Now that we are through the July 4th weekend, we will return, Lord-willing, this coming Lord’s Day to working through the book of Hebrews, specifically dealing with Hebrews 4:12-13, possibly one of the most familiar verses in the book of Hebrews.
It wasn’t until I was studying this fresh again for this sermon, that I think I finally realized the importance of these two verses in context. Sure, we’ve used these verses (especially in Bible church contexts) to justify (rightly!) the centrality of God’s Word. However, the writer of Hebrews isn’t writing to give a mere apologetic for the importance of the Scriptures. He’s writing to help us persevere in the Gospel.
Remember 4:12-13 comes at the conclusion of the entirety of chapters 3 and 4. What we saw in those chapters was the need to not be like the children of Israel, disbelieving God’s good promises and failing to enter His rest, failing to have a faith that persevered when tested. Thus, the writer of Hebrews urged us to hold onto the confidence we had at the first. He urged us to not let go of the Gospel and to hold onto Jesus as the core foundation of our faith.
In this sense, then, He reminds us “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. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God is able to discern whether or not we are listening to the clear message He has spoken firmly and finally in His Son. This is the call of Hebrews 4. It has far-reaching ramifications and applications. Today, then, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart, but believe. His Word will expose your heart, therefore, cling to Jesus as your hope.