Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Word of The Word - Psalm 119.11

I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. 119.11

Christians often speak of the ‘word of God’ but what does it actually mean?  Is the ‘word of God’ the Bible or is it Jesus?  After all, when we read the start of John’s Gospel we don’t read “in the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God”!  Rather we read that the “Word was God…” and that this Word is the “Light of the world” and that the Light has come into the world and we know Him by the name of Jesus.  So the “Word of God” is Jesus not the Bible, simple, right?


You see in the Greek of John chapter one “Word” translates “logos” which is a deep and rich word.  It means not only ‘a word’ but also ‘reasoning’ or the expression of thinking.  There is another Greek word, namely “rhema”, which is also translated into English as ‘word.’  Rhema means the spoken word.  The Bible is the spoken word of God and in this sense it is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6.17).  Sometimes logos is also used to refer to the Bible such as Revelation 1.2.  So in Scripture the ‘word of God’ is both the Bible and the person the Bible points us towards - Jesus.

The author of Hebrews plays on this ambiguity when he writes “For the word (logos) of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4.12

Undoubtedly, reading the Bible, knowing the Scriptures, hearing the voice of God spoken to us in its words, is a powerful thing - something sharp, effective, and penetrating.  Knowing the Bible enables us to judge ideas and thoughts and passions, it cuts us deeply with judgement when we sin and it heals us with promises of mercy when we repent.  The psalmist could rightly say that treasuring up the words of Scripture helps us in our fight against sin.   This is why we must devote ourselves to reading, exploring, understanding, and memorising Scripture - just never lose sight that the Bible is always about Jesus and not about you (John 5.39)

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