6 Functions of the Living Word of God

January 26, 2014

Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is living and operative.” The Bible is a living book, and as a living book, it is very active. It functions to do many things both for God and for us. In the following sections, we’ll look at some verses that show six of the primary functions of the living and operative word of God.

The Word of God testifies concerning Christ

John 5:39 says, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me.”

The first function of this living book is to testify concerning Christ. From beginning to end, the Scriptures reveal the wonderful Person of Christ and His redemptive work.

It’s fairly easy to see that the New Testament certainly testifies concerning Christ. But what about the Old Testament? Is the Old Testament with its many stories, prophecies, poems, and genealogies really about Christ?

After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus told His disciples, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms concerning Me must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). This means the things written in the entire Old Testament, which is composed of the law, the prophets, and the psalms, were written concerning Christ!

What this means for us: Since the Scriptures testify concerning Christ, for us to get the benefit the Word has for us, we should focus on Him when we come to the Bible. Before we read, we can pray, “Lord Jesus, I don’t want to miss You in Your Word. I come to You right now. Help me see You on every page.”

The Word of God makes men wise unto salvation

Second Timothy 3:15 says, “And that from a babe you have known the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

The Scriptures “make men wise unto salvation,” indicating that they reveal to us God’s way of salvation in Christ and the pathway to salvation through faith. Because of God’s Word, we can know how to be saved.

So the Bible testifies for the Lord concerning Christ, and it makes God’s way of salvation known to us.

What this means for us: It’s good for us to follow the pattern of the person this verse was written to. Young Timothy got to know the Scriptures from his earliest days. Whether we’re young or old, a new Christian or a believer of many years, or even not yet a Christian, it’s never too late or too early to begin reading the Bible in a regular way. The Scriptures make us wise unto salvation, both for the beginning of our Christian life and for its continuance.

The Word of God causes people to be regenerated

First Peter 1:23  says, “Having been regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.”

God’s Word is a seed of life. When people hear God’s Word, it operates within them in order to regenerate them with His life. Note 2 on 1 Peter 1:23 in the Recovery Version says this:

“A seed is a container of life. The word of God, as the incorruptible seed, contains God’s life. Hence, it is living and abiding. Through this word we were regenerated. It is God’s living and abiding word of life that conveys God’s life into our spirit for our regeneration.”

To be regenerated is to be reborn with God’s life. This is what initially happened to us when we got saved.

What this means for us: If we’ve already been regenerated, or born again, it’s important to realize God’s living Word can generate life in others also. If they are open and willing, we can read the Bible with our unbelieving friends, not to teach them, but to let the living and abiding Word of God get into them. As we pray for them, we can ask the Lord for this seed of life in them to grow, causing them to become regenerated children of God!

The Word of God is the believers’ spiritual milk

First Peter 2:2-3 says, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

After a baby is born, its most immediate need is not to study, but to take in nourishment; it needs milk to live and grow.

The Bible is the milk that can cause us to grow in our spiritual life. After we receive the Lord, we are like newborn babes; our most important need is to daily come to the Lord in His Word and drink the spiritual milk. Then, just as a baby grows up and is healthy from eating well, we’ll grow up in God’s salvation and be healthy Christians. Throughout our whole Christian lives, we should continue to hunger for and be nourished by the healthy milk of God’s Word.

What this means for us: It’s a healthy spiritual practice to spend some time in the Word each day simply to be nourished. At other times we certainly can and should study the Word, but it’s essential for us come to the Word to take it as our food. Each morning, we can have a good “breakfast” by tasting the Lord’s goodness in His Word. Then, we’ll be nourished and supplied for the whole day.

The Word of God is the believers’ bread of life

In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.’”

The word of the Scriptures is not only spiritual milk to us; it is also our spiritual bread of life.

We can never graduate from needing to eat the Lord’s word every day, just as we can never graduate from needing to eat our physical meals each day. Even the Lord Jesus, living as a man on this earth, took God’s Word as His bread. So, even when we have some growth as believers, we still need to receive daily nourishment from God’s Word to be healthy, normal Christians.

What this means for us: As we grow in the Lord, Satan may tempt us to think we’ve graduated from simple things like enjoying God’s Word each day. But if we know that our spiritual life depends on daily nourishment and that the Bible provides that nourishment, we’ll come to His Word to eat and drink. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we can say to the Lord each day, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became to me the gladness and joy of my heart” (Jer. 15:16)!

The Word of God makes the believers complete

Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.”

God’s Word completes the believers, or makes them fully equipped men of God, ready for every good work.

When we read the Bible with our heart turned to the Lord, the Word will operate in us, showing us something more of Christ. Seeing more of Christ will automatically teach us, convict us, correct us, and instruct us in righteousness. As this happens, we become more and more complete as believers and more and more equipped for every good work.

