And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
We see here that the word of God is a living word that not only brought (past tense) these believers the message of salvation, but it has a continuing ministry as the believers mature. The apostle Paul tells the believers that the word “is (present tense) indeed at work in you who believe.” In order for us to continue to move toward maturity as God’s children, to be conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus – in other words, to “grow up” spiritually – there must be an ongoing receiving and believing of the Word.
The following Scriptures continue to impress upon us the vital necessity of receiving and believing the word of God:
- 1 Peter 2:2-3: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. This passage clearly shows that for us to grow up in our salvation, the Word of the Lord is spiritual milk without which we cannot grow. We are to crave such nourishment, because a few verses earlier the Bible tells us that we were “…born again, not of perishable seed, but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1:23).
- Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
- Isaiah 55:8-11: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Received, believed, and obeyed, the Rhema word of God brings forth in our lives the activity and fruit of the Spirit that glorifies God. Below are examples of what the power of God’s Word will produce in our lives when received, believed, and obeyed:
The Word of God renews our minds and transforms our lives.
Only the Word of God can bring about this depth of spiritual change.
It is the foundation for life.
It becomes a huge foundation on which we can stand.
It teaches us.
It teaches us all we need to live a life of Godliness.
It corrects us
While we don’t like this, it is good for us.
It rebukes us when we need it.
There is a rebuking that takes place when things re out of place in our lives.
It is God’s instrument to train us in Righteousness.
It is an amazing fact that by God’s Word we are TRAINED in righteousness. This will equip us to live a life of righteousness. If you are a lawyer, a doctor, or whatever, God can teach you and train you how to live a righteous life in that field. Righteousness is basically right living with God and people. And how do we learn the “right” thoughts to think and the “right” things to do? It is from God’s written Word. The Bible is full of verses and longer passages regarding this. One of the things mentioned so much in Scripture is the tongue:
Proverbs 13:3; 15:1; 16:23-24, 28; James 3:1-12
Live in and from the place of righteousness, and let God’s Word teach you to control your tongue.
It is a fire and hammer.
Jeremiah likens God’s Word to a fire and a hammer. Some people were prophesying lies in this chapter, and the prophet speaks against these false prophets. But if those who heard and applied Jeremiah’s message – that is, if they received God’s Word and His discipline – their lives and ministries would be different; they would then be working with God’s purposes, not opposing His purposes.
It is the Sword of the Spirit.
God will take His Word that you have stored up in your heart and mind and use it to fight the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12. “It is written….” is still a very powerful weapon.
As many of you reading this know, we have been involved for years in some form of deliverance. We have seen the power of God’s Word in this, as well as the enemy’s hatred of His holy Word. At times, in our ministry to such oppressed people, we have begun reading a passage of Scripture only to see a person try to grab our Bible and throw it to the floor. We know that represents the enemy’s hatred of God’s Word. When we understand the way the spirit realm sees the Word, then we will understand the power of the Word.
It probes heart and mind.
The Word of God confronts even our cultural issues.
It shows us ourselves and moves us forward
Those who hear and obey (“hear and do”) God’s Word will be blessed as they say “yes” to God and allow the Word to direct them and move them forward into greater maturity.
It convicts us.
Notice the response to Peter’s sermon after the Holy Spirit came in power at Pentecost. How and why were they “cut to the heart”? They cried out, “What shall we do?” It was because they listened, heard Peter’s presentation of God’s Word, and were convicted. Three thousand (3,000) were saved and brought into God’s kingdom through that one anointed message.
It regenerates and matures us.
As we crave spiritual milk (the Word) we begin to grow up
It brings forth faith.
Why do we know God heals? We need to be able to point to Scripture. That is what brings the faith. It is because GOD has SAID it in His Word.
It gives hope.
The powerful Word of God gives believers hope and endurance.
It washes us / sanctifies us (Sets us apart).
It sets us apart, washes us, etc. Jesus said to His disciples, “Now you are clean through the word I have given you…” (John 15:3)
It builds us up and gives us an inheritance.
It is wonderful to know that we have an inheritance. God’s Word gives us that.
I encourage you to take prolonged times to read long sections of the Word. Read books when you can. Meditate on Scripture, and let it marinate within until it goes deep and does its work.