One of my favorite resources when studying God’s Word is e-sword, a free computer program that I’ve been using for years. It contains different Bible versions, Strong’s numbers, dictionaries, commentaries and notes. (There are some you can pay for, but the free stuff is sufficient for me). I find it valuable mostly in word definitions: some which I don’t know, and others I think I know only to find out it’s not what I think.
So it was one day I was looking for all the two-edged swords in the NT in order to find all the places Jesus is seen with a sword coming out of His mouth, when behold, I found out a sword is not always a sword. G4501- rhomphaia- a long sword (saber, broad cutlass) is the Greek word for the sword which comes out of His mouth. A long sword as in the ones able to cut through a neck or body part with one blow.
For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hb. 4:12
We have a spirit, we are not spirit- that immaterial part of us which can connect to God who is Spirit. (Jh. )
Human beings are souls- the material and immaterial part of us which makes us who we are.
living- G2198- zao- live, active, blessed, having vital power in itself
powerful- G1756- energes- active
piercing- G1338- diikneomai- go through, penetrate, pierce
discerner- G2924- kritikos- skilled in judging
heart- G2588- kardia- the heart, center of all physical/ spiritual life, soul or mind, seat of (intelligence) the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours, will, character
In the case of this Scripture, the sword is not the same Greek word. It is G3162- machaira- knife, dirk, small sword. As I meditated on the importance of this word difference I thought of my life and how the Word had changed me over the years. Surely there was one dramatic moment when I realized the Truth and gave myself to the Creator.
That was like one blow dividing the old man from the new man… I wish I could say it was complete, but that would be a lie. I still struggle to be pure and holy. Over many years there have been great strides forward, but mostly when I continually apply myself in the Word.
Ah, there was the difference. Changes occurred in small steps, one at a time, just like when one cuts a piece of meat, back and forth; a little at a time. This knife or dirk in the Scripture does not finish the job with one hit, but takes many cuts to separate that which needs to be separated: the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow.
It can do this because the Word is living, active, powerful in our lives. It pierces even into those dark places we never expose to our friends and family but which God sees. And it is able to discern that which we think and our intent. It tells the difference between doing something to help others out of love or for self serving purposes. Ouch, that’s gonna hurt a lot of us when we’re before Jesus’ judgment seat!
We want to be closer to God, to experience His favour and be used by Him in mighty ways, but we are not willing to continue in His Word which is able to help us mature (Mt. 5:48), transform our mind (Rm. 12:2), and help us know Him (Jr. 31:33,34) and His will more. Is it because it hurts too much or are we looking for a quick fix like winning money from a lottery instead of becoming rich by diligently working hard? Are we just lazy, or afraid God will require too much from us?
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. 2Tm. ,17
Until the body of Christ diligently read, study, meditate on the Word of God, we will continue to be only a dull light in an ever darkening world. We need to step up and allow the Word to be active and powerful in our lives, open ourselves up to its cutting action which will change us from glory to glory until the face of our Father is seen in us (2Cr. 3:18).
but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,
Lord help us,
and continue to actively ‘cut’ us with Your Word that we may be holy as You are holy.