TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

I.  General

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Chapter 8  Part I

General

God’s word is our window to God. For through it we learn about God and his relationship with us. Moreover, its unique characteristics and functions have the imprint of God.

What God’s Word Comprises

God’s word primarily is Scripture

If he [God] called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— …   John 10:35  ESV

This speaks of Scripture as “the word of God”.

Every Scripture passage is inspired by God.   2 Timothy 3:16a  GW

Scripture comes from God, i.e. Scripture “is God’s Word” (CEV).

God’s word includes his laws

[A psalmist, referring to God:] He speaks his word to Jacob, his laws and judicial decisions to Israel.   Psalms 147:19  GW

God’s word includes his covenants

The Lord said to Moses, “Write these words down, because it is on the basis of these words that I am making a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28… He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.   Exodus 34:27, 28b  GNT

This speaks of words of God forming God’s covenant with Israel.

God’s word includes his prophecies

[God, to Jeremiah:] Get a scroll. Write on it everything I have told you to say about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now.   Jeremiah 36:2  NET

This refers to prophecies (of God’s word) regarding nations.

God’s word also includes the gospel, proclaimed by his people

When they [Barnabas and Saul] arrived in Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.   Acts 13:5a  NET

Jesus Christ is “the Word of God”

[John, describing a vision of Christ:] He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God.   Revelation 19:13  NET

Jesus Christ is called the “Word of God” in part because much of what God says and does, he says and does through Jesus Christ.

Note: God has given his word by the Holy Spirit

Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 21for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.   2 Peter 1:20-21  NET

Characteristics of God’s Word

God’s word is holy, righteous and good

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.   Romans 7:12  NET

God’s word is true . . .

The words of the Lord are true and all his works are dependable.   Psalms 33:4  GNT

[Jesus, to God:] Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.   John 17:17  NET

. . . and what God’s word foretells comes true

[Jeremiah to Jerusalem’s people:] The Lord has done what he purposed; he has carried out his word, which he commanded long ago; he has thrown down without pity; he has made the enemy rejoice over you and exalted the might of your foes.   Lamentations 2:17  GW

God’s word is living and active

For the word of God is living and active …   Hebrews 4:12a  NET

Two reasons for describing God’s word as “living” are that it never ceases to be pertinent and it keeps on influencing and affecting people. The latter reason also shows it to be active.

God’s word is powerful

What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.   Hebrews 4:12  CEV

God’s word can penetrate to the very depths of our inner-selves, exposing our thoughts and attitudes for what they really are.

God’s word is everlasting

For all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the grass; the grass withers and the flower falls off, 25but the word of the Lord endures forever.   1 Peter 1:24-25a  NET

Functions of God’s Word

God’s word brings spiritual and eternal life

[Jesus:] The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.   John 6:63, 68  NET

In v. 63b Jesus appears to be saying that his words are spiritual, producing spiritual or eternal life. Jesus seems to be implying that it is by the Holy Spirit (v. 63a) that his words produce this life.

God’s word gives light

[A psalmist, to God:] Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illumine my path.   Psalms 119:105  NET

God’s word gives “light” – guidance and spiritual insight.

God’s word gives hope

[A psalmist, to God:] Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.   Psalms 119:49  NET

God had given the psalmist hope by his word, or promise.

God’s word gives joy

The Lord’s precepts are fair and make one joyful.   Psalms 19:8a  NET

Pray for persecuted Christians