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THE WORD OF GOD

A. INTRODUCTION
i. What are the different forms of the Word of God?
ii. What is meant by the phrase The Word of God?
As born again Christians, we need to understand what the Word of God is, that is, what
is meant by the phrase The Word of God. When a preacher, Bible teacher, an
Evangelist or a Pastor speaks about the Word of God they usually are referring to the
different forms/usages/appearances of the Word of God. The Bible (the written Word of
God), contains much that is literally the Word of and from the LORD/GOD and so it is
called the Word of the LORD.
In the New Testament the Word of the LORD or Word of GOD (Acts 4:29; 6:2;
1Thessalonians 1:8) is primarily good news from GOD (Acts 15:7), it is the Word
concerning Jesus Christ and Gods Kingdom in and through Him (Acts 16:31-32;
17:13); and it is also the Word of the cross (1Corinthians 1:18), of reconciliation
(2Corinthians 5:19), of eternal life (Philippians 2;16), and of salvation (Acts
13:26).

B. THE FORMS OF THE WORD OF GOD


1.The Word of God as a Person: Jesus Christ
In the Bible, (the written Word of God), the reader will be informed that the Word of God
came to the world in the form of a Person. That Person is none other than Jesus Christ
the Son of God and God. Jesus Christ is also referred to as The Living Word and The
Word of Life. As the Word (Logos) He is the preexistent Word (God the Son), who exists
eternally and so existed before He became the Incarnate Word. It is His apostles and
disciples who through personal witness relay the fact that Jesus Christ is the Word of
God, especially the apostle John. John 1:1-14; 1John 1:1-4; Revelation 19:11-13.
Jesus Christ did not speak like the Old Testament prophets. He said, I say unto you,
not, The Lord says to you (Matthew 5-7). Therefore, Jesus words are the words of
the heavenly Father because He and the God the Father are one and to receive and
accept them is to receive eternal life and salvation (John 5:24; 8:51; 12:48; 14:24).

2.The Word of God as speech by God

A. Gods Decrees
It is an official order given by a person with power or by government. It is also an
official decision made by a court of law. A decree is a word that causes something to
happen. In this case Gods decrees are his powerful creative words and thus cause
things/something to occur. Gods decrees also include the continuing existence of all
things. (Genesis 1:3, 24; Psalm 33:6-9; Hebrews 1:3).

B. Gods Word(s) of Personal Address


This is when God speaks directly to people on the earth. Examples are found throughout
the Bible (the written Word of God): (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:16-19; 18: 1-14,17-33;
Exodus 20; 33:1-11 especially verse 11; Matthew 3:17).

C. Gods Word(s) as speech through Human lips


(Prophecy/Prophets)
This is when God speaks indirectly to people on earth through selected people whom He
see fit to relay His Word(s). (Deuteronomy 18:18-20; 1kings 17:2, 8; 20:36;
Jeremiah 1:2, 4-13 especially verse 9; Isaiah 30; 12-14; Ezekiel 6:1-3; 13:1-7).

3.Gods Word in Written Form (The Bible)


This is the collection of books recognized and used by the Christian Church as the
inspired record of Gods revelation of Himself and of His will to mankind.
The word Bible is derived from the Greek word Biblia (plural of Biblion) meaning
book. The plural term Biblia stress the fact that the Bible is a collection of books. It is
referred to as a Book because behind these books there lies a wonderful unity-hence the
uniqueness of the book.
The first of these is found in the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:8;
32:16; 34:1, 28). Then Joshua 24:26; Isaiah 30:7; Jeremiah 30:2; 36:2-4, 27-31;
51:60. Finally the New Testament in that the Holy Spirit brought to remembrance the
Word(s) which Jesus had spoken so that the disciples/apostles could write them down
(John 14:26; 16:12-13; 1Corinthians 14:37; 2Peter3:2).

