The Discerning Word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Pastor Anthony Bacino, December 2, 2018
Part of the Preaching series, preached at a Sunday Morning service


In North America today the term “Energizer Bunny” has entered our vernacular as a term for anything that continues endlessly, or someone that has immense stamina. Several of our U.S. presidential candidates have compared themselves to the bunny, including President George H. W. Bush in 1992, Howard Dean in 2004 and some have associated Donald Trump with it. The Energizer Bunny is the marketing icon and mascot of Energizer batteries of North America. We are all familiar with the pink furry rabbit wearing sunglasses and the blue and black striped sandals that beats a bass drum bearing the Energizer logo. The Energizer bunny became famous in the mid 1990’s it quickly took off and became a pop-culture icon. The commercial claims that there Energizer batteries keep going and going with endless power. We all know that is not true, nothing has everlasting power, it would be nice but only God has everlasting power. The fact is the word translated powerful in our passage (en-er-gā’s / en-er-gace’) is actually the word from which we get our word “energize.” God’s word always energizes it never seizes from it power. What a motivation for us all. We finish last time speaking about the Inspiration of God’s Word. It is quick or alive, we move it’s….

II. Its Motivation (4:12b)

1. When we read the Word of God, it energizes us to live for Him. When we lose our spiritual energy and power, we need to check if we have disconnected from the Word of God. What does God say about the word that comes out of His mouth in Isaiah 55:11.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

You might say, “Pastor’ I have my Bible right here in my hand. I read it every morning and seldom am I absent from Bible study or worship. Yet, I still feel spiritually drained and run down.” If you have lost your spiritual power and zeal, your spiritual life has a bad connection. Have you ever gone out to start your car and the engine just did not kick over? Sometime it is as simple as a corroded battery cable. … The power is there, it is packed with all the juice you need but the connection is degraded. When that happens, the power-or energy-can’t get through.

2. Some believers have their spiritual battery cables corroded because of sin, indifference, or just being too busy, frustrated and depressed. Therefore, the power of God’s Word cannot get through the corrosion of life. The Word of God cannot energize you without a clean connection. 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us how you can be sure you are clean and have an uncorrupted connection! let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. We have looked at the inspiration and motivation of God’s Word. Now, let’s consider…

III. Its Penetration (4:12c)

1. God’s Word is also sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit … (4:12c). The two-edged sword was the most powerful weapon in New Testament times know as the Roman sword. The soldier carried two swords; one was a long sword used to thrust at the enemy and the second was the one in his belt and it was a two edged sword. The Romans used it to conquer the world. The Bible cuts like a razor-sharp Roman sword. piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,

2. Like God, we are a trichotomy Genesis 1:26 tells us God made man in His own image. Just as God is a trinity, He created us a trichotomy. Paul confirm this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are a trichotomy in that we have physical life-a body (SOMA, so’-mah in Greek). A tree or a turnip also has physical life, but humans are far more than any tree or turnip.

3. Humans also have psychological life. The Greek word translated soul (PSYCHE, sue-kay’) is the word from which we get our English words “psyche” and “psychology.” The psyche refers to the mind, which in¬cludes our emotions, will, and intellect. A dog and a donkey have physical life and psychological life because they have a body, emotions, will, and intellect. However, you and I are also much more than any dog or donkey.

4. We are more; not only do we have physical and psychological life; we also have spiritual life-a spirit. The soul and spirit cannot be sepa¬rated, but they can be differentiated. Our spirits make us aware of God and we want to know Him. Proverbs 20:27 express this fact… The spirit of man [is] the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

The penetration of the Word of God in the dividing asunder of soul and spirit refers to our conversion experience. Before we were saved, our spir¬its were dead and entombed in our souls (Eph. 2:5). As a result, we had no desire to live for God. A natural (non-spiritual) person can’t understand the truth of what God’s Spirit teaches through the Bible (1 Cor. 2:14a). I Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.”

5. When God’s Spirit gives life to our spirits, our spirits begin to rule. A spiritual takeover of the soul and body is now possible. As we read or hear the Bible, God’s Spirit enables our spirits to understand it. This changes the way we think in our minds. We’ve considered the inspiration, motivation, and penetration of God’s Word. Let’s finally examine …

IV Its Revelation (4:12d -13)

1. God’s Word judges the thoughts and intents of the heart (4:12d). It reveals our thoughts and attitudes for what they really are. We really don’t know ourselves, so we must let the Bible reveal to us what we are really like. God declares this fact in Jeremiah 17:9.

2. We don’t see ourselves as we really are, but God’s Word is liken to a mirror. The Bible causes us to realize nothing is hid¬den from God, but everything in our lives is naked and opened before the eyes of God, before whom we must give account of our lives (4:13).

God’s Word causes us to see ourselves as we really are. This is so we will take advantage of the promises like in Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy. — I John 1:9


We need to be more interested in hearing what God has to say to us than telling Him what we think! Simply receiving the word of God is not enough…we must apply what we have heard. We must listen with a submissive heart, casting off all sin and humbling our-self in obedience to our heavenly father.” God wants to change you but he won’t force His will on you, He wants you to want Him and receive His will because it is good for you. God loves you and he desires your submission because you love and trust Him. You need to apply His Word today to your life and trust Him for a better tomorrow.
The first Sunday of every month we gather together and we receive communion. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial that Christ Himself instituted. He became the ultimate fulfillment of deliverance from sin and death when He died on the cross and shed His blood. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. I Corinthians 6:20 & I Peter 1:18-19


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Hebrews 4:12-13

12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (KJV)

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