Hello and welcome to episode 80 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and this is the third and final installment in our series taking a look at Christ as described in Hebrews 4:12, “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.”

If you’re joining us for this first time and you haven’t listened to parts one and two, “The Living and Effective Christ,” and “Christ is Sharper Than Any Double-Edged Sword,” then I would highly suggest you go back and listen to both of those episodes before you continue with this one.

Christ is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  In Episode 79 we read John’s description of Christ in Revelations 19:11-16, “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.”  We talked about that word, “strike” being 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 that it’s, “probably a prolongation” of the word “to sting (as a scorpion).”  This sword that comes out of His mouth and strikes the nations is the Gospel. We are co-heirs with Christ and extensions of Him in sharing that Gospel to the ends of the Earth.  The Gospel strikes at the hearts of the nations turning their hearts toward Christ.

We can find a good description of the way in which Christ is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart explained in Ephesians 5:13, “Everything exposed by the light is made visible, for what makes everything visible is light.”  Christ is THE light that makes all things manifest, that makes all things visible. John 1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness does not comprehend it.”

In Genesis 1:2 it says, “The Earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”  The word darkness used there in the original Hebrew is:

H2822 חֹשֶׁךְ chôshek kho-shek' From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: - dark (-ness), night, obscurity

In episode 44 we talked about the heart being full of evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.  If that doesn't sound like the textbook definition of darkness then I don't know what is. And actually, that's just a direct quote of Jesus from Mark 7:20-23.

In part two of this series, we talked about Christ being sharper than a double-edged sword that cuts all the way to the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  He cuts right to the heart of mankind and when He gets there He shines a light in the darkness. A light that exposes all our hidden places, and all the things that we’ve tried to hide there.  John 3:19-21 says, “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.  But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” As Christians we love the light of truth, we’ve opened up our hearts and Christ has driven the darkness out of us so that we may glorify God.

Christ is living and effective, He always has been since the very beginning and after being raised from the dead is sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.  He is the powerhouse in whose authority we walk in life and prosperity. Christ is sharper than any double-edged sword proceeding out of our mouths as we share the Gospel of love and the free gift of salvation.  That sword strikes the nations cutting straight to their heart shining THE light in the darkness of our hearts driving it out and setting us free. We love our neighbor as ourselves and those that need Christ’s love know who we are by our love for each other.  The Gospel is spread and Christ’s light shines right through the barriers that they may have put up. And Christ, who is “living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. “Who is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” is spread.

That wraps up our three-part series on the description of Christ in Hebrews 4:12.  However, if you’ll bear with me for just a moment, one moment I have a personal note I’d like to add.  Most of the listeners of this podcast have never met me and don’t know that I have three children. On the morning of Father’s Day, we were laying in my bed cuddling and I told them a little story that went like this.  “Growing up I always wanted to be a father, so God sent me a Gregory. A few years passed and I told God, “I love being a father so much, I want more,” so God sent me a Miranda. A few years later I told God, “I love being a father so much, I want more,” so God sent me an Adeline.  A few years later I told God, “I love being a father so much that,” and at that point, my wife, Roxanne, put her hand on my mouth and said, “Don’t You Dare!” However, God heard me anyway and we are expecting our fourth child in February of 2019.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “I’m so excited…”

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