“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
From the time I woke up yesterday Hebrews 4:12 was on my mind. It’s a Scripture that I am familiar with, but I know that it’s not the Scripture you’re familiar with that changes you, but the Scripture you abide in that changes you.
Jesus said in John 8:31-32 NKJV “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.””
After my devotional and daily reading today, I opened my Bible to Hebrews 4:12 and prayed that the Holy Spirit would give me insight into the verse. To grasp what it means for the Word of God to be quick and powerful. I got out my other Bibles and read the verse, I want to share two other translations with you.
Hebrews 4:12 LSB “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Bible is not just some book, it isn’t just words on a page, it’s a living Word. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Amplified Classic Bible, which is one of my favorite translations says this, “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
That is a lot to take in. But it’s powerful and gives us a complete picture of what the Word of God is and what it accomplishes. The Word of God never returns void.
The Perry Stone Hebraic Prophetic New Testament Study Bible breaks down the meaning of the verse. “4:12-13 The Greek word for quick comes from the verb zao and refers to life or to being alive. The word for powerful in Greek is energés, from which we derive the English word for energy, meaning “active and energized.” The word “twoedged is literally rendered “two mouthed.” This may be because the Word of God was first spoken by God but must after wards be spoken by a person to release the power of the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). The word piercing refers to “going through.” The dividing of soul and spirit reveals that Scripture separates the carnal mind from the spiritual mind, and the joints and marrow remind us that the Word of God reaches into the innermost parts of the human being. All humans have thoughts, but also have intents that emerge from the heart. Intents refers to the ability to think abour or consider a certain action. The Bible can discern and dissect both thoughts and intents. Nothing can be hidden from Christ or from God’s written Word (v. 13).”
With that in our minds, we truly begin to understand the power of the Word of God. We see how powerful prayer can be when we pray in line with the Word of God, and even pray The Word. We understand the power behind speaking the Word of God. James is clear, we pray and don’t receive because we ask selfishly. I’m not talking about name it, claim it. I’m talking about understanding that there are promises in the Word of God, and they are ours through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 4:20-22 AMPC “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”
I have been part of various groups in the body of Christ; Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith, Calvinist, Wesleyan, Prophetic, and Jewish Roots. I have seen all of these groups experience the living and active Word of God. They all have a part of the active Word of God in their midst; Calvinist’s have a great understanding of Sovereignty, Wesleyan’s understand holiness on a deeper level, and each of the other groups have their greater understandings as well. Many of us have been taught that we need to fit somewhere. While it’s true, we need to be in the bounds of Scripture, not one of these groups has a corner on the market of truth. There are things I agree and disagree with, but I am thankful for my exposure to all of these parts of the Church.
As you think about Hebrews 4:12 and you consider the meaning of the words, ask Holy Spirit to let The Word come alive in you, let it transform you and change your thinking. Don’t believe or disbelieve something based solely on a teaching you hear; get out your Bibles, dictionaries, and study helps. Study to show yourself approved. Let your theology develop on the basis of the Word of God and not one particular group.