Be Examined By God’s Word

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12

 

                Baptists are known to love the Bible as God’s Word. That is a fact that makes me proud of my denomination. Because we love God’s Word, we spend time reading it and seeking its truth. There is, however, a danger to avoid when reading God’s Word. That danger is that we may go to it with the eyes of a physician, seeking to examine it, determining where we feel it is most truthful and most helpful, accepting the sections we like while treating the difficult or painful sections as things to be ignored or even removed. I believe God had a different reason for giving us His Word.

                Hebrews 4:12 does not describe a Word we examine but a Word that examines us. God’s Word has a way of looking past your outward veneer, your external image and straight into the very heart of your being. If you will allow it, God’s Word will show you who you really are. If you think about that fact for a minute, it may terrify you. What if you find out you aren’t brave or you aren’t generous or you aren’t successful or you aren’t good looking? What if you find out you aren’t right in the eyes of men? What if you find out you aren’t right in the eyes of God? Those thoughts are enough to keep many from allowing themselves to be examined by God’s Word. But avoiding a diagnosis does not save you from a deadly disease; it only keeps you from being treated. So, as terrifying as an examination by God’s Word can be, its diagnosis is life-giving and soul-saving.

                The previous verses in Hebrews 4 tell of entering God’s eternal rest, and verses 12–13 explain that God’s Word is the way you will know if you are fit to enter God’s rest. God’s Word will give you a spiritual diagnosis and if you are willing to accept its truth you will be healed; you will be saved. This truth is expressed most clearly through the living Word of God that is Jesus Christ (John 1:1–14). As you look deeply into God’s word and allow yourself to be measured by it, you will see that you do not meet the standard of Christ, but that’s the point. Christ met the standard for you. He is not only God’s Word to the world, He is God’s Word for you, and He is the cure for your spiritual ailments.  

                So, to the non-Christian who allows himself/herself to be examined by the standard of God’s Word, they will see in themselves a deep spiritual disease that is readily healed in Christ. In addition, the Christian who is examined according to God’s Word will be constantly and increasingly amazed at the grace of Christ. He/she will realize daily just how bad off they really are without Christ. That person will be drawn to worship Christ more and live more like Him because He becomes more and more precious in their sight. So, to all people, let us take in everything God has shown us in Scripture, the pleasing and the difficult. Let us value it as treasure, seeking to understand it, and let us be examined by God’s Word.  

 

Pastor Josh