Monday, June 13, 2011

Sharp and Piercing

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 04:12, NKJV).
If you have ever suffered a serious cut from a very sharp blade, then you know how painful it can be. Yet that same type of blade, in the form of a skillfully wielded scalpel, can reveal and excise life-threatening malignancies.

If you are an unbeliever, then thinking that the Word of God is irrelevant is equivalent to ignoring an oncoming storm.

“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (John 12:48, NKJV).
Likewise, if you are a believer and consider the Word of God optional in your daily walk, you are deliberately leaving yourself open for calamity and trial, for its purpose is to act as a guide, and a source of wisdom in all the issues of life in a Fallen world.

One day we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. We know that deep in our hearts. And on that day, we will either stand in His righteous, or be cast down in our own unrighteousness.

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing you can do to make restitution for even your smallest sin. The soul that sins must die. There is no ritual, or penance that you can perform that will mitigate the punishment due you.

No matter what you have done, no matter how long you live, if you break one of the least of the commandments of God's perfect law, you are guilty of all. There is no grading on a curve. There are no exceptions. It is either perfect righteousness, or doom.

That's the bad news.

The good news, the gospel, is that the same Word that guarantees your condemnation also guarantees your clemency, provided you allow it to pierce your heart with your own depraved sinfulness, and separate you from all illusion that you are "OK" with God.

This living and powerful revelation is intended to bring each and every human being to that place of brokenness of spirit, and contriteness of heart, so that you fall on your face in helplessness and ask God to forgive you in the name of His Son. It does not matter what evil you have done. The horrific sacrifice of Jesus Christ paid for it all, for all time.

But you must accept that revelation. You must believe that it is true, and then your sanctification, your moral and spiritual surgeries, will begin.

As you walk ever more closely with your Lord, your Old Nature will be cut away, slowly, often painfully, but in a necessary procedure to make you fit for eternal life.

You must trust Him. You must not attempt to leap off the operating table. Or the altar.

If you are truly His by faith, He will do His perfect work in your life. He will complete that good thing that He began when you first believed.

For some, like the thief on the Cross, the operation will be drastic and instantly successful. That thief had no opportunity to do other than believe and then die. He could make no amends. He could perform no good deeds. But in his last minute heart-deep confession of faith, he has since provided an example for all those who think they are guilty of too much, and/or have waited too long.

In addition to surgery, the Word of God also lays bare the underlying truth of every man's words and deeds - that without Christ, all the thoughts and intents of the human heart are evil.

Even the best that we do, no matter how noble and self-sacrificing in appearance, is tainted by our inherent evil.

In Romans, the Apostle Paul states unequivocally that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; that there is none who does good. No, not one.

It is only when a human heart sees that about himself or herself in the light of God's Word that hope and healing can begin. Until that time, it cannot heal, but can only condemn.

These things are true regardless of how we feel about them. Truth is like that.

It can hurt. It can destroy, but it can also save. It is the only thing that can.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10, NKJV).