Whole Bible Christianity

It's a God Thing

 

The Word of God - Defined by the Word of God.

What do we mean by the Word of God? - Comfort, hope, life, salvation, love.

The Word of God

We use the term 'Word of God' so often, but do we really understand what it is? What does the Word say about the Word? This collection of Scripture by Bruce Scott Bertram is intended to answer those questions and more. But beware of the answers.

God's Word is called by many names

We list many of the names in this article. His Word has many names because it does many things and has many effects on people. It can be light to our way or a sword for fighting the forces of darkness. It is a puzzle to disobedient people but clear as day to a humble heart. It is bread for our souls and a rock on which we can build fruitful lives. It makes us clean, it saves and it gives us freedom. It is many things, but what it is not is gone.

The gospel of the Kingdom

The good news is that God is with us. He is with us in the Law (all of God's Words), He is with us in Spirit, and He is with us in the living Word which we also call the Son of God and Jesus. The words on the page are like the flesh and blood of Jesus. His kingdom is near you. The price for entry is paid by Jesus. All we have to do is repent of going our own way, eat His body and drink His blood. Take in His Words and do them. Read and heed. As we obey, we enter more into His kingdom in every day and every way.

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What Is The Word of God?

For those who love Him His Word is (first and foremost) Love

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." (John 15:10 NASB)

"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you." (John 15:12-14).

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His Word is also Light and lamp.

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn (light). (Isaiah 8:20, parenthesis mine)

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:23)

And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

His Words are Life

"Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you." (Deuteronomy 4:1)

...he said to them, "Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. "For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess." (Deuteronomy 32:46,47)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. (Proverbs 3:1,2 and compare all of the chapter)

"Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death." (Proverbs 8:33-36)

And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:16,17)

Seed describes how God's Words are to Spiritual Life as reproduction is to physical life:

"Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matthew 13:18-23)

His Instructions are the same thing as His Word or Law:

Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:10)

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. (Exodus 16:4)

Now the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction." (Exodus 24:12)

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?" declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 35:12,13)

"Please receive instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart." (Job 22:22)

"He opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they return from evil. If they hear and serve Him, they will end their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures." (Job 36:10)

Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. (Psalm 78:1-4, applying to Jesus)

"Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the tyrannical city! She heeded no voice, She accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the LORD, She did not draw near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions, her judges are wolves at evening; they leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law. The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. I have cut off nations; their corner towers are in ruins. I have made their streets desolate, with no one passing by; their cities are laid waste, without a man, without an inhabitant. I said, 'Surely you will revere Me, accept instruction.' So her dwelling will not be cut off according to all that I have appointed concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds."  (Zephaniah 3:1-7)

"And now this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name," says the LORD of hosts, "then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi," says the LORD of hosts. "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of hosts. "So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction."  (Malachi 2:1-9)

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior,... (Proverbs 1:1-3)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching;... (Proverbs 1:7,8)

And so His Instruction is directly related to teaching and understanding.

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding, For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. (Proverbs 4:1,2)

Therefore His Law is also equivalent to Instruction.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

We fathers or leaders are to use His Law as instruction for our children:

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (I Timothy 1:5)

Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. (I Thessalonians 4:1)

But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction... (I Thessalonians 5:12)

...preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (II Timothy 4:2)

I personally do not care if you choose to call His Word Law, it is still His Word.

"Therefore hear, O nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it also." (Jeremiah 6:18,19)

"They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts;... (Zechariah 7:12)

"The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain." (Deuteronomy 5:5)

"According to the terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left."  (Deuteronomy 17:11)

Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying, "Keep all the commandments which I command you today. So it shall be on the day when you cross the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime and write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over, so that you may enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you." (Deuteronomy 27:1-3)

'Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' (Deuteronomy 27:26)

"Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. ...But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it." (Deuteronomy 30:9,10,14)

...he said to them, "Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. "For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess."  (Deuteronomy 32:46,47)

When the Word of the Lord was spread, it is including all of it, with the Law.

"But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'" (John 15:25)

So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word..." The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:2-4, 7)

The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. ...they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. (Acts 13:44,48,49)

Paul teaches Jesus from the Law and the Prophets, indicating they are not abolished.

When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. (Acts 28:23)

The Word or gospel must include love and faith, salvation cannot come by works.

"FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY." ... but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,... (Romans 9:28, 31, 32)

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (I Corinthians 15:1-2)

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (Galatians 5:14)

The Word of the Father (or "the Law") is also called Commands, judgments, statutes, teachings, ways, reproof and paths. All of these terms are interchangeable.

And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

And you say, "How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!" (Proverbs 5:12)

Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. (Proverbs 7:2)

"Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold." (Proverbs 8:10)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; (Proverbs 3:1)

My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life... (Proverbs 6:20-23)

"They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction." (Jeremiah 32:33)

"Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you." (Deuteronomy 4:1)

Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." (2 Chronicles 15:1-7)

The Word that Jesus taught was the same Word we have already had described for us, and it is also known as the gospel of the kingdom, filled with Himself.

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:28)

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 9:35)

He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" (Matthew 13:54)

Worship is obedience to His Word rather than the teachings of men.

'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' (Matthew 15:9 quoting Isaiah 29:13)

...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

The Apostles took this same Word or Law into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the world.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

...being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (Acts 4:2)

And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18:11)

if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; (Romans 12:7)

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (I Corinthians 14:26)

The Word of the Father is wisdom and truth

And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I wait for Your ordinances. So I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever. (Psalm 119:43,44)

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth. (Psalm 119:142)

I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your loving-kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. (Psalm 138:2)

Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)

True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. (Malachi 2:6)

"Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'" (I Kings 2:3-4)

This truth (including the Law, all filled with Messiah) sanctifies, frees, and saves.

"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." (John 17:17)

Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate *said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, "I find no guilt in Him." (John 18:37,38)

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32)

In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. (James 1:18)

The Word is a rod of discipline and comfort.

But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4)

"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." (Genesis 49:10)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy, and yoke is defined as "way" of the Lord and "ordinance" of our God. The "ancient paths" are His Words, including the Law.

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:29,30 quoting Jeremiah 6:16)

"I will go to the great and will speak to them, for they know the way of the LORD and the ordinance of their God. But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke and burst the bonds. (Jeremiah 5:5)

Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'" (Jeremiah 6:16)

Justice and Torah are equivalent terms, and equivalent to salvation.

"Listen to me, you pursuers of justice, you who know justice, you people who have my Torah in your heart: don't be afraid of people's taunts, don't be upset by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like clothing, the worm will eat them like wool; but my justice will be forever, and my salvation for all generations." (Isaiah 51:7,8 CJB)

And finally, this Word or perfect Law is the Law of Liberty if we do it as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:21-25)

May the Father bless your study of His Word and increase the fruit of it

Bruce Scott Bertram

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