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Read Introduction to Hebrews

12 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.

The believer today can enter God’s rest by trusting in God’s living and active Word.

12 For

The word “for” calls attention to the need to be careful not to follow the example of Israel in the wilderness of not seizing God’s grace for one’s life (He 4:11). If we do not claim God’s promises by faith, we cannot experience them.

the word of God is living

The word “living” stands first in the Greek, making it emphatic. The Word of God is no dead letter; it vitally affects those who read it (Isa 55:11). God Word is potent; it deals with us with vigor.

The Greek of “the word of God” is literally “the word the one of God.” The Greek has two definite articles “the.” This construction occurs only here and in Hebrews 13:7 in the New Testament. This is a definite reference to the written Word of God.

and powerful [active],

The Word of God is powerful or active. It is effective in its energy; it is energizing in its effect.


God’s Word is both living and active today.


The Word of God is living because it comes from a living God. God’s Word is living because it is God breathed (2 Ti 3:16); it partakes of God’s character. It is “powerful” or active because God does an active and powerful work in the life of the believer. God Himself is “living” (He 3:12) so His “word” also lives; it has living power. God’s Word is constantly or actively alive (Acts 7:38; 1 Pe 1:23).

God’s Word powerfully examines every heart. It can discern what is true about us. He can effect His purpose through His Word (Isa 55:11). The Bible is not dry as dust, as some believe.

Christians cannot trust what they do not know; they cannot act on what they do not trust.