If The Bible Were A Living Sword

Dan Kessinger

The Bible is an authoritative book, but it wields a gentle authority. It does not have to be loud, obnoxious, bossy, or pushy in order to be real. But, what if God's authority were not so gentle? How would our submission to the authority of God be different if the Bible were a literal sword? This comparison is a valid one because Hebrews 4:12 reads: 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.

If the Bible were a literal sword, it would threaten workers of iniquity with death or dismemberment if they did not change their ways. Since it is the sword of God, it could make good on its threat. Doubtless, some would still disobey. However, I feel certain that sin would be drastically reduced, and certainly practiced with more discretion and less pride than we now see. If the Bible were a literal sword, we would have seen our last gay pride parade, heard our last public curse, and seen every tavern and adult bookstore padlocked. Men would think twice about what they said, and those who sin out of weakness would find strength to resist.

If the Bible were a literal sword of God, there would be fewer harsh words exchanged in families, and the abusers of families would tremble lest they be exposed. Covetousness would no longer be seen as a sin without consequence; many diseases would disappear. Even those who did not love God would fear rejecting his law, because their own lives would be in peril if the Bible were a literal sword. Though sinners might try to hide their secret sins, they would be exposed as well, for this sword discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.

What if the Bible were literally alive, as Hebrews 4:12 teaches us it is in a figurative sense? Even if it were not a sword, things would be different. We would not have to read what men must do to be saved, nor would we have one preach it to us. Instead, the Bible would go forth and teach sinners, demanding that God be believed and obeyed. False teachers would be automatically refuted by such a living Bible, and those fellows who claim God speaks to them personally would be shouted down by the outraged Bible.

We would no longer neglect our Bibles with little more than a twinge of conscience as some of us do. As things are, one may choose to discard or ignore his Bible, and the Bible does not object to such treatment. A literally living Bible would not silently gather dust on a bookshelf. It would speak to us each day and would always tell us the truth and the truth alone.

The Bible is not a real sword. Generally, it can inflict no more serious harm than a paper cut. It is not used as a literal weapon (except on one occasion by the late Bill Monroe). These facts do not render the Bible even one iota less powerful; it is the weapon of souls and lives. It alone changes men, but men must use it. Waving a Bible at sin does nothing; it is only by reading and heeding Bible truth that its awesome power is unleashed.

The Holy Spirit is leading men even at this moment through His Divine authority expressed in the Bible. The Holy Spirit will have authority only over those who are willing to be led. He will not force anyone to read the Bible; He will not cut sinners to ribbons with the word. In spite of His grand authority, He is only giving orders to those who volunteer to submit to His authority. 701 Dewey Ave., St. Marys, WV 26170.

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