By Heath Jarrett
“The word of God” is an often used phrase in the Bible that teaches us a fundamental truth: the Bible comes from God and is therefore completely true and authoritative in what it says. It both deserves and demands our attention.
Hebrews tells us of Scripture’s “living and active” qualities:
“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” (Heb 4:12–13).
While we rightly insist that everyone search the Scriptures to discover what it says, Scripture itself searches us to expose what we believe. The word of God is alive and able to do surgery on our souls.
The reality is that everyone will be judged in light of Scripture. What the word of God says makes us accountable before God, therefore we are called to believe what the Bible teaches, obey what it commands, and trust what it promises.
When Jesus said, “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12:47), he did not mean that obeying him was optional.
Jesus followed this statement with a personification of God’s word that captures the “living and active” essence of Scripture as mankind’s judge:
“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48).
Jesus’ own words, which are the words the Father gave him to speak (John 12:49), serve as our rule, standard, guide, and judge. If we reject Scripture, we reject what Jesus said. Consequently, we reject his Father who sent Jesus and gave him the words to speak.
As Christians, we affirm that the Bible is the word of God and is the sole authority which governs all our knowledge and behavior. We also deny that authority to anything or anyone else. We must confidently look to Scripture alone.