"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
Pitch. What do you think of when you hear the single word “pitch?” Does this word bring to your mind the memory of a baseball game with a player standing on the mound throwing a fastball to the target held up by his catcher? Perhaps “pitch” causes you hum a melody in your head, attempting to imagine what the right tone would be for the Life is a Highway. But wait, there’s more! “Pitch” can also refer to the steepness or angle of a roof, an enthusiastic and rehearsed monologue used by a salesman to convince a person to buy (i.e. sales pitch), and “pitch” can even be used to describe how dark it is outside at night (it was pitch-black). And that’s not even all. The term “pitch” has many understandings depending on how it is used.
When God inspired the author of Hebrews to pin down this verse we need to understand there can be two ways to interpret the term “word.” In the Greek, which would have been the original language in which this letter was written, we read this as λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ, or word of God. The question we now ask is this, “Does the term ‘word’ refer to the incarnate God or to the inspired Scriptures?”
“It may be most accurate to interpret this passage as relating both to the Word of God incarnate, and the Word of God inspired. Weave the two into one thought, for God has joined them together, and you will then see fresh lights and new meanings in the text…Christ and His Word must go together.” -Charles Spurgeon
I love this insight from Spurgeon. The fact is, there is no separating Christ from the Scriptures. And there is no true way to understand the Scriptures apart from Christ. Many have attempted (and no doubt many will continue attempting) to teach of Jesus from their own personal experiences, or their own understandings as if the Jesus they know about need not be confined to what the Word says about Him. Still others will work to explain Bible passages in ways that leaves out Jesus, His spilt blood, and His call to take up your own Cross. We must not be fooled: Jesus and the Scriptures are inseparable.
The λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ reveals to us God Himself. Christ in the flesh is the image of the invisible God (see Colossians 1:15). And do you remember what Paul tells us about the written word, the Gospel? It is the power of God for salvation (see Romans 1:16). The Word of God, Christ and the Scriptures, reveal God Himself to us and offer to us true salvation. This is not the work of some useless, powerless, or worthless words - no the power of salvation is the power of God Himself. This is why we must believe God’s Word (both the Son and the Scriptures) are truly alive.
When you were a kid did you ever try to prank one of your friends by fooling them into thinking you were dead, or at the very least unconscious?! This may sound like a wretched, vile trick to play on someone (which is probably why I did this numerous times). The goal is to lay motionless, eyes still, holding your breath, ignoring any words of concern, until your friend gets within arms length and is finally worried that your act may not be an act at all. And then… you shriek and jump up instilling shock in your gullible (and former) friend! This is a classic prank and if you haven’t tried it perhaps you should. Just be prepared for a wide variety of responses from your target.
Many believe the Word is dead. And sadly, many believers, fail to find real value in God’s Word. We must submit ourselves daily to the Word in order that we have our lives transformed in the here and now by God. We need the Word. Giving our lives over to God now, and giving our lives over to the correction of His Word now, yields eternal benefits.
If we trick ourselves to think that we can do without God’s Word now we will be exposed by the Word on the other side of eternity. Although it is not easy, comfortable, or painless to be changed now by God (in other words having our sin exposed, seeking Christian accountability, confessing sin, putting to death things of the flesh, loving our neighbors as ourselves, worshipping God rather than self) the alternative is that His Word will cut to the core of our souls after physical death, revealing an unrepentant heart filled with evil.
"What the author is saying is that God's Word can reach to the innermost recesses of our being. We must not think that we can bluff our way out of anything, for there are no secrets hidden from God. We cannot keep our thoughts to ourselves.” -Leon Morris
The fact is, we all will be required to give an account for our lives. Seek the Lord, and His Word, now to change your heart.