The Languages
Most of the OT was written originally in Hebrew, the language mainly spoken by the
Israelites in Canaan before Babylonian captivity. After exile, the Hebrew language gave
way to Aramaic, a related dialect and thus a few part of the OT were written in Aramaic
Ezra 4:8-7, 26; Jeremiah 10:11; Daniel 2:4-7:25. Most of the NT was composed in
Greek except for a few words and sentences. Later the Bible was translated into English
and now can be found in quite a large number of other languages.

The Canon of Scripture


This is the Bible that is accepted by Evangelical Christians and in general use today and
contains 66 books divided thus: 39 in the OT and 27 found in the NT. The word canon
is derived from the rule of law that was used to determine if a book measured up to a
standard. Canon means Measuring rule hence Standard. So it is used to
describe the books that are divinely inspired and therefore belong to the Bible.
Determining the canon was a process conducted first by the Jewish rabbis and then Bible
scholars and later by the early Christians. The various Church councils also had a say in
determining the canon of Scripture. Ultimately it was/is God who decided what books
belong to the biblical canon. A book of Scripture belonged to the canon the moment God
inspired its writing. It was simply a matter of Gods convincing His human followers
which books should be included in the Bible.
The Roman Catholic Church adds the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical which are other
books. The word aprocrypha means Hidden while the word deuterocanonical
means Second Canon. These are:
Tobit, Ecclessiasticus (PrologSirach), 1st and 2nd Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah,
Suzanna (Susanna), Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, 1st and 2nd Maccabees, additions
to the book of Esther, Azariah, Bel and the Dragon, and The Prayer of
Mannaseh. They regard these as canonical and thus have 46 books in the OT. These
are not used by the Evangelical Christians because:
1. They were written in the Silent Years, that is, the period between the OT and
NT in which Gods Word was deemed not to be heard- hence the term silent
years;
2. So many errors that make them contradict Gods Word/will
3. Jesus and the apostles never recognized them.

The Term New and Old Testaments


Testament: A word the King James Version uses to translate the Greek word
diathk which in classical usage meant a will. KJV translates it as covenant.
Usually the NT uses diathk in the meaning of its equivalent synthk, which
accurately renders the OT beith a binding agreement or covenant between one
human being and another or between a human being and God. Jesus, at the institution
of the Lords Supper, said, This cup is the new covenant [testament] in my blood
(Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25), referring to Exodus 24:8. Jesus death created a
new relation between God and believers.
The names Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) have been adopted since the
close of the 2nd Century AD to distinguish between the Jewish and the Christian
Scriptures.

What is the Relationship between Old Testament and


New Testament?
Though the Bible is a unified book, there are differences between the Old Testament and
the New Testament. In many ways, they are complementary. The Old Testament is
foundational; the New Testament builds on that foundation with further revelation from
God. The Old Testament establishes principles that are seen to be illustrative of New
Testament truths. The Old Testament contains many prophecies that are fulfilled in the
New. The Old Testament provides the history of a people; the New Testament focus is
on a Person. The Old Testament shows the wrath of God against sin (with glimpses of
His grace); the New Testament shows the grace of God toward sinners (with glimpses of
His wrath).

The Old Testament predicts a Messiah (see Isaiah 53), and the New Testament reveals
who the Messiah is (John 4:2526). The Old Testament records the giving of Gods
Law, and the New Testament shows how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled that Law (Matthew
5:17; Hebrews 10:9). In the Old Testament, Gods dealings are mainly with His chosen
people, the Jews; in the New Testament, Gods dealings are mainly with His church
(Matthew 16:18). Physical blessings promised under the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy
29:9) give way to spiritual blessings under the New Covenant (Ephesians 1:3).

The Old Testament prophecies related to the coming of Christ, although incredibly
detailed, contain a certain amount of ambiguity that is cleared up in the New Testament.
For example, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the death of the Messiah (Isaiah 53) and the
establishing of the Messiahs kingdom (Isaiah 26) with no clues concerning the
chronology of the two eventsno hints that the suffering and the kingdom-building
might be separated by millennia. In the New Testament, it becomes clear that the
Messiah would have two advents: in the first He suffered, died and rose again and in the
second He will establish His kingdom.

