God’s Word to You
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.” Heb. 1:1, 2. “Us” means each one, each individual, to whom the words that are spoken come. The same thought is presented in the language of Paul’s discourse in the synagogue at Antioch: “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.” Acts 13:26.
God’s word, therefore, comes directly from Him to us as individuals; and in this way we should receive it. There are two things that we should note in connection with the word of salvation; first, that it is God who speaks; and second, that we are the ones to whom He speaks. If we fail in either of these points, the word is not, to us, the word of salvation.
The word of man is nothing, and whatever word we receive as from man, amounts to nothing to us. If we do not hear the voice of God, the words spoken can do us no good. And if, hearing the voice of God, we do not take it to ourselves so that we receive it into our hearts, we likewise derive no benefit.
Paul and his letter to the Thessalonians, expresses his thanks to God, that “when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” When it is received as the word of God, it effectually works in the believer’s heart; and this is the benefit that it brings to us. If we receive it not as the word of God, or receive it not in our own hearts, it cannot work in us, and it is in vain that we have heard it at all.
It is a fatal mistake to let anything come between us and the word of God, for thereby we debar the word from entering into our hearts. The Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” The word of God in the heart, keeps the individual from sin, and this is the greatest good that can come to any one of the children of Adam. But when something comes between us and the word, the safeguard against sin is not there.
No pope, no church, nor any man or invention of man, should stand between the individual and the word of the Lord. He who receives the light of God’s word through the traditions or opinions of men, whether ecclesiastical or not, will receive it so darkened that he will be unable to discern by it the way of life. He who lets priest or minister explain to him the word of God, and depends upon that rather than on the word itself, is not standing on a foundation that cannot be removed. First receive the word in truth, whether it be understood or not; and then look to God to make His meaning clear. Then whatever means God uses to do this, will be recognised as but a means, all the attention will be drawn alone to God.
Let it be ever remembered that the word of God is Jesus Christ. “God . . . hath spoken unto us by His Son.” And we read also that “In the beginning was Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:1, 14. That Word is Christ. Therefore if Christ be in us, God’s word is in us; and if His word be not in us, neither is His Son, and we are with those “having no hope and without God in the world.”
In Christ, who has identified Himself with sinful flesh, the word of God is veiled, so that its glory and power do not destroy us. There was a time when God spoke His word directly to men with an audible voice, as we read in Exodus 20, which describes the giving of the law from Mount Sinai; but the Israelites could not endure the words, and removed in terror and stood afar off, and said to Moses, “Speak thou with us and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Ex. 20:19; Heb. 12:19. And the Lord said that their words were well spoken; for He knew that they could not endure His words. Deut. 5:28; 18:17. So God spoke to them through Moses and “by the prophets;” and in “these last days” He speaks to us “by His Son,” “in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Col. 1:14. In Christ we have the life of the word of God, but not that which speaks death to sinners, and struck such terror to the hearts of the listeners around Mount Sinai. When Christ’s intercession for man is ended, when His work as High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary is done, then the Word of God will come forth again to men in unveiled majesty; and the result will be that described in Rev. 19:13-15.
If we receive not that word now, we must receive it then, when its effect will be destruction. Therefore let us receive the word now, by faith, by believing it, while it is veiled in the flesh of Christ. Christ is the Word; and that word is now to us, if we but take it, “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Cor. 1:30.