised this power in Christ by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens,” Colossians 3:1, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.,” Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.,” Hebrews 8:1, “Now the main point of what is being said is this: We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” Hebrews 10:12, “But (Jesus Christ), after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.,” Hebrews 12:2, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.,” 1 Peter 3:22, “(Jesus Christ) has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.,” and in Revelation 3:21 Jesus says, “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on His throne.”  Beyond all that, we operate in the “name,” of Christ.  Or, better put in modern English we would say authority of Christ.  We see this in Philippians 2:9, “For this reason God highly exalted (Christ Jesus) and gave Him the name that is above every name,” and Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to the people by which we must be saved.”
 
Isaiah 49:2 prophesying about the Messiah who we know is Christ, says, “(The Lord) made my words like a sharp sword; He hid me in the shadow of His hand.  He made me like a sharpened arrow; He hid me in His quiver.”  The real beauty of scriptures like this about Christ that paint details about his character or person is Romans 8:16-17 that says, “The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ”  Being a co-heir with Christ means that what God intended for Christ He intended for us, what God says about Christ, God says about us.  God has made our words like a sharp sword; He hid us in the shadow of His hand.  He made us like sharpened arrows; He hid us in His quiver.  This is true about us only because of the living power of Christ that lives in and through us as Believers, as Christians, as Co-Heirs with Christ, as Children of God.
 
Over the next two episodes, we’ll continue looking at Hebrews 4:12 and how Christ is the Living and Effective, Sharper than a Double-Edged Sword, Discerner of our Thoughts and Intents that Paul talks about.
 
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”
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