Because Gods revelation in Scripture is progressive, the New Testament brings into
sharper focus principles that were introduced in the Old Testament. The book of
Hebrews describes how Jesus is the true High Priest and how His one sacrifice replaces
all previous sacrifices, which were mere foreshadowings. The Passover lamb of the Old
Testament (Ezra 6:20) becomes the Lamb of God in the New Testament (John 1:29).
The Old Testament gives the Law. The New Testament clarifies that the Law was meant
to show men their need of salvation and was never intended to be the means of
salvation (Romans 3:19).

The Old Testament saw paradise lost for Adam; the New Testament shows how paradise
is regained through the second Adam (Christ). The Old Testament declares that man
was separated from God through sin (Genesis 3), and the New Testament declares that
man can be restored in his relationship to God (Romans 36). The Old Testament
predicted the Messiahs life. The Gospels record Jesus life, and the Epistles interpret His
life and how we are to respond to all He has done.

In summary, the Old Testament lays the foundation for the coming of the Messiah who
would sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). The New Testament
records the ministry of Jesus Christ and then looks back on what He did and how we are
to respond. Both testaments reveal the same holy, merciful, and righteous God who
condemns sin but desires to save sinners through an atoning sacrifice. In both
testaments, God reveals Himself to us and shows us how we are to come to Him through
faith (Genesis 15:6; Ephesians 2:8).
ARRANGEMENT OF THE CURRENT BIBLE: OLD & NEW
TESTAMENTS
Old Testament
1. THE PENTATEUCH (The Law/ Teaching): Comprises of the following
books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
2. THE HISTORICAL BOOKS: These begin with Joshua, then Judges, followed
by Ruth, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles, Ezra,
Nehemiah and ending with Esther.
3. THE POETICAL BOOKS: These are Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
and the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs)
4. THE PROPHETS: 1st Major Prophet: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel,
and Daniel. 2nd Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,
Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
The Major Prophets are called as major because their books are longer/larger and
the content has broad even global implications. The Minor Prophets are described as
minor because their books are shorter (although Hosea and Zechariah are almost as
long as Daniel) and the content is more narrowly focused. However, this does not
mean that the Minor Prophets are any less inspired than the Major Prophets. Its
simply a matter of God choosing to reveal more to the Major Prophets than He did to
the Minor Prophets.

New Testament
1. THE GOSPELS: These are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
2. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
3. THE LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES:
i. Letters of the apostle Paul
ii. General letters
4. REVELATION

CONCLUSION
The two Testaments form two volumes of one work. The first (OT) is incomplete without
the second (NT). The second (NT) cannot be fully understood without the first (OT).
Together they are Gods revelation to His people of the provision He has made for their
salvation.
INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE
Christian Scripture (OT and NT) is inspired by God 2Timothy 3:16; 2Peter 1:20-21.
This simply means that God is the author of the Bible. He enabled men through His
divine power and will to write down the revelation. God moved through the personalities
and abilities of the Biblical writers in such a way that what they wrote was without error
and was correct in everything that it addressed. This make the Bible inerrant and
infallible.
The reason why the Bible (Christian Scripture) was/is inspired by God is given to us in
2Timothy 3:16(b)-17:

i. TEACHING/DOCTRINE
ii. REBUKING/REPROOF
iii. CORRECTING
iv. TRAINNING/INSTRUCTING

WHY?
So that the man of God may

i. Become RIGHTEOUS/PERFECT
ii. THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED for EVERY GOOD WORK.

Affirmation in the OT
God put words in the prophets mouths Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 5:16;
Jeremiah 1:9;
The Spirit of God spoke through king David 2Samuel 23:2;
This is what the LORD says Isaiah 43:1; Jeremiah 6:16;
The Word of the LORD came to. 1Kings 17:2; Ezekiel 1:3.

