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Life comes from the living God through His living word

Mikuláš Török, 15.04.2012

1 Peter 1:23-25 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2:1-5 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to him, the living Stone —rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

John 5:39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.

2 Thessalonians 2:12-14 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Any word, or speech is living just at the moment when it is being spoken by its “carrier” (speaker). As soon as he is finished with his talk, the speech isn’t alive any longer. Therefore even the Bible in itself isn’t the living word of God. It is God who brings it to life when He speaks to us through it.


We can sometimes hear statement such as that someone’s words are (still) alive - for instance some ancient philosopher’s, great statesman’s etc. It usually means words of a long-ago work of literature. The author of the words is usually dead. In fact, such a statement isn’t right.


It is true that above mentioned works are still veritable, significant and actual. But in reality they are not “alive”. Living words that are responding and breathing – so to speak- are of different nature.

God’s Word fulfils both these standards. We need to distinguish one from another.


The Word of God is truthful, valid forever


God’s Word - the Scripture – is truthful, unchangeable, ever-lasting. God’s commandments don’t vary (except in a case when God makes a new covenant – never “just because”). It is from God’s Word that we learn the truth (the foremost quality of the Word of God is truthfulness).


Life indeed can’t come from knowledge of the Scripture alone. Apparently, Pharisees were wrong pointing this area. They thought that their eternal life consisted in knowledge of this truthful, still valid Word of God written in the Scriptures. (John 5:39). Particularly they thought they’d achieve salvation through their knowledge of the Scriptures and their effort to follow it. Pharisees were wrong though and Jesus set them right.


In other words, the Bible in itself is not alive. Thus through searching the Bible and understanding alone we will never obtain life.


God’s Word is living, breathing


First of all we need to say that the statement – God’s Word is living and speaking – is misleading. The Bible itself describes the Scripture as “speaking” which we can see from the statements such as “The Scripture says”…. Yet the Bible alone is not living nor speaking. If it was, we would have “the Holy Quaternion” instead of the Holy Trinity then (Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Scriptures, too!)

It is God who speaks, not the Scriptures! The reason why it may seem that the Bible “speaks” is that God made the Scriptures into His primary tool for communication with man and He also uses it that way.


Life - eternal life - doesn’t come only from what it is written in the Bible and our understanding of it. 1Pt 1:23-2:5 makes this clear. We were born again through the living Word of God. And we need to realize that there is no other way to be born again! It is impossible to be born again (to obtain true life) just through studying and understanding God’s Word. This is also important to realize for our everyday lives, but it is essential to know that the only way to be born again is that the living God speaks to a man, calls on him, and calls him out (1Tess 2:12; 1Tim 6:12; 2Tess 2:14). And as the apostle Paul writes to Corinth, people are essential to receive the ministry of reconciliation (2Cor 5:18-19).


Now, power of our life as Christians and life of the church grows with our understanding of God as living God. We are living stones. Not because we are biological “animals” but because He gave life to us. He is Life, and there is no life outside of Him nor can it ever come to existence without Him. He, who has Father, received Life (John 5:19-26).


There is very interesting passage in this context (John 5:37-47). Jesus says to the Jews that they did not hear the Father (despite their knowledge of the Scriptures) and that they do not have His Word abiding in them (although they knew the Scriptures they didn’t believe in Him whom the Father sent - the Living Word). They are deceived – they think to have the eternal life through knowledge of the Scripture but the Scriptures just bear witness about Him. The reason why this happens is also noteworthy: they do not love God, even if they study His Word. Their biggest transgression is that they seek their own glory.


It is vital both to know the Scripture and to understand it, and to know God’s voice – in order to have genuine relationship with the living God.

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