Journal – January 16, 2022
12 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. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
THE WORD OF GOD REVEALS OUR CONDITION
HEBREWS 4: 12-13
VS. 12 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. The Hebrews having been exhorted to perseverance, and to take heed that they do not neglect the promise of entering rest through unbelief, the Apostle urges them to diligent care and consistency in the performance of this duty. For the word of God not only does the word of God warn, but the Lord Jesus Christ brings this matter up to keep them mindful. Therefore, it is the eternal Word of God or the Lord Christ that brings this matter before them. 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. The attributes described as the word of God are a perfect description of the Person of Christ and cannot first be ascribed to the gospel. It tells us they are living, and Jesus Christ is alive forever more, and has life in Himself, and is the Lord of Life to others. This one property of Him with whom we have to do contains two great motives to obedience, namely that He is able to support us in it and reward us eternally for it; also, He is able to avenge all disobedience.
And powerful this power signifies actual power, power acted or exerted. This was necessary to be added to the property of life, to manifest that the Lord Christ, the Word of God, would effectually put forth His power in dealing with professors, according to their deportment; herein we see that this power in. Christ does not lay idle, is not useless, but is continually exercising itself towards us as the matter doth require.
This word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. This sword is often mentioned with respect to the Lord Jesus Christ. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, it is Christ who makes His word powerful and sharp, He acts in it and by it. This power is described by its effect, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit. The meaning of this and the following expressions is that the word of God does pierce into the innermost recesses of our souls, and as it were, the secret chambers of our minds and hearts. And of the joints and marrow, among bodily parts to represent the most secret and hidden parts of the heart.
All this teaches us that the Son of God has absolute power to judge of the rectitude and crookedness of the ways and walking of the of the sons of men, under a profession of religion, from the inward frames of their minds and hearts under all the outward duties and performances either in perseverance or backsliding. And is a discerner of thethoughts and intents of the heart, the heart includes the soul and spirit before mentioned, the thoughts of which with all its designs and purposes, are entirely known to Him with whom we have to do.
Vs. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Angels, men, devils, professors, persecutors, all men of all sorts; there is no creature hidden from His sight, all things concerning them, their inward frames of mind and heart, their affections and temptations, their secret actions, and thoughts, are continually under His view.
But all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. The allusion is probably to the bodies of sacrificed beasts, which were flayed, opened, and cut into pieces, thus exposed to view before the priest offered them up on the altar. The general design of those words is evident. All things are visible, are naked and open the eyes of Him who knows and sees all things exactly as they are, and to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. This answers the design of the Apostle in this place. For evidencing unto them the efficacy and omniscience of the word of God, trying all things and discerning all things, he reminds them of their near concernment in these matters, in that he and they must all give up their final accounts unto and before Him who is so intimately acquainted with what they are, and with whatsoever they shall do in this world.
- It is the way of the Spirit of God to excite us unto special duties by proposing unto us and reminding us of such properties of God as the consideration whereof man in an especial manner incline us unto them. They are here reminded that the word of God is living and powerful, efficacious towards the end mentioned.
- The life and power of Christ are continually exercised about the concerns of the souls of professors and are always actually efficacious in and upon them. This power He puts forth by His word and His Spirit; for the effects here ascribed unto the essential word are such as He produces by the preached word, which is accompanied with and made effectual by the dispensation of the Spirit. Every impression made on the heart by the preached word is an effect of the power of Christ. This will teach us how to value and esteem the preaching of the word, as it is the means whereby the Lord Christ exercises His mediatorial power towards us on behalf of God, and effectual it will be unto the ends where with He designs it.
- The power of Christ in His word is irresistible, as to whatever effects He does design by it. Had the Lord Christ no other end to accomplish by His preached word but the conversion of the elect—which is its principal end—it might be conceived to fail towards the far greater number of them to whom it was preached. But it is with Him in His word as in His own Person. He was set for the fall as well as for the rising of many in Israel. To some He was for a sanctuary; to others He was a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. And these things are all of them effectually accomplished towards them to whom He is preached. They are all of them either raised by Him unto God out of the state of sin and misery and do take sanctuary in Him from sin and law, or they stumble at Him through their unbelief and perish. None can ever have Christ proposed unto them upon indifferent terms, to be left in the condition where they were before. Sometimes Christ designs by His word the hardening and blinding of wicked sinners, that they may be the more prepared for deserved distraction (see Isaiah 6:9-11). Some reject and despise His word, and by that word so despised they are hardened in their sins; others are convicted by the word, and yet resist and reject the word as to any saving work of conversion; and others hear the voice of the Son of God and live. It is then certainly of high concernment unto all men unto whom Christ comes in His word to consider diligently what is, or is like to be, the issue and consequence of it to themselves.
- Though men may close and hide things from things from themselves and others, yet they cannot exclude the power of Christ in His word from piercing into them. By His word He discerns the thoughts and intents of their hearts; His word shows them what they are inwardly, and then they either take themselves wholly to their sins to free themselves from their convictions and fears, or they sincerely give themselves up to Him for relief. It is a great and difficult matter really and practically to convince professors of this practical judging omniscience of Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Nothing would be of more use unto them in the whole course of their walking before Him. Therefore, the Apostle instructs them that the beginnings into declensions in a profession or backsliding from Christ and the ways of the gospel, are secret, deep, and hardly discoverable being open and naked only to the all-discerning eye of Christ. Also, that the consideration of the omniscience of Christ, His all-searching and all-seeing eye, is an effectual means to preserve the soul from destructive entrances into backsliding from the gospel. Also, the same consideration duly improved, is a great relief and encourage to them who are sincere and upright in their obedience. The Apostle encourages the meanest and weakest sincere believer who desires to commend his conscience to the Lord Jesus in walking before Him for a due and holy consideration at all times of the all-seeing eye of Jesus Christ is a great preservation against backslidings in profession.
A MEDITATION ON THE LOVE OF OUR LORD
Ephesians 3: 16-19 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Of all the sympathetic emotions of our Lord’s humanity, the emotion of love must be regarded as the parent source. We should have known nothing of Christ, or His redemption, but for love. The stupendous fact that Christ loves us—loves man, sinful man—admits us to the secret of all that He has done, and still doing, for man. There is no other solution to the marvelous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this—Christ hath loved us.
Love originated all, explains all, illustrates all – love is the interpreter of every Divine mystery. There is not a circumstance of our Lord’s history which is not another form or manifestation of love. His incarnation is love stooping; His sympathy is love weeping; His compassion is love succoring; His grace is love acting. His teaching is the voice of love. His silence is the repose of love; His patience is the restraint of love; His obedience is the labor of love; His suffering is the travail of love; His cross is the altar of love; His death is the burnt offering of love; His resurrection is the triumph of love; His ascension into heaven, and sitting down at the right hand of God, is the enthronement and the intercession of love….The soil muses in silent awe as it gazes upon this fathomless, illimitable sea. Like the eternity of God, we know not where it begins, or where it terminates. It has neither beginning nor ending, like the peace of God it passes all understanding, like itself it passes all knowledge. (Octavius Winslow)