I believe Hebrews 4:12 is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says, “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.” The traditional understanding of this verse argues the “the word of God” is referring to the entire Bible. If we’re going to experience God’s rest as mentioned in the first 11 verses of Chapter 4, we’re going to have to spend more time in the Bible. Now, I love my Bible. It’s God’s “word” to all mankind. Don’t mistake my words here! But if we’re going to remain true to the context of this passage, we must at least consider the author referring to God’s Message to us. He’s not talking about the details of Genesis through Revelation. He’s talking about the Good News in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the “logos:” the Word of God in the flesh. The whole Bible is about God’s love for mankind! It’s true from Genesis 1 to the end of Malachi. But in Jesus, “The Word became Flesh.” Romans 5:8 is a key verse to understanding Jesus’ role in fulfilling the whole Old Testament. It says, “But God demonstrated His love for us in this; while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God’s working with man was always a divine work of love but it seems to have been rejected in so many ways. But in Jesus, that Love cannot be denied; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Law is not “living and active” but God’s love in Jesus is! The Law does not touch our being at the deepest parts, but God’s love in Jesus does. God’s law does not speak to us at the deepest level and move our hearts to love God and others in return. But God’s love in Jesus does. When we read New Testament passages that talk about “the word of God” be careful not to relegate that to a simple understanding of the Bible in and of itself. It’s referring to the “message” (Logos) of the Bible, which is God’s love for all mankind exhibited for everyone once and for all on the cross of Calvary. This is what the whole Bible is about! If you maintain your focus on Jesus while reading your Bible you will learn marvelous truths that will change the way you see everything in the world. It will especially change the way you see God and the way you read the Bible.