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The Word of God - Quick, Powerful and Sharp

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It is important for any denomination to know what they believe. That is certainly true of Baptists as well. This is a sermon series based on our "core beliefs."

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The Word of God - Quick, Powerful and Sharp

Hebrews 4:12 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.
Lakeview Baptist Church
November 5, 2017
Introduction
I hold in my hand, one of the most common symbols for the Christian faith. We refer to it as the Bible. That name is derived from the Greek, biblia, meaning “books.” This collection of books is acknowledged by the Christian church as the word of God. Historically, the Bible has been acknowledged as early as 150 A.D., in the writings of Clement (2 Clement 14:2).
Psalm 119 refers to the OT in almost every verse; Law of the LORD, His Testimonies, Precepts, Statutes, Commandments, etc.
Sometimes we use the words, “writings” or “Scriptures” as being synonymous with the writings of the OT documents. The writers of the Gospels, Apostolic epistles and the Revelation of Jesus Christ, were long gone by the time the Christian church began compiling what we now refer to as the New Testament.
The Bible contains 66 books or letters. 39 writings in the OT and 27 in the NT.
In the Old Testament we find the Promises Given and in the New Testament we find the Promises Fulfilled.
I AM A Southern Baptist
First and foremost, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian.
Secondly, I am a Baptist. My years of searching the scriptures, have led me to the conclusion that this denomination is the closest to the early church, as detailed in the New Testament, in its practices and elements: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Thirdly, I am a Southern Baptist mainly because of the Cooperative Program.
“The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.”[1]
The Southern Baptist Convention, of which we are a member, has compiled a listing of beliefs, that Lakeview Baptist Church confirms. It is called the Baptist Faith and Message. The first belief listed concerns the Bible.
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation. (Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
One of the key passages is the verse we are looking at today, Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God is:

For the word of God is

The writer of the book of Hebrews will give a great deal of time building a case that Jesus Christ is superior. His arguments included:
· Jesus is the founder of Salvation
· Jesus is greater than the Lawgiver, Moses
· Jesus is the great High Priest
· Jesus is the High Priest of a Better Covenant
· Jesus sacrifice is once-and-for-all.
· Jesus is the Founder and Perfecter of our Faith
· Jesus sacrifice was pleasing to God
And where can we find the truth of each of these premises? It is in the Word of God.
The Bible was written by men divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and is God's revelation of Himself to man.
The Apostle Peter writes:
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Living

God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive;[2] The Bible, when applied to the mind and heart of a Christian, is always fresh, alive, and making new.
Wherever a preacher preaches it, or a person sits down to read it, or a Bible study group studies it, the living God is there to interpret His message into the heart of man.
Jesus said that this would happen (John 16:13–14).
John 16:13-14 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The Apostle Peter said in 1 Pet. 1:23
“since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” (ESV)

Active

When the Christian studies the Bible, the Holy Spirit is given the “go-ahead” to apply God’s Word in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit will recall the Word to teach, inspire, comfort and encourage.
God’s Word is energetic, it is literally “at work.”
· God spoke and by His word God made the heavens and the earth (Ps. 33:6).
· When God spoke to Moses and told him, “I AM” sends you, it was by His word God brought His people out of the slavery of Egypt to a land of promise.
· It is by God’s word that the followers of Jesus, the church, came into being.
· By His word God empowers His people to carry out His purpose in the world through his direction and Spiritual gifts.
When God speaks of reconciling the world to Him, it is His “active” word that hearts are made right and reconciled unto Himself.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. (ESV)

Sharp

The word of God penetrates the soul of man. Like a sharp sword, His Word can cut through the skin of humanism and self-will, to lay open the heart of man, exposing their sin. It was this action by the Word of God, that cut through my barriers to oppose God’s love, sent through Jesus as my Savior. It was God’s word that drove me to confess, believe and have faith in Jesus.

Piercing

My “Life Verse” is Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God’s word penetrates the darkness and exposes sin.
The lamp casts its light, not only on the path ahead, but also on the one carrying the lamp.

Discerning

God’s Word reaches into the hidden recesses of man’s mind to differentiate even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense. [3]
Conclusion
In the NT, the Greek word “logos” translates as only used of the message of the Christian gospel (Mk. 2:2; Acts 6:2; Gal. 6:6), Jesus spoke of the word of God (Lk. 8:11; Mk. 7:13; Lk. 11:28), but also used the term “my words” (Mt. 24:35; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 24:44).
To the early church the word was a message revealed from God in Christ, which was to be preached, ministered and obeyed.
· Word of the Cross (1 Cor. 1:18).[4]
· Word of life (Phil. 2:16)
· Word of Truth (Eph. 1:13)
· Word of salvation (Acts 13:26)
· Word of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19)
[1] Southern Baptist website, http://www.sbc.net/cp/default.asp
[2] King James Version Study Bible ., electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Heb 4:12.
[3] King James Version Study Bible ., electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Heb 4:12.
[4] J. B. Taylor, “Word,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 1247.
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