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
Receiving God’s Word into our hearts is the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ. The expression, “the Word of God,” is used forty-six times in the Bible. This expression not only refers to the written and spoken words of God but also refers to Jesus Christ, who, Himself, was the Word of God personified (John 1:14).
The Word is the living breathing supernatural power of God that successfully works in those who believe (Hebrews 4:12). The principal way God reveals Himself to us and releases His power is through His Word. And it is through God’s Word that we come to know who He is in our lives (1 Samuel 3:21 and John 8:31-32).
God’s Word is unchanging and settled forever (Psalms 119:89). It is always relevant in our lives. The Word of God is the standard by which all of us will be judged (John 12:48). It always accomplishes the purpose God sent it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).
Cleansing comes through God’s Word (John 15:3), and all that relates to life and godliness comes through God’s Word (2 Peter 1:3). We become partakers of God’s divine nature through His Word. We also escape the corruption of this world through His Word (2 Peter 1:4). When we try to live the Christian life without being strongly grounded in God’s Word, we will fail. We are unsuccessful when we put our efforts above the perfect and complete work of Jesus (Mark 4:14-20).
A vast difference exists between the words of man and the Word of God. God’s Word is above all of our human knowledge and effort. It is excellent and perfect in every way. His Word is Truth. His Word is Spirit and life. The words and opinions of men profit us nothing (John 6:63). Any attempt to make man’s words as important as God’s Word always results in making God’s Word of less value. Jesus told the religious people of His time that they were making the Word of God of no effect through their tradition (Mark 7:13). The traditions and teachings of man are not worthy to be compared to the Word of God.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul was thankful the Thessalonians had taken the message of the Gospel to heart and were living holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. The reason Paul thanked God continually was that the Thessalonians had received his message not as a human word that he was preaching, but as the truth it really was—the spoken word of God.
When we receive God’s Word in our hearts, holiness is produced as the fruit of our relationship with Jesus Christ. “You will know the truth,” John wrote, “and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), It sets us free from our own efforts to live holy and, instead, releases the power of God’s righteous life in us that we received by faith in Jesus.
Paul preached God’s Word. He preached the same Gospel message everywhere he preached, but that message didn’t always produce the same results in his listeners. His message was never different. The difference was the way the people received the Gospel message.
The Thessalonians received Paul’s message as the true Word of God. Because they received the message as God’s actual truth, it produced life in them. Even though a preacher is responsible for how he preaches God’s Word, we are also responsible for how we hear it. Jesus was the perfect preacher. However, most of the people who heard Him rejected Him and His message. They didn’t have ears to hear or hearts to receive.
It is crucial for us we have sensitive hearts to God so that when we hear the Word, we will receive it as the true and faithful Word of God.
“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it’ (Hebrews 4:2).
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The Word profits us when we mix it with faith. His Word releases life-giving power when you believe what it says.
You receive the unchanging and finished truth of God’s Word—the life-giving power of His truth in which you find profit—when you believe it by faith in your heart.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher