Chapter 4:11-13 (ESV) - Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 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. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Question to consider: What does it mean that the word of God is living and active?
Ephesians 6:18 calls God’s word the “sword of the Spirit.” The author of Hebrews calls is a two-edged sword. This imagery helps us understand the work of the Holy Spirit through the Bible. It cuts us to the heart. It cuts away our heart of stone. It is living and active because it still with surgical precision shows us our sin before God and then points us to Christ as a remedy for that sin even though it was written 2,000 years ago.
There are those who try to claim that the nature of the Bible is that of a “living” document, and therefore should change in its meaning over time depending on the culture of the reader. So instead of trying to understand it from the perspective of the individual authors or each intended recipient, they try to reinterpret it to become more “relevant” to a modern generation of people. Of course, this is a flawed way of thinking because even at the time Jesus delivered His message, He said a lot of things that were counter-cultural. He also chastised the Pharisees for doing the exact same thing in their traditions, some of which even violated the letter of the law given to Moses.
It’s also silly to think that we sin any differently than they did 2,000 years ago. The devil still uses the same temptations for every generation because they still work. The only thing that changes is the packaging. So whether someone lusts after a priestess from a pagan temple or a movie star on the big screen, the Spirit still uses the same sword to cut to the heart of the sin. Whether someone is extorting money as a tax collector or enslaving a needy person at a payday lender, they are filled with the same greed. The law of God brings the haughty low and decimates the person who thinks he’s righteous. No one can stand against the living sword of God. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us there but offers us the living waters of His grace. The author of Hebrews is pleading with his readers to drink from this grace that they may enter into God’s rest.
We thank you father for revealing to us Your Son through Your living and active word. May it do its work in cutting us to the heart so that we can see our sin and our need for Jesus’ righteousness. Amen.