What this means for us: Every day, we can continue in and profit from God’s Word. We can pray, “Lord, I don’t want to miss what You have for me in Your Word today. I want your Word to be profitable to me today. Please reveal more of Yourself to me as I read. Make me more complete today than I was yesterday.”

What functions of God’s Word have you enjoyed the most? Please leave a comment to share what you learned or enjoyed from this post.

This post is based on the topic, “The Word of God (the functions of the Word),” from the Topical Directory in Using the New Testament Recovery Version: An Illustrated Guide. Bibles for America gives away free copies of the New Testament Recovery Version. You can order one on our order page.

If you’d like to read more about the Bible, we recommend Truth Lessons, Level One, vol.1, “Lesson One: The Bible,” by Witness Lee. You can also read it online at ministrybooks.org.

12 Comments

14 Comments

  • sylvester morris says:

    Some comments of the scripture I forgot but reading every morning brings back an awsome feeling of the holy spirits presents. There’s nothing better

    • RONALD LALONDE says:

      I ENJOY READING YOUR ARTICALS,(TEACHINGS). A BIG TURNING POINT FOR ME IN MY CHRISTIAN LIFE WAS HAVING THE REVELATION BROUGHT TO MY HEART THAT TO WALK WITH OUR LORD JESUS,MOMENT BY MOMENT,MORNING EATING OF JESUS WAS,AND IS,VITALLY IMPORTANT. TO ME,BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT,SO I DO NOT FULFILL THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH,IS THIS DAILY,MORNING, EATING. LONG TIME STRONG HOLDS HAVE LOST THEIR STRENGTH UPON ME,THROUGH THE DAILY PRACTICE,NOT PERFECTION, OF EATING JESUS,AND CALLING UPON HIS NAME,THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THANK YOU JESUS AND GLORY TO OUR KING.

  • MERAL WILLIAMS says:

    IT’S HARD TO PUT INTO WORD’S HOW I FEEL WHEN I EAT FROM GOD’S TABLE.I HAD WENT A WHILE WITHOUT HEARING GOD’S WORD AND LET ME TELL YOU WILL GROW COLD I HAVE GOTTEN BACK INTO HIS WORD AND LET ME TELL YOU IT’S BETTER FELT THAN TOLD. SO THIS IS MY PRAYER GOD MAKE ME WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE ME TO BE USE ME LORD IN ANYWAY THAT PEOPLE WOULD SEE YOUR GLORY AMEN!!!

  • simplewithsyd says:

    Sure liked this post today! Loving the Word of God :)

  • The functions I enjoy is how much we learn each time, allows us to grow become stronger in faith, provides guidence and protection from.the evil one.

  • Gerald Holloway says:

    I enjoyed the six points that were shared in today’s lesson, and I got a of understanding through the explanations provided with the points. I, however I do forget to pray before I read but, you lesson on today has reminded me of what I must do before I read henceforth. Thank you so much and keep doing God’s work.

  • It is such a blessing and release to know that the Word of God is not a book full of rules and regulations… but even more, it is a God’s breath for us to receive, to enjoy, and to live by. It is full of life, and is operative… to make us able to grow in this divine life, which source is God himself.

  • Latisha Colbert says:

    I like how you referred to it like a baby needing milk….that helped me grasp it a lil better. Thank you for sharing this. God Bless

  • John Vanscoy says:

    When I get into God’s word,(the Bible) He show’s me how incomplete I am without his love. And that I am a sinner and in need of his forgiveness. His word does convicts and corrects me. And teaches me and instructs me in righteousness. Without Him I an nothing. In Him I am all that He want’s me to be.

  • Jenny Jiwirak says:

    LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS OF JESUS IS WHAT CHRISTIANS DESIRE TO BE IN. THERE IS NOTHING MORE BETTER IN LIFE. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF SATISFYING THE FLESH AND THE WORLD… I WANT TO COME BACK TO THE HEART OF WORSHIP.

    EVERY TIME WE SIN, WE ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.
    ENOUGH OF IT! WITH AN HUMBLE HEART I SOUGHT THEE, O LORD, TO DELIVER ME OUT OF THIS PIT. HELP US. I ASK FOR YOUR DELIVERANCE.

  • Katherine Lay says:

    First of I am blessed to have God in my life and giving me his word to rely on, and to trust in, these verses was really important to me and I needed to hear it just at the right time. Thank you for sharing God’s word with us.

  • yes that’s what we are supposed to do order for us to be like Christ do things of Christ and try to please the Most High God daily basis and spiritual growth thank you in Jesus mighty name

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