Today there is much talk about power. Everybody wants power; it has been the same throughout the centuries. In one magazine there is a column entitled “It pays to increase your word power.” That would be a great slogan for every believer: “It pays to increase your Word power.”
Let us start our quest for power in God’s Word in Psalm 138:2: “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word” (Psalms 138:2 NIV). If God means what He says here, that His Word and His name are magnified above all things, then by all means we should make the number one priority in our life to get to know the Word of God, in which we will learn about His name. Let us examine the Word and see what it says about itself. Throughout the Bible there are statements made regarding the Word of God, giving us insight into its greatness. We will limit our study to two books: Hebrews and Thessalonians.
The Word is powerful
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…” (Hebrews 1:3a). The word “power” is dunamis, which means inherent power, latent power. The Word is dynamic in its operation; in the Word lies dynamite. This English word “dynamite” comes from the Greek word dunamis. God’s revelation to us is described as the “Word of His power” (KJV).
It is vital and interesting to note that power and the Word are tied up together. We know that as we have progressively learned more of the Word of God, we have put it into operation in various areas of our lives. Perhaps just a little at the start, and gradually we have stepped out more boldly upon the Word. We started believing what God said in the Word about our finances, our health, our relationship with other people, and we found that the Word has power.
It is the Word of His power, His dunamis, inherent power. I am convinced that we cannot have the power of God in operation unless we have the Word in its integrity, because the two go hand in hand. A lot of believers have the power of God in operation, but it is out of order when it is not based on the Word. It often brings more reproach than glory upon the Gospel, and the things of God. But if we operate the power of God the way the Word says it has been made available to us, then we can walk with confidence. The Word will always accomplish that for which it was sent.
On the other hand, the moment you go all Word and no power, you have a lot of head-knowledge but no abundant life, because it takes power to live a more abundant life. We need both Word and power as Christian believers today; it is no wonder that we read of the Word of His power.
The Word is steadfast
“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment… ” (Hebrews 2:1,2). Hebrews is not specifically addressed to the Church, but the statements it makes about the Word are applicable in any administration. Notice the phrase, “the word [message] spoken by angels was binding [steadfast].” The Word is steadfast. The angels said what God told them to say. God’s Word is steadfast; it is endurable; it never changes. The word “steadfast” is translated “firm” in other places, also “sure.” It refers to something as having force; something that has strength to stand. This is the greatness of the Word, strong enough to stand because it is His Word of power (dunamis), power to stand and stand firm, whatever men or women think or say or do. The Word will always be there in its greatness, and it will always work whenever we are ready and willing to believe it.
The Word is living
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart [mind]. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12,13). We are told four things about the Word of God here. First, the Word of God is alive. It is not a dead book just because people have let dust gather on the cover. In John 6: 63b Jesus said, “… The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life [life-giving words].” Certainly we understand that the Bible is produced by a lifeless mechanical process called printing, yet the Word says it is alive. The Word is alive when it is acted upon by believing.
The Word of God is also “active”. It is operative, effective, energised. It is “sharper than any double-edged sword.” That is the only place this word “sharp” is used in the New Testament. “It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow… “
The Word also “judges [is a discerner, a critic] of the thoughts and attitudes of the heart [mind].” It is wonderful how the Word works in our lives; here is an illustration of it. This is in the renewing of the mind field. How is the Word a critic of the thoughts and attitudes of our heart? Because as we read the Word it has an effect upon our lives. We start to gear our thinking to God’s Word. This is constantly happening in the life of the believer. Either you read the Word yourself, or you hear somebody teach from it, and the thoughts and concepts you read and hear become a part of you.
For example, it says in Ephesians, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer…” (4:28). Previously you would have thought, “I could get away with this real easy.” But now the Word immediately comes to your mind, “No, don’t do that. Remember, I must steal no more.” With these principles becoming ours through the renewing of our mind, God’s Word becomes the judge, the discerner, the critic of our thoughts. Almost without our knowing it our actions are adjusted by our thinking of what the Word says. The degree to which we have fed our minds with the Word will determine how we act in that particular set of circumstances. We will act the way the Father wants us to act or we will act the way we have always acted. This is how the Word is the “critic” of the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. Hebrews continues, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” You cannot separate God from His Word; they are eternally one. Thus God’s Word is living, it is powerful. it is sharp, it is a perfect critic.
The Word is good
“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God [which of course is the new birth], instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age” (Hebrews 6:1-5).
Notice the phrase “have tasted the goodness of the word of God.” To taste something means that you have had a living up-to-date experience of it manifested in the senses world. When I taste a cup of tea, I can tell what type of tea was used. because I have tasted good tea, and can tell all other varying degrees. To “have tasted of the goodness of the word of God” means to have put it into action in your life. This phrase reminds us of “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Also Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
All the Word of God is good. In respect to the administration of grace we are now enjoying, the Word says it is “… superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). We have put it into action, we have tasted of it, we have seen that it works. Because of this we should desire to know how we can more effectually put it into action in our own lives.
The Word in action
“By faith [believing] we understand that the universe was formed [framed] at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). The word “formed” here is interesting, particularly because of its modern usage. It means to adjust, to put back in order, to restore. It is only translated “formed” here; in other places it reads “to mend or to restore, to prepare or to make perfect.” So we understand that the worlds were restored by the Word of God, taking us back in our thinking to the time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. There is power in the Word of God.
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). Those who have the rule over you does not mean the leader of the nation. It refers to those who have the ministry gifts that God has set in the body of believers. Christ is the head of the Body, and in the divine theocracy Christ works through people with ministry gifts, who in turn minister the Word of God to men and women who will to believe. Every ministry gift has the inherent responsibility of speaking forth the Word of God, be it an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. They are all involved in ministering the Word of God. Some in greater measure than others; some in a specialised field; some in a general way, but all of them deal with and speak the Word of God.
“Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7b, 8). Verse 8 is not just a parenthetical portion. Many scholars understand it that way because they cannot fit the phrase with the context. I believe it follows right in the line of thought here. The faith that we follow is the faith of Jesus Christ Who is the same yesterday and today and will always be the same. It is also Christ in me the expectation of glory, and as I, operating a ministry gift, manifest the greatness of this gift within, you, the believer, will have something positive to follow. The next verse states “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings…” (verse 9). This is on the opposite or negative side, and contrasts with the positive exhortation of verse 7.
The spoken Word
There is power in the spoken Word of God. Remember, Christ was the Word in person, revealing God to us; the written Word reveals the living Word, Christ; the spoken Word is the teaching forth of the written Word, which is again revealing Christ Who is revealing the Father. There is power in the spoken Word of God. You will never fail when you speak the Word of God. People can say you are a liar, they can say you are crazy, but so long as you are speaking the Word of God it is the Word of power on your lips. I may feel very sick but if I speak the Word of God I am not telling a lie when I say that with His stripes I was healed. It is simply a plain declaration of what God has said and is the truth in the case whether I feel like it or not.
“… Because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5b, 6). We are not informed from which Old Testament books these quotations come, although they appear to be an allusion to Joshua 1:5 and Psalm 118:6. I believe the purpose in not giving the source is to illustrate a principle concerning speaking forth the Word of God (verse 7). What God has said in the Church Epistles we may boldly declare. What He has said to other administrations that is not adjusted or countermanded in the Epistles we may also boldly declare.
Because He said “with His stripes we are healed”, we may boldly say, “I am healed with His stripes.” Because He said “if God be for us who can be against us”, we may boldly say, God is on my side and no-one in this world can stand against me when I do what the Father has told me to do.” Because He said Jesus came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly”, we may boldly say, “I have the more abundant life that Jesus came to give and it is my privilege and responsibility to manifest it in this world.” Because He said, “Let the weak say I am strong,” we may boldly say, “I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me.” Because He said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” we may boldly say, “Devil, get going,” and he will flee.
And so we could go through promise after promise in the Word. Why? Because He hath said. It is the Word. God said it, I believe it, that settles it! The Word of God is powerful, and it works in the lives of men and women who will to believe and manifest its greatness.
Mimics, types, echoes
In Thessalonians we also see the claims the Word makes concerning itself. Notice the words from I Thessalonians 1:6-8: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you…”
Thessalonica was one of the places Paul visited early, and I Thessalonians was the first Epistle Paul penned. “Imitators,” in verse 6, is an interesting word. The English word “mimic” is from the same root word: one who copies somebody, an actor. The word “model” comes from the same root as the word “type”: something that makes an accurate impression every time, like an official seal. Notice also the words “rang out.” “Echoed” is our English word from this same Greek root. An echo is an exact reproduction of any sound made. If you are at a place where this phenomenon is heard and shout the word “steak” it will not echo back “hamburger”.
These three words give a wonderful picture of the believer’s life: a mimic, a type, an echo. You were taught the Word, you echoed it out to somebody else. It is the Word of the Lord, not something off the top of your head. The Word of the Lord is that which must be echoed forth. Over 2000 times in the Old Testament alone, we have the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord”. God has spoken His Word; we must echo it forth. It is the Word of the Lord that has to be sounded out in this day and hour; the Word of the Lord as it was originally given when “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21).
The integrity of the Word
We must stand for the integrity of the Word, for this is man’s basic problem. For example, the basic problem of prayer is not a problem of believing, but it is a problem of the integrity of the Word of God. The basic problem in any area of the believer’s life is the problem of the integrity of the Word of God. Either it is God’s Word or it isn’t. If we believe that it is, and it is accurate, then we should echo it out as the Word of the Lord. We need believers to take this stand, and speak with authority that this is the Word of the Lord.
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13). We thank God that when you received the Word, ye received it subjectively unto yourself, not as a fabrication of man’s imagination, but as it is in truth (in reality) the Word of God. Paul is saying that when we taught you, we taught you what we know to be the Word of God. Just how much of the greatness of the revelation he shared with the Thessalonians in person we do not know. But whatever he shared with them was the Word of God. It may have been “milk” or it may have been a good piece of “steak,” but it was the Word of God. The Thessalonian believers accepted it as such, and found that it worked “effectually in those that believed” (KJV). It works; that is the greatness of it. It will work for you if you will to believe what it says. It is God’s Word, and it is effectual.
The honor of the Word
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you” (II Thessalonians 3:1). To have “free course” (KJV), to spread rapidly, means that it may continue to be “echoed” out, that we may continue to share the greatness of the Word with the people we meet. We are also exhorted to pray “that the word may be honored.” The Greek word doxa is the root of the word translated “honored,” to be made glorious, or to be full of glory, or honour. Forty-nine times in the KJV it is translated “glorified”; always in the sense of praise and honour. God desires that the Word might not just be something argued about, or neglected, or mis-used, but for it to be lifted up and given the praise and honour it deserves. Remember Psalm 138:2: “For you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Now in II Thessalonians 3:1 we have the request for prayer, that the Word they are speaking forth might spread rapidly, and that people may give it the praise and honour it deserves as the true Word of God.
The Word of God is the Word of power; it is steadfast; it is quick, effective, sharp; it is a critic of our thoughts; it is good. The spoken Word of God is effectual; it is the Word of the Lord; it is to be echoed forth. The Word has worked and will always work when men and women believe it. Will you do just that?
This page Copyright © 2000 Peter Wade. The Bible text in this publication, except where otherwise indicated, is from the King James Version. This article appears on the site: https://www.peterwade.com/. Check out our Bookstore.