Although we cannot be together please take time to discuss these questions as a family and/or with a group of people. We would encourage you to discuss in groups through the use of video chat. It is important that we continue to have fellowship as the body of Christ.
1) Is there a Bible verse that you are currently disobeying or ignoring? Do you see the danger of disobedience?
2) How should we study the Bible differently because we know that we meet the living presence of God when we read it? How might this change the way we hear the Bible preached?
3) What are some steps you can take to make sure that you are learning, receiving and listening to God’s Word?
Scripture: Hebrews 4:12-13
I. God’s Word is greater because it is personal.
A. Before we look at how God’s Word is personal, let’s look at the crisis the author of Hebrews was addressing. The crisis was over the souls of the readers of this letter. In Hebrews 4 the author talks about the rest that God wants his readers to enter, the rest of heaven. And he urges them to enter that rest by reminding them of how the Israelites in the Old Testament had missed out on the rest that God wanted them to experience: the rest of the Promised Land of Canaan. Don’t be like the Israelites in Moses’ and Joshua’s day (vs. 11). Obey God’s Word. The salvation of your soul depends on believing and obeying God’s Word.
B. In what way is the Bible living (vs. 12)? When you read the Bible, there is a person who reveals Himself in it: God. You encounter the living God every time you read the Bible or hear it preached. Let’s read what God Himself says to you today in this season of suffering from Romans 8:38-39: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
II. God’s Word is greater because it is powerful.
A. We read in Hebrews 4:12 that the word of God is living and active. Active in verse 12 is a translation of the Greek word energes from which we get our English word energetic. The Bible is energetic. It is powerful. It does things. The Word of God is effective in accomplishing everything that we need. Can you think of some powerful things that God has done by His Word? There is nothing else that has the power of the Word of God.
B. We are tempted to think that the Bible is just okay. It’s a good thing to read the Bible. But Satan tempts us to think that the Bible is not enough. What we really need in this crisis is money. What we really need is some human expert to guide us. We need something really powerful. We need something more than the Bible. Are you tempted today to give up on the word of God and turn to other things? If so, I want you to remember this morning that there is nothing more powerful than the Word of God.
III. God’s Word is greater because it is penetrating.
A. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is “sharper than any two -edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” God’s word has the penetrating power of a sword. The Roman two-edged sword that was used in Jesus’ day could even pierce through armor. The Bible can penetrate the hardest object on earth: the human heart. The Bible exposes the things inside our hearts that deceive us and harden us and keep us from believing. Isaiah 58:6-7 are penetrating verses: “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
Application: Commit yourself to believing God’s Word and His promises.
Sources: The letter to the Hebrews Commentaries on Hebrews by Thomas Schreiner and Raymond Brown Bible study by Michael Kruger