November 11,2014Walk In Truth Ministries
Hebrews chapter 4:12-16
Dr. James Sutton II
As we continue to study in Hebrews; we have concluded that Jesus Christ is the better way, or superior than Jewish tradition and all of its patriarchs and rituals. The Holy Spirit continues to give illustration after illustration to present Jesus Christ as the sacrifice and high priest. It is most interesting as we continue to read; we see a pattern of humanity rejecting the oracles of God. Man’s heart has become so hard it cannot hear or adhere to the word of God. (Jeremiah 17:5-11, Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21) Man’s nature is to reject God and we see this continuous rejection of God throughout the history of mankind. As much as we try to change the world it appears to be on a prophetic crash course for Jesus to return. (Matthew 13:15, Acts 28:27) Allow me a little bit of your thoughts and time by asking this question: Are you more sensitive to God’s word or intrigued by your own spiritual imagination?
Let’s look at Hebrews 4:12-13, the quality, sufficiency and purpose of God’s word. The first thing we notice is that the word of God is alive and also active. ( ZAO-literally means alive or full of life.) Then we have the word powerful and active. This Greek word comes from the same word we derive energy from. Simply put, the living word has to have an effect on the human heart. You only have two choices, the middle is not acceptable and you fall into making no choice at all. The living and effectual word of God has more than enough power to penetrate the most sinful hearts of all good men. The word of God is able to discern the difference between the soul and the spirit of man. What I mean by this is there is a distinct difference between the soul of a man and his spirit. They work together and most unskilled people cannot tell the difference between the two because of their similarities. God understands that the word of God has to get past the bone to the marrow. The marrow in the human skeleton is where the bone is nourished. Just like the marrow to the bone so is the soul to the spirit. It is the inner soul of a man, (the heart) the word has in mind for its target. It goes something like this, the soul is corrupt and therefore the spirit is corrupt, and therefore the body is corrupt. We have come to understand the purpose of God’s word is not to put a Band-Aid on the symptoms of mankind, but to deal with the source of the symptom, sin. (A man’s heart) The word of God is so corrective in nature that it shines a magnifying glass on your thoughts and your intent before an action takes place.
It takes a stronger anti-body to kill the invading body. Our souls need the correction from the word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16.) We have too many dead words falling on so many real problems. This is where the correct interpretation of the word of God in context is so important. Every teacher’s job is to do one thing, teach the correct interpretation of the word of God and show you its practical application in your life. I believe as his word states it has the power not me. Let’s look at a few Scriptures that talk about the power of the word of God. (Romans 10:17, Acts the 2 chapter, Romans 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Jeremiah 15:16, Joshua 1:8.) There are many more, but this should get you started in the right direction.
Now that we have considered the validity of the power of God, we begin to look at and appreciate the administrator of this word Jesus Christ being a better high priest. Verse 13 describes the proper preparation of the sacrifice that will be exposed to the word of God. Just like in the Old Testament the sacrifice was inspected and prepared carefully, so must we be prepared and examined as a living sacrifice. The high priest was very exacting in the preparation of the sacrifice according to God’s word. Now we have God preparing a body for himself that is perfect and holy to be sacrificed and accepted by him. (Hebrews 10:5) The sacrificial system has always been in effect since God sacrificed animals to provide Adam and Eve with cover. The cover of the skins of animals represented the blood that was needed to atone for sins. In the vanity of our minds we believe that we are acceptable to God as we are, but the Bible clearly teaches us the only acceptable way is through Christ Jesus. (John 6:44, John 14:6) When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we were automatically adopted into his sacrifice. We were slain, buried and resurrected in him. (1 Corinthians 15:44, Romans 6:4)
The better way consists of a renewing of our mind and moving away from a ritualistic relationship with our God to a faith based relationship with him. There is no amount of work that we could do to merit the goodness of God. The carnal mind can’t understand a system that doesn’t require work by the one who needs it most. The more you understand what was afforded to you at Calvary by the grace of God will help you develop a more personal understanding of what it is to walk in faith. In a practical sense the better understanding you have will allow you to never give up on anyone because God did not give up on you. It is not your goodness that got you in, but God’s grace and mercy! It is quite wonderful how the Bible continues to point us back as much as we try to move forward. Knowing what you know and the urgency of the time we live in, we need to be asking our families and friends how can they neglect such a great salvation; and letting them know the danger of drifting furtherand further awayfrom the harbor of safety called salvation. (Hebrews 2:1)