In this age of information, the Bible has never been more accessible than it is now. But for some, the Bible is nothing more than a piece of literature, a collection of stories to convey life’s lessons. Others see it as a mere historical document, or just another text book for the academia.
Yes, the Bible is full of mystery and intrigue, and has been the inspiration of many Hollywood productions. However, the Word of God is no fairy tale! Every word of the Bible is true and even secular scholars consider it to be one of the most historically accurate documents in existence.
Yet to the Christian the Bible is so much more than just words on a page, or at least it should be. The Bible is the divinely inspired written Word of God with the power to change lives.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God is powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword! Wow! That sounds dangerous! So why do we handle it so carelessly? I’m afraid even Christians have become way too casual with something so precious and powerful.
What is God’s Word to you? Do you realize the Word has the power to direct and change lives for eternity? Or has it just become part of your Sunday morning routine, something you grab once a week on the way out the door to church?
Maybe you’ve been in church all of your life. You know the Bible and can even quote scripture with the best of them. But have you really let the Word of God change you? Can you say you are more like Jesus today than you were yesterday, a month ago, or a year ago?
Okay, I get it. I’ve got to take the Word and apply it to my life.
HOW TO BECOME A DOER!
Yes, you need to be a doer of the Word, but how do you go from hearing the Word to effectively doing the Word?
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Before you can be a doer of the Word, you must receive the Word! You must receive the engrafted Word of God! Hearing the Word won’t change you, but the engrafted Word…now that is able to save your soul!
Engrafted comes from the root word graft. What does it mean to graft something?
Farmers and the horticulture industry depend on every tree in their orchards to maximize production of the best fruit possible. That’s where grafting comes into play.
Growers use various grafting techniques to alter the fruit produced by their trees. They know which tree yields the lushest, fullest fruit. They will take a cutting from this “father” tree and use it to alter the growing characteristics of other inferior trees.
An incision is made into an inferior tree to make an opening where a cutting from the “father” tree can be inserted. The inferior tree, if left alone, will continue to produce fruit of its own poor nature; but when you graft in a cutting from the good tree, the poor tree will start growing branches and take on the new nature of the “father” tree. Once the grafting takes place, the poor tree will begin to produce good fruit just like that of the “father” tree.
In the same way, when God’s Word is engrafted into your heart, a change takes place. You begin to take on a new nature. The things you used to do in the flesh nature are past. With the engrafted Word of God, you begin producing a holy fruit that only comes from the nature of the Heavenly Father.
However, until the Word is engrafted in you, it won’t have the power to change you. A graft can’t just be laid on the surface; it must be placed in the deepest part of your being. There’s no way around it! You must be cut by the Word!
WOUNDED BY THE WORD!
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the Word of God…
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
They were pricked in their heart.
It’s not enough to just hear it or read it. The Word must prick your heart!
How many anointed sermons have you heard, straight from the Throne of God, yet you still remain unchanged? Maybe at the time, you were challenged and convicted in your spirit. Like the crowd on the day of Pentecost, you may have even asked “…what shall [I] do?” But you never followed through to allow the Word to be engrafted into your heart.
Why is it that our flesh resists the Word of God so?
They were pricked in their heart when they heard the Word (Acts 2:37). The word prick means to strike through violently. To be pricked is not just a little stick, but a violent stabbing to make a deep open wound.
That sounds painful!
The Word of God can’t be engrafted in you until it has wounded you. Naturally your flesh is going to rise up and resist any kind of discomfort or pain. Your flesh will hinder what the Word wants to accomplish in you, which is to completely change you into the image of Jesus Christ.
The cross of Calvary was very painful! It was no nursery rhyme experience and can’t be depicted as anything less than violent and gruesome. Jesus shed His blood and suffered a cruel torturous death for you and me! I’m sure His flesh cried out and resisted, but Jesus surrendered His will to the His Father’s will.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached and the people were pricked in their heart. The razor sharp Word cut and convicted them to ask “…what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
It’s not easy to come face to face with your sin. However, once you hear the Word, you have a choice to make. You can either commit and be a doer of the Word, or you can walk away and remain unchanged.
Nobody wants to admit their guilt and wretchedness. Dealing with your own sin and shame is painful, but once you do you will be forever changed from glory to glory.
After hearing Peter preach the Word, the people were truly sorry for their sin and repented.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
They gladly received the Word and continued steadfastly. This means they were committed! They were in for the long haul, no stopping or getting off. The people weren’t content to just attend church: they were the church! The New Testament church wasn’t stagnant but growing and maturing to produce fruit…fruit from a heavenly source. Continuing means to go onto perfection to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every time you respond to God’s Word, God is cutting away the flesh and conforming you to the image of Jesus so that He can use you for His Honor and Glory! That sounds like a privileged opportunity to me…to be used by Almighty God.
Have you been cut to the heart lately? Even Jesus was pierced… But why did the soldiers have to pierce His side? Jesus was already dead! Wasn’t that enough?
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
Recall Jesus is the second Adam. Where the first Adam failed and forfeited his position, the second Adam triumphed. In Genesis, God put a deep sleep on Adam, opened his side and pulled a rib from Adam in order to make him a bride.
Similarly, Jesus had to be pierced in His side so that God could make His Son a bride. If you know Jesus as Savior and Lord, then that’s you! You and I are the bride of Christ: the Church. Every time we are cut by the Word, God is grafting us with the blood and flesh from the very side where Jesus was pierced.
I want to be a part of this church! I know Jesus, but don’t know that I will ever be worthy enough to be His bride. He has done so much for me, but I have absolutely nothing to offer Him!
Your right! We have nothing to offer God. But all He wants is you: surrendered, willing and obedient.
None of us can accomplish anything apart from Jesus Christ!
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
But if you and I, the branches, are grafted and abide in the vine, then we will bring forth fruit, not from our own flesh, but from Jesus Christ.
Is the Word engrafted in your heart? Just reading the Bible or listening to a sermon won’t change you. This may touch you and convict you, but that alone will not transform you into what God wants you to be.
You have to be willing to let the Word of God cut you! No matter how painful, let it pierce deep enough to search out your innermost being. Your flesh will resist, but receive the engrafted Word and release the power to change you into the image of Jesus Christ!
Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.