The Word of God is instrumental in conversion and sanctification. As to our conversion, Peter says you “have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet 1:23). While we may not know all of the Word of God, we at least know what is necessary for salvation when we first believe.
Thereafter, we find that the Word continues to work in us for our sanctification. The author of Hebrews states, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). Our thoughts and intentions are shown to us for better or worse as we internalize the Word of God.
The apostle John speaks of the Word of God abiding within an individual in the midst of statements of being spiritually strong and overcoming Satan: “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14). It would seem that the Word within an individual plays a part in strengthening him to overcome sin. Perhaps this concept is in David’s words as well: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11; see also Ps 37:31).
Once we are born again through God’s Word, we are commanded to let it abide or remain within us. In so doing, we abide in God and Christ and have eternal life. Speaking of the Word as what was heard by his readers, John states, “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 John 2:24; cf. 2:25).
As we obey the command to let God’s Word abide in us (to keep on believing it), we find that, as we pray according to God’s will, our prayers will be answered. Christ states, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
From this handful of passages, we see the importance of God’s Word. We are born again through the Word and then grow by increasing in our knowledge and application of the Word thereafter. The Word is also vital to our prayers and spiritual protection. May we truly know it and store it in our hearts so that we might not sin but rather grow in knowledge and grace of God.
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.