Why do Christians make such a big deal about the Word of God? Many unbelievers can’t understand that. Why do we like coming to church and hearing someone preach from the Bible? Why do we get up early before going to work so we can read the Bible?
I used to be one of those perplexed unbelievers. When my wife and I first got married, I was not saved. I was not interested in the Bible or going to church. I couldn’t understand how people got so excited about a preacher standing in the pulpit and preaching from the printed text.
Thank God my eyes have seen the light. Not only do I love to study the Bible and hear good preaching, but also I am a preacher of the gospel myself. Time and again, I have seen the life-changing impact the ministry of the Word can have on others.
The question is why—or how.
I know it has little to do with me. I am not discounting the value of studying the Bible and clearly communicating its truths. The Lord requires that of us He has called to preach. I’m just saying it has to be much more to it than that.
As for why the Word of God gives life to us, I believe the key lies in what Jesus said: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63, NASB). Let’s look at this verse more closely.
What Makes the Word Life-Giving
“It is the Spirit who gives life.” Every bona fide Christian knows this to be true. Before Christ, we were dead in sin. We became born again through faith. And through that experience, we have been translated from death to life. That fact that the Spirit gives life to us is the overarching point in the verse above.
“The flesh profits nothing.” Sowing to the flesh tends to corruption but sowing to the Spirit yields life. (Galatians 6:8). Accordingly, the Word of God ministers to our spirit. Of course, there are incidental benefits to our flesh. But the main objective of the Word of God is to build us up spiritually.
Believers who focus on their flesh more than their spirit are referred as being carnal-minded. This mindset constitutes enmity against God (Romans 8:7). A carnal mind is the antithesis of being spiritual minded. The latter is the objective of the Word of the God.
“The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” First, let’s remember that God, the Son, and His Word are one. These three always—always agree. When someone claims God told him something but it is contrary to the Word of God, it just isn’t so.
So since the Spirit gives life and the Spirit and the Word are one, if the Spirit gives life then the Word of God gives life as well. Hence, Jesus says the Words He speaks are spirit AND life. These are the very words we read as we study the Bible. That’s why they impart life to us.
Two Important Implications
I believe there are two important takeaways from this post based on what Jesus said about the words He spoke.
1. It does matter where we attend church. We should attend a local church where the Word of God is faithfully and passionately preached and taught from the Scriptures. That is the only kind of preaching and teaching that gives life. Preaching and teaching that focus on satisfying the flesh avail nothing.
2. We need to commit ourselves to personal Bible study. The Words of our Lord, found in the Scriptures, are spirit and life. Through them, we can build up ourselves in our most holy faith.
Copyright 2019 by Frank King. All rights reserved.