Sharper than a Two-Edged Sword

Just between you and me, I have always been a little bit nervous about Hebrews 4:12. The thought of being probed by a sharp sword isn’t the most comfortable of ideas.

“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.”

Nevertheless, I am an evangelical Christian, which among other things means that I have confidence in the Bible as being the inspired Word of God. So when I read my Bible, and if I take it seriously, I have every expectation that this keenly sharp instrument is going to be digging around, dissecting out the selfish from the spiritual, laying out for inspection my innermost thoughts and intentions. Now bear in mind, I took A-level Biology – and I dissected the frog – and I even brought it home to show Mum. She wasn’t impressed; perhaps I should have told her before she found it in the fridge. I could well imagine that the dissection of my inner life might cause just as much trouble. But here is where the work of the Bible is far more than simple dissection. The Bible – the truth it contains about God the Father, His Son Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit – brings life, not death.

The sword is the image chosen by the author of Hebrews, but what kind of sword is this? Better than the precision of the surgeon’s scalpel; bringing out what is unholy, working healing in the damaged regions of my soul. Revealing to me the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ; guiding my thoughts and bringing me perseverance and wisdom for the day’s trials.

For over thirty years Insight for Living has been committed to the clear expression and practical application of the truths contained in the Scriptures. We don’t want to be just a sound on the radio that can be turned off and forgotten about for the rest of the day. We want to introduce you – our listener – to the living and active work of the Word of God. We want you to be strengthened and encouraged, to be cautioned and challenged:

equipped …so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15).”

The Word of God hasn’t lost its edge in the two thousand years since it was given to us. That’s because the human condition hasn’t changed much in all that time. We still have the same motives, priorities and values. The same essential sins still trip us up or weigh us down. The same Saviour still bears those sins for us and makes us clean. The same Word is still ready to work within us to bring us closer to God, and make us more like His Son when we yield to its ministry. As long as He continues to sustain our efforts, we’ll rejoice as we continue to “Preach the Word!”

Copyright © 2012 by Dr Terry Boyle. All rights reserved worldwide.
Posted in Christian Living and tagged , .

Dr Terry Boyle serves as Pastor for Insight for Living UK. His ministry involves teaching a weekend radio programme, hosting the weekday Insight for Living broadcast, helping with issues that come in from listeners, and providing a personal and local approach to Chuck Swindoll’s ministry.

Terry was born in Windsor, England. He moved to the United States in 1981. Although he began his professional life as a biochemist, Terry holds a Th.M. in Pastoral Ministry and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas.

Terry served as senior pastor of Skillman Bible Church in Dallas until he and his family moved back to the UK in 2007, to take on the role of pastor for Insight for Living United Kingdom.

Terry and his wife Rose Ann have been married for twenty seven years, and they have three grown children: Hannah, Emily, and Terence.