God’s word, the Bible, is His revelation to man. It is the mind of God in human language. The apostle Paul pointed out that man could not know the will of God without He reveal it to him and that “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (I Cor. 2:9-13). Though some say we cannot understand it, it can be understood, else it would not be a revelation. Various figures or symbols are used throughout God’s word to let us better see the relationship between ourselves, God and His word. Let us consider some of the pictures of God’s word that are painted for us.
God’s word is the mirror of the soul. James uses this analogy concerning the word when he says that one who hears God’s word but does not obey it is “like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass” (James 1:23-25). The literal mirror lets us see our outward bodies as others see us. God’s word allows us to see our soul as God sees it. The Lord told Samuel that “the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7). When one compares himself to the word of God, he can see all the blemishes of the soul rather than the blemishes or smudges on the outward body. However, James warned that if one sees those blemishes and does nothing about them, he will soon go his way and forget them (James 1:24).
God’s word is the sword of the Spirit. Paul urged the Ephesians to “put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11, 13). After naming various pieces of the armor to be adorned, he specified the one offensive weapon that the child of God was to take up. He said to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). He told the Corinthians that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God…” (II Cor. 10:4). The Hebrew writer said the word of God is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” (Heb. 4:12). One might take note of the fact that when Jesus was tempted by the devil the weapon of choice for Him was “It is written” (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). The gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16).
God’s word is the seed of the kingdom. In the parable of the soils, Jesus said “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Peter wrote, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23). The “seed principle” applies here. The seed principle is; “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). First, the seed, which is the word of God, must be sown. Every example of conversion found in the New Testament begins with God’s word being proclaimed. But, if one wishes to grow Christians, then it is the word of God that must be sown. Nothing else will grow Christians and God’s word will grow nothing but Christians.
God’s word is milk for the babe. When one is born again by the word of God (I Pet. 1:23) he is just a babe in Christ. The newborn babe must grow. Peter wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Pet. 2:2). Jesus, when answering the tempter, said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Titus was told by Paul to “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1). The words “sound doctrine” could also be translated “healthy doctrine”. The word of God is that which will make one spiritually healthy.
God’s word is a lamp for our feet. The Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). This picture of God’s word shows that the word of God is that which we must trust to guide our life. John wrote that “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). In essence, this picture stresses the importance of ever following the word rather than anything else. No feelings, no word of mere man, no dictates of a council or synod will suffice as the light by which one must walk.
From these pictures of God’s word one should begin to realize how important this book is to us. The words written there are for our benefit. When the Lord asked the twelve if they would go away as many had done, Peter answered, “to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:67-68). As a mirror, we must seriously examine ourselves in its light. As a sword, we must learn to use the power invested in the weapon of our warfare. As the seed of the kingdom, we must sow the seed in our own heart and in the hearts of others. As milk, we must daily consume all the nourishment from it that we can. As a lamp for our path, we must ever guard against straying from the path of its light.
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