Affirmation in the NT
David spoke by the Holy Spirit Matthew 12:36; Acts 4:25;
God spoke in the OT Hebrews 4:3,7; 8:8;
The Spirit of God speaks in the OT Acts 28:25; Hebrews 3:7;
In the OT, It is written Matthew 4:4,6,10; 1Corinthians 1:19,31;
We are informed that God breathed the Scriptures 2Timothy 3:16;
The Holy Spirit carried along the men who wrote down the Scriptures 2Peter
1:20-21.
CHARATERISTICS OF THE INSPIRED WORD OF
GOD
1. Gods Word is TRUSTWORTHY/RELIABLE 2Samuel 7:28; Psalm 111:7-8;
2. Gods Word is TRUE-THE TRUTH 1Kings 17:24; Psalm 119:151,160;John
14:6; 17:17 Ephesians 1:13; James 1:18;
3. Gods Word is FLAWLESS Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5;
4. Gods Word is ETERNAL/ENDURES/PERMANENT thus cannot be broken(Its
unbreakable) It will be fulfilled, it will abide forever, it is everlasting and forever,
heaven and earth will pass away but Gods Word will not pass away Psalm
119:89, 160; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35;
5. Gods Word is EFFECTIVE IN ITS PURPOSE Job 23:29; Isaiah 55:10-11;
Hebrews 4:12;
6. Gods Word is A SURE GUIDE FOR LIFE Psalm 119:9, 11, 99, 104, 105, 130;
Proverbs 6:23; 2Timothy 3:16-17.
7. Gods Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12.

THE POWER THAT THE WORD OF GOD POSSESS


1. The POWER TO CREATE Psalm 33:6-9; Hebrews 11:3; 2Peter 3:5;
2. The POWER TO SUSTAIN ALL CREATION Psalm 147:15-18; Hebrews 1:3;
3. The POWER TO HEAL Psalm 103:3; 107:20; Matthew 8:8;
4. The POWER TO JUDGE HEARTS Hebrews 4:12 (Psalm 139: 23-24;Jeremiah
17:9-10);
5. The POWER TO GIVE NEW LIFE James 1:18; 1Peter 1:23;
6. The POWER TO SAVE Romans 10: 9-10; 2Timothy 3:15;
7. The POWER TO LEAD PEOPLE TO FAITH Romans 10:14-17;
8. The POWER TO MAKE US HOLY/CLEAN Psalm 119:9; John 15:3; 17:17;
Ephesians 5:26;
9. The POWER TO GIVE US FREEDOM John 8:31-32;
10. The POWER TO FIGHT AGAINST SATAN Psalm 119:98; Matthew 4:4-10;
Ephesians 6:11,17; Revelation 12:11; 19:13-15;
11. The POWER TO DESTROY THE WORLD 2Peter 3:7.

OUR RESPONSE TO THE WORD OF GOD


1) We must HEAR GODS WORD Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 7:1-2; John 8:42-47;
Luke 8; Romans 10:14-17;
2) We must READ and STUDY GODS WORD Ezra 7:10; Revelation 1:3; Acts
17:11;
3) We must MEDITATE UPON THE WORD OF GOD Joshua 1:8-9; Psalm 1:2-3;
63:6; 119:148;
4) We must UNDERSTAND GODS WORD Matthew 13:23; Luke 8:13; 24:13-48
esp. verses 27, 31, 45; James 2:17; 26;
5) We must ACCEPT/ABIDE GODS WORD John 8:31; Mark 4: 20; Acts 2:41;
1Thessalonians 2:13;
6) We must HIDE GODS WORD IN OUR HEARTS/MEMORIZE GODS WORD
Psalm 119:9-11, 52; John 8:31-41;
7) We must RETAIN GODS WORD Luke 8:15;
8) We must ALLOW GODS WORD TO DWELL(LIVE) IN US Colossians 3:16;
9) We must TRUST (IN) GODS WORD Psalm 119:42;
10) We must HOPE IN GODS WORD Psalm 119:74, 81, 114; 130:5;
11) We must PRAISE THE WORD OF GOD Psalm 56:4, 10;
12) We must LIVE ACCORDING TO GODS WORD Psalm 119:9;
13) We must OBEY THE WORD OF GOD Psalm 119:9, 17, 67; Matthew 7:24-28;
James 1:22-24;
14) We must HANDLE THE WORD OF GOD CORRECTLY 2Timothy 2:15;
15) We must PREACH THE WORD OF GOD Acts 8:4, 12, and 35.

