Hello and welcome to episode 79 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and we are on week two of our three part series talking about the aspects of Christ described in Hebrews 4:12.  Verses 12-14 says, “For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints, and marrow.  It is able to judge the thoughts and 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.”

In the last episode, ep. 78, we established that in context, Paul was most likely talking about Christ here when he uses the term, “Word of God,” just as John did at the beginning of the Gospel of John.  In John 1:1 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in John 1:14, it continues, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…,” talking about Jesus. We also read every scripture in the New Testament that establishes that Christ is alive and sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.  We finished up reading Isaiah 49:2 that tells us that we, as Christians, have words like a sharp sword, God has hidden us in the shadow of His hand and made us like sharpened arrows hidden in His quiver.

In this episode, we’re talking about Christ being sharper than any double-edged sword.  If you will, I would like to suggest to you that the way in which Christ is sharper than any double-edged sword is a direct reference to the sharing of the Gospel.  In the Old Testament, this was the message; the law presented a path for righteousness that gave the chance of salvation. Since the time of Christ we’ve understood, through the teachings of the fathers of our faith, that we have a Gospel that is the path to salvation that then leads to righteousness.

In Acts 13:47 we read, “This is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles to bring salvation to the ends of the Earth.”  We bring this salvation to the ends of the Earth by showing our love for one another and allowing the world to see our good works that bring glory to the Father.  Our words that are like a sharp sword are when we speak like Christ when the love and graciousness of God shines through what we say.

There’s a peculiar bit of scripture in Revelations 19 describing Christ, it’s translated mostly in the past tense because it’s the recounting of what the author saw during an event in his life.  I’d like to read it to you removing the tense in its descriptions, verses 11-16 says, “I see heaven opened, and there is a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war with justice.  His eyes are like a fiery flame, and many crowns are on His head. He has a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wears a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. The armies that are in heaven follow Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen.  A sharp sword comes from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He rules them with an iron rod. He tramples the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The peculiar thing about the description comes when we get to the bit about Him striking the nations with the sharp sword that comes from His mouth.  Remember we’re running with the idea that the sword out of our mouths, and the sword out of His mouth are the Gospel. If we look at the word strike in the original language there we find the word:

G3960 πατάσσω patassō pat-as'-so Probably a prolongation from G3817; to knock (gently or with a weapon or fatally): - smite, strike. Compare G5180.

The Strongs Thesaurus says it’s, “probably a prolongation” of the word “to sting (as a scorpion).”

The tone of the English version of this passage gives the idea that this is a list of actions that John is seeing Christ take, but when I read this I see nothing more than a description of Christ.  The sword coming out of His mouth is the Gospel that we as Christians are delivering. It strikes the nations, it strikes them in their hearts penetrating as far as the separation of their soul and their spirit to move them towards salvation.

Proverbs 5:3-6 says, “Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol. She doesn’t consider the path of life; she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.” King Solomon isn’t talking specifically about forbidden women here, he’s talking about wickedness and iniquity in general.  When we jump ahead to the end of the chapter, in Proverbs 5:22-23 we read, “A wicked man’s iniquities will trap him; he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin. He will die because there is no discipline, and be lost because of his great stupidity.”

Unfortunately, there are so many in this world who feel the tangled ropes of wickedness and iniquity and see no way out or reason why God would take the care to free them.  That’s where I was, before I came to the Lord. I was in that place where I was wrapped up in those ropes, chains if you will, that were holding me prisoner. I truly believed that I was God’s enemy and that He hated me.  But, that’s where the Gospel comes in, that’s where you and I can come in. Proverbs describes wickedness and iniquity as being as sharp as a double-edged sword, but remember we read in Hebrews that Christ is sharper than a double-edged sword.  Wickedness and iniquity are as sharp as a double-edged sword, but Christ is sharper than a double-edged sword. It’s our job, yours and mine, to deliver Christ through the Gospel to strike a blow straight to the heart of those entrapped and set them free.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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