The Spirit's Tool - The Word of God

John Telgren

It is interesting that in the Gospel of John, Jesus almost never uses the word, "salvation," but instead uses the word, "eternal life" or simply, "life," and makes it clear that it is not merely something to expect in the future, but something to be lived now (Jn 5:24; 6:47; 10:10; 17:3). In other words, your baptism was not merely about being saved, but about being saved so that you can live the Christian life daily and for eternity. God's goal is more than merely for you to "be saved," but to live a transformed life. Consider these passages:

"That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Eph 4:22-23).

"Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" (1 Pet 2:2).

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" (Tit 3:5).

God desires for you to be transformed, which is a life-long process. In Titus 3:5, you will notice that there is a "renewing" by the Holy Spirit. In 1 Pet 2:2, you will notice that the "pure milk of the word" is what causes you to grow. The Spirit uses the Word to transform you into the image of Christ and to help you to grow. In other words, it is not something that you can do all on your own. You need the Spirit in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

Let's take a close look at this passage:

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16-17).

I personally don't like the translation, "inspired" because that is such an ambiguous word anymore. The word in Greek is "theopnuestos." It is a compound word, theos, which means God, and pneuma, which means spirit or breath. The word is from the breath or Spirit of God. This makes the scriptures inherently different than all other writings. In other words, as we read scripture, we are "breathing in" the breath of God, and according to Genesis 2:7, it is the breath of God which gives life. This is why Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is "living" and active.

There are two ways to read the scriptures. One way is academic, which has great benefits. This involves analyzing it, dissecting it, doing word studies, background research, attention to historical context, etc. Another way is what some call sacred reading. This is where you come to the word to allow it to analyze you, to dissect you, to allow it to change you as the living and active word of God that is sharper than any two edged sword. This involves meditating on it, to read prayerfully, humbly, and submissively. Since scripture is from the breath of God and we need the breath of God to live, we need to breath the word of God regularly of often in order to have life in ourselves.