One particular Sunday I spent a great deal of time teaching the children about how God uses Scripture to perform spiritual surgery upon our hearts and minds. I focused on the mind of the Believer in order to help them, and you, understand that our thoughts precede our feelings.
Today I would like to focus on the same verse, which is also our memory verse for this week: Hebrews 4:12. But, rather than focusing on scripture as a tool of the Holy Spirit, I want to emphasize the Life that it bears.
Every time one of the first 10 amendments to our United States Constitution are called into question, we are faced with the question – is our American Constitution a static document or a living document? Can we interpret it differently depending upon our times and situations? Whether one is a constructionist or a constructivist is what drives most of our battles in the Supreme Court and how our Constitution is interpreted.
Before you get too wrapped up in the US Constitution (not the USS Constitution), I want to remind you that I am a citizen of 2 countries. Therefore, I personally have lived as a citizen of 5 distinct constitutions. (There are no debates in Ecuador about the Constitution, the military or the sitting president just fires congress and rewrites the constitution accordingly – I guess that makes them strict constructionists!).
So what does this have to do with the Bible? You are probably thinking, “I am not reading this in order to get my daily civics lesson!”
The Bible is neither a static nor strictly a living document the way some would like to describe. So what does the Bible mean when it describes itself as “living and active, (or effective)?”
As most of you have probably experienced during the last few weeks, how you read the Bible can actually have an effect upon what you hear God saying through the Bible. For instance, as I listened to the Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians in one sitting, I heard a great deal about giving, generosity and the importance of supporting missionaries. Does that make the parts about worship and sacrifice any less significant? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
What I am saying is that the Word of God is alive through the words of scripture. God is continually revealing Himself, exposing us, and introducing us to what it means to follow after Jesus as the Way. The Spirit is actively and effectively calling out to us through the words of the Bible, but we have to be listening.
The Word of God does not change. It cannot nor should it be rewritten to accommodate our culture, our lives, our context or our choices. But, God can bring certain words of His Word to bear upon our culture, our lives, our context or our choices. In this way, it is a living document in that it is relevant to our daily lives.
This is not to say that the meaning of scripture is determined by the interpreter. Nor is the meaning of scripture entirely static. The words remain the same. The interpretation is consistent. The application is determined by the Holy Spirit.
The god of this age would seek to have you be deaf and blind to the words of scripture. But the Holy Spirit seeks to speak faith, hope and love into our lives that we might repent and live in Christ. But, we have to be willing to listen.
Are you listening? Are seeking to have the Holy Spirit speak to you through scripture?
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far between soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – NASB
I matter to others and others matter to me. I am always worshiping. I am on a mission.
Kurt Trempert is the Lead Chaplain for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and pastor/coach at Harvest Downtown in Colorado Springs. His blog, Kurt’s Virtual Office is reprinted here as TreVO (Trempert’s Virtual Office) and used with permission.