“Your Word is founded in Truth, and Your just decrees are everlasting.”
When Satan tempts Jesus to make bread from stones, our Lord retorts: “Man cannot live on bread alone; he lives on every Word that God utters.” (Matthew 4: 4) Satan tempts Jesus to prove He is the Son of God; but Jesus has no need to provide this proof.
Jesus is the Word of God in living form.
He tells us not to swear at all, not to “set [ourselves] against the man who wrongs [us].” (Matthew 5: 39), not to “make a show of [our] religion before men,” (Matthew 6: 1) and not to “let [our] left hand know what [our] right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6: 3) He tells us to be generous, but not announce our generosity. He tells us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us; to pray in secret, and “not to go babbling on like the heathen.” (Matthew 6: 7). Finally, He tells us to “forgive others the wrongs they have done.” (Matthew 6: 14)
These are God’s Word; His “just decrees” which are everlasting truths.
“[God] rescues us from the domain of darkness and brings us away into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom our release is secured and our sins forgiven.”
Imagine a man drowning in the ocean. He has no way to rescue himself; he has kicked off his shoes, has tread water for as long as he is able; now, he is sinking. His end is near. Now imagine a rescue; perhaps a helicopter spotting him before he goes under for the last time lowers a boom and a strong arm reaches down into the ocean water and pulls him “from the domain of darkness” to safety. His “release” from his death “is secured;” and not by his own efforts.
God rescues us. He secures our release; He forgives us our sins. Not only this, but He “brings us away into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Our salvation is complete; we add nothing to it. The Word of God does not say, “Take two aspirin and call Me in the morning.” The Word of God says, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The Word of God says, “No one comes to the Father but by Me.”
Jesus tells us that people are incapable of living only on bread, i.e. foodstuff. Instead, people need “every Word that God utters” in order to live life, and live it abundantly.
Paul writes to Timothy, “Keep before you an outline of the sound teaching which you heard from me, living by faith and love which are ours in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1: 13) And further Paul tells Timothy that “every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind.” (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17) Paul tells the Thessalonian church, “Do not stifle inspiration, and do not despise prophetic utterances, but bring them all to the test and then keep what is good in them and avoid the bad of whatever kind.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 19 – 22)
God’s Word is the creative force behind every being and every event. God’s Word is the weapon against temptation and its offspring, sin. God’s Word is the draw, pulling a person towards redemption, healing, sanctification.
People can not live on only food; people must own the Word — every Word God utters.
When dealing with persons who we consider “outsiders,” Paul desires us to “declare the mystery of Christ.” (Colossians 4: 3) As we do so, he also wants us to strive to “make it clear,” saying this is “how [we] ought to speak.” (Colossians 4: 3 – 4) We are to speak clearly of God.
Paul says we should “walk in wisdom toward outsiders.” We must not be foolish, brash, harassing, undermining. Instead, “[our] speech [should] always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” The Word of God is like honey to the taste, and must not be turned bitter on the tongue.
Paul calls us to “make the best use of the time” we have with “outsiders.” He recognizes that God is the One who “open[s] a door for the Word.” (Colossians 4: 3)
God, the Holy Spirit provides us with the right speech at the right time so that “[we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person.”
For our part, we must “be gracious” and “walk in wisdom” with those who do not know Christ as we do. May the Lord bless our efforts towards the “lost.”
Jesus prays, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.”
The Word transforms. Knowing the Word, knowing truth is not an intellectual undertaking — rather knowing the Word is a day to day transformation. We are being made holy by the Word of God as we remain in the presence of God via His Word. God’s Word gives us access to the truth of God — who He is, what He plans, how He accomplishes His goal to unite all things under one authority, Jesus Christ.
Holiness or sanctification is not an external act. Rather, becoming sacred is a setting aside. God sets us aside; He calls us His own. He reveals Himself fully in His Word. His Word is truth. Jesus is the truth.
Jesus proclaims, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me…I Am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14: 1, 6)
Take off your shoes; this ground is sacred — set aside, made holy by the presence of the Lord God Almighty.
Paul and Timothy tell the saints at Colossae, “We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus.” They also tell them they are aware “of the love that [they] have for all the saints;” (Colossians 1: 4) then promise to pray continually “that [they] may be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1: 9)
The faith of the Colossians comes “through the Word of truth, the gospel;” and gives a “hope laid up for [them] in heaven.” (Colossians 1: 5) From understanding God’s grace, the Colossians are able to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” (Colossians 1: 10)
Faith comes through hearing of the Word of God, the gospel. Understanding of the Word is granted by God’s grace. The Holy Spirit fills us with the knowledge of God’s will, giving us “spiritual wisdom.” All this results in a “walk…worthy of the Lord.” With a walk worthy of God, love for the saints and hope in heaven become daily companions.
Paul and Timothy pray, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might.” (Colossians 1: 11)
Paul reminds us that God’s mind, riches, wisdom, knowledge, judgments, and ways are unknown, unsearchable, inscrutable. Paul says, “for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11: 36)
Paul therefore appeals to us “by the mercies of God, to present [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship.”
In presenting our bodies to God, we also renew our minds so that we may be able to discern “what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12: 2) We renew our minds through the Word of God which the Holy Spirit reveals to us as we meditate upon it, explore it, study it, pray it.
We are able to present ourselves to God as gifts because of His mercies. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2: 10)
Paul therefore urges us “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4: 1 – 3)
Taste that the Lord is good. Know that His Word stands forever. Know that you, like all flesh, will fade away. Know that whatever worldly glory you have will end as a flower withers and falls from the stem. The only difference is that now, in Christ, you are born again of an imperishable seed. The seed is the Holy Spirit. He is both the Father of Jesus and of us. “For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why [Jesus] is not ashamed to call [us] brothers.” (Hebrews 2: 11) Jesus “helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2: 16 – 18) Jesus was born a baby, grew through a childhood into an adolescence and then into manhood. Along the way, He was tempted just as we are, except without sin. Therefore, Jesus knows firsthand what it is to face temptations, what it is to resist them, what it is to conquer them. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus prays, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22: 42) “Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Hebrews 13: 20 – 21)