In Hebrews 4:12-13 we are told:
12 For the word of God is alive 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. 13 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.
Too many of us treat the Word like a dead thing that can be put on a shelf… something we can grab in case of emergency, but do not really need in the normal course of the day. For others the Word is like a hammer we can use to pound others into spiritual submission. But the author of the Hebrews letter skillfully reminds us that God’s Word is actually a scalpel, when in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It penetrates the hard places we think we have well hidden and exposes us for who we really are.
God’s Word is alive, as Swindoll said in his Hebrews study, it is the “acorn that holds the potential of the forrest inside.” God’s word is active, literally “dynamic” from the Greek ‘energes’ so why would we want to shelve it? It can even divide soul and spirit. A curious phrase… every human has a soul, but not every human is spiritual. John Piper offers a nice summary on the topic, and reminds “flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit.” The Word lays us bare, exposing whether we are spiritual man or natural man.
I have been happy to avoid the thought of dissection since my Middle School experience in Biology with the formaldehyde soaked frog. But the truth that Hebrews 4:12-13 reminds me of is that I cannot really know spiritual vitality if I am constantly avoiding the divine dissection of God’s Word!
You shall know the truth