PICTURES/SYMBOLS USED FOR GODS WORD


I. Lamp and Light Psalm 119:105;
II. Rain Producing Fruit Isaiah 55:10-11;
III. Consuming Fire Jeremiah 5:14; 23:29;
IV. Destroying Hammer Jeremiah 23:29;
V. Seed (Imperishable) Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11; 1Peter 1:23;
VI. Sword Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12.

GODS WILL & HIS WORD ARE ONE (UNITED)


Any person who desires to call Jesus his brother, sister, mother or friend needs to be
willing to put into practice (obey) Gods Word:
Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 6:19-21; James 1:22-24; Matthew 7:24-
29.
THE WORD OF GOD- STUDY QUESTIONS
1) What is meant by the phrase The Word of God?
2) What are the different forms of The Word of God? (Support your answer with
Biblical references)
3) a) What is the meaning of the word Testament?
b) Explain the relationship between the New and Old Testaments.
c) Give one reason why as a true Christian you need to read and study both the
Old Testament and the New Testament.
4) a) According to 2Timothy 3:16 and 2Peter 1:20-21, how were the Scriptures
originally given?
b) What does the term Inspiration of Scripture mean? (Support your answer
with Biblical references)
5) a) List four things for which the Scriptures are profitable to a Christian (2Timothy
3:16)
b) What is the final result in a Christian who studies and obeys Gods Word?
(2Timothy 3:17)
6) a) List seven characteristics that the Word of God possess. (Support your
answer with Biblical references)
b) Using Biblical references show the power that Gods Word has.
7) In the Bible what are the pictures/symbols used for the Word of God? (Support
your answer with Biblical references)
8) List the various ways a true Christian needs to respond to Gods Word. (Support
your answer with Biblical references)
9) a) What name did Jesus Christ give to the Scriptures? (John 10:35)
b) What did Jesus say about Scripture that shows its authority? (John 10:35;
Matthew 24:34)
10) a) List two things that King David informs the Bible reader about Gods Word
found in these verses Psalm 119: 89, 160.
b) What two descriptions does Psalm 119:105 use to demonstrate how Gods
Word helps Christians walk in this world?
c) How can we as true Christians lead a clean life? (Psalm 119:9)
d) Why should we as born again Christians hide (store) Gods Word in our hearts?
(Psalm 119:11)
e) What two things does Psalm 119:130 inform Christians that the Word of God
gives to our minds?
11) What kind of seed must a person receive into his/her heart in order to be born
again and have eternal life? (1Peter 1: 23)
12) What spiritual food has God provided for His Children? (Deuteronomy
8:3;Matthew 4:4; 1Peter 2:2)
13) How did Jesus Christ respond to the devil each time He was tempted? (Matthew
4: 4, 7, 10)
14) How important were Gods Words to Job? (Job 23:12)
15) When Jeremiah fed on Gods Word, what did it become to him? (Jeremiah
15:16)
16) What two results does the Word of God produce in us as Christians when it lives in
us? (1John 2:14)
17) What is the Sword God has given to Christians as part of their spiritual armor?
(Ephesians 6:17)
18) What does the Word of God provide for the body of a Christian who studies it
carefully? (Proverbs 4:20-22)
19) When people were sick and in need, what did God send to heal and deliver them?
(Psalm 107:20)
20) Read Matthew 7:24-27 and James 1:22-25
a) Explain what these two Scriptural passages are saying
b) Are you a wise person or a foolish person? Explain your answer.
c) Do you merely listen to Gods Word or do you obey it at all times?