“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Five key passages describing the role of Scripture in spiritual transformation:
1. Psalm 1:1-3
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
My response: delighting and continually reflecting deeply on it.
Result: Blessed, firmly planted and flourishing— Whatever he does prospers
2. Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
My response: Hearing and putting into practicing Christ’s words.
Result: Strong and stable in the face of life’s storms
3. James 1:22-25
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”
My response: Obedience as I intensely and continuously study it.
Result: “he will be blessed in what he does” (v. 25)
4. II Timothy 3:15-17 (NLT)
“You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
Divine origin and usefulness of Scripture
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to
- teach us what is true and
- to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
- It corrects us when we are wrong and
- teaches us to do what is right.
God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (II Timothy 3:15-17, NLT).
My response: to be taught and corrected regarding right and wrong
Result: Equipped for every good work
5. Deuteronomy 8:2-3
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
My response: Recognize that I am sustained by God’s word
Result: Dependency on God for life — as I depend on food for physical life
Taste and see that the text is good
- Man doesn’t live on bread alone but on each word from Yahweh’s mouth (Deuteronomy 8:3).
- God’s words are sweet like honey (Psalm 119:103).
- When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. (Jeremiah 15:16).
- Believers should long for the milk of God’s word like newborn infants (1 Peter 2:2).
- “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:12-13).