Define: Word of God

Having laid our foundational tenets that God is Lord, and the attributes of His lordship are control, authority, and presence among us, we’ve also established that God reveals Himself. And when God reveals Himself it is as LORD.

Now we’ll look at how God speaks to us. It is only when we grasp His Lordship, that we can understand how God speaks to us, then discern what He is saying.  A natural question that arises is: “What does the phrase ‘Word of God’ actually mean?”

In these articles I desire that you see what I mean as I write about the word of God. Now yes, the Bible is God’s Word, but the Word of God is more than just the Bible.  Because God doesn’t just speak to us in the Bible, He also speaks to us through creation [Psalm 19:1; Romans 1]. At times God speaks to people from heaven, or in a burning bush, or in a dream. We cannot believe that Jesus only spoke the red-letter words in the gospels, for surely there was more to His comments and teachings than are recorded in the gospels. In fact John the Apostle says so… Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” [John 21:25]

So, here’s the thing. We need a much larger definition of “word of God” than just the Bible. And, this definition should show there is a relationship between God’s word and His Lordship. I read one definition a few years back and think it captures the concept I’m trying to teach.

God’s word is His powerful, authoritative self-expression.

You can easily see how this definition fits with the tenets of God’s Lordship. Look how His power reveals He is in control, authoritative reveals His authority, and self-expression reveals His presence here and now.  Over the next few articles we’ll look at each of these three points of interest in more detail.

First, God’s word is powerful.

The Word of God reveals, communicates, illuminates, and illustrates all that God would have us know about Him. For example Scripture teaches that God created the world by speaking (His word).

Psalm 33:6-9
The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

When we talked about God’s providence, it was in the context that God controls the world comprehensively for both the evil people and the good people of humanity. So, for instance how does God control the weather and the seasons on earth? Yes, you guessed it, by speaking His word.

Psalm 147:15-18
He sends his orders to the world—how swiftly his word flies!
He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?
Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.

So God, by His word, created the world, and by His word, He controls the world. In the New Testament it says that when God’s word in the Gospel is preached, it is not just communication, but it is also POWER.

Romans 1:16
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.

 

1 Thessalonians 1:5
… because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

Here are a few other resource scriptures to see God’s word is powerful: Jeremiah 23:29; Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 49:2. But maybe my all-time favorite regarding the Word of God and it’s power, is Isaiah 55:11.

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

We should never take the Word of God for granted by treating it like just another abstract textbook of instructional do’s and don’ts. When a person ignores it, or just listens to it being read but they are disobedient in their hearts, just like Israel, they will become hardened against God’s word.

On the other hand, if we could respond like the young prophet named Samuel, when He heard God’s voice, Samuel simply said, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” When a person reads/hears this Word and receives and applies this Word, God’s power will be in your life, and on your behalf, and will do in you and around you exactly what God intends (Isaiah 55:11 above).

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If you enjoy this series of articles, please re-post, or send to your email list.  Thanks.

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