The Power of God's Word
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Rom 1:16
What can we learn about the “power” of God’s word? A few thoughts:
1) The same word that created the universe is the same word that can create within us a new being. We do not often equate the power of “Let there be light” with the power of the gospel, but they are indeed one and the same and both have creative purposes. The only difference is that the access to the power of the gospel is according to the power “that works within us” by faith (Eph 3:20).
2) God wants us to know and comprehend this power. There is a common phrase we use toward someone who is blessed with something great. We say, “You don’t know how good you have it.” But according to Eph 1:19, God wants us to know how good we have it. He wants us to know the “surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
3) The power of God’s word is time-proven. Scores upon scores of people trapped in the most burdensome of sins have escaped the devil’s snare by accessing this power through faith. The list is extensive: alcoholics, drug users, fornicators, homosexuals, murderers…sins of which often times are seen as inescapable have been conquered time and time again and lives have been completely changed and born again. And only the power that comes from the word could possibly achieve such a thing (1 Cor 6:9-11).
4) The word’s power pierces “as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and (is) able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). In other words, the word tells us who and where we truly are by how we respond to its message. Even the choice to be indifferent reveals our heart. You cannot know a person by outward appearances or speech. But you can know them by how they respond to God's word.
5) It would be foolish to hinder this power by changing it or “smoothing it over”. That is why the bible’s condemnation against false teaching is so severe…it is minimizing God’s power to draw whom He wishes to draw. “Shaving off the rough edges” likewise diminishes its power. Unpopular subjects such as marriage/divorce/remarriage, modesty, church discipline, etc. are a part of God’s drawing power and to eliminate, soft peddle, sugar coat, or refuse to teach them is a lack of faith on our part to let the power of God fulfill its intention. “…you must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words…” – Isa 30:10. Sometimes we need to just get out of the Word’s way and let it do its job. Even the seemingly hardest subjects to swallow are dripping with good news.
6) Finally, with what power we have at our disposal, what a shame to let this power gather dust on a book shelf or coffee table. These aren’t just black and red words on white pages, they are God’s words to His creation intended to make us the best possible version of ourselves. By reading and meditating on His word daily, we allow this power to penetrate and work through us.
Will you study His word today?