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Words of Power

July 15th 2012 by Joel Schultz

Today we hear our 5th favorite Old Testament Bible Story - Creation. When I ponder the universe in which we live, I am awestruck at the power of God Word that brought everything into existence. God's Word has power and does what it says. Read or listen to find out more....

Bible Stories Sermon Series – Creation – “Words of Power” – Genesis 1:1-2:3 - July 22, 2012

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” I have always thought that “playground” retort is incorrect. Name calling does hurt. I have seen children cry, become withdrawn, lose friends, and even develop eating disorders because of name calling. That is because words have power.

Several years ago, two marital researchers studied couples over the course of a couple of decades trying to analyze differences between couples who had happy, healthy marriages and those who divorced. What they discovered is unsettling. None of the factors one would guess might predict a couple’s durability actually does: not how in love a newlywed couple say they are – how much affection they exchange – how much they fight – or what they fight about. In fact, couples who will endure and those who won’t look remarkably similar in the early days.

What they found was that among couples who would ultimately stay together, 5 out of every 100 comments made about each other were putdowns. Among couples who would later split, 10 of every 100 comments were insults. That gap magnified over the following decade, until couples heading downhill were flinging five times as many cruel and invalidating comments at each other as happy couples. “Hostile putdowns act as cancerous cells that, if unchecked, erode the relationship over time,” says one of the researchers.

Words have power. They can destroy and build up. They can hurt and comfort. They can damage and heal. Words have power.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (v.1). How does God accomplish such a great endeavor? Let me tell you, He didn’t need any pre-existing stuff. He didn’t need just the right conditions for an accident to take place. He simply spoke: “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (v.3). God spoke and it happened – that’s power – that’s the power of God’s Words!

And here you have to notice a huge difference between our words and God’s words. The power of my words is VERY limited. Yes, I can make you feel bad, but my words cannot, no matter how much I try, change reality. I can tell Jonah that he is no longer my son. I can kick him out of the house. I can choose to never see him again. I can cut him out of my will. But no matter what I do I cannot change the fact that he has my genes and that makes him my son. I can call you a name and it might hurt, but I can’t make you what I called you.

God’s words truly have power. God’s Word does not only produce an image or a thought or a wish. His Word is action. “Let there be” and there was! God speaks and it happens. God’s Word accomplishes what it puts forth.

Just by speaking His Word, God calls all His creation into being – light, water, atmosphere, land vegetation, birds, fish, land animals, and people. And He did it all for His glory and He did it all for you!

The power of God’s Word in creation is crucial for us to understand and believe. This creation account and the power of God’s Word is the foundation of the entire Bible and the entire message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Think about it. If the Bible is unclear or deceptive on this point, how can we be sure that any of God’s Word is true or that God’s Word does what He says ever?

But God has never told you a lie. He simply loves you too much. And He is too good. Jesus says to the Father, “Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17:17). Because God’s Word is truth, then what He says about His good creation and how it came to be is true. So also what He has recorded about mankind’s fall into sin and the subsequent frustration of His creation is true. And finally what He says about His plan of rescue that required the perfect obedience and sacrificial death of His only begotten Son – the very Word of God made flesh – is true. And this is a great blessing to us.

For, Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. They were absolutely perfect in every way. They were genetically without flaw or defect. They were sinless and shared an intimate bond with their God – they literally walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden.

But all that changed the moment they stopped trusting in the Word of God. God had said eat from any tree in the garden (including I might add the tree of life), but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for on that day you will die. And we know the story. They didn’t trust God’s Word – they wanted to be like God – and they ate.

And in the moment of their sin, everything changed. The image of God was lost. The perfect creation of God was now in bondage to decay. Death came to A & E and through A & E to all of us. And that death – eternal death – separates us from the Creator.

But to His creation which groans with sin as Paul writes, God spoke other words – words of action. He would send a Savior to crush Satan and sin and death. He would make all things new. And when the time had fully come the Word who was with God and is God from the beginning was made flesh and dwelt in this sin-filled world with His people.

And again during His earthly ministry this Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, spoke powerful words – words that accomplished what He said – words of action. To the man with leprosy He said, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Lk 17:19). To the paralytic He said, “your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2).

But like today, many didn’t believe His Words were true. He was arrested, mocked, beaten, scourged, condemned and crucified. But the powerful Word of God went willingly to the cross to suffer and die the eternal death we deserve because of our sin and sinfulness. And from that cross the Word of God was active still – speaking truth into being.

“Father forgive them...” In that moment, Jesus pleaded with the Father that His death on the cross would bring the desired forgiveness to you. And finally, “It is finished.” All that was required of the Savior to bring us that forgiveness was now complete. We were redeemed, bought back from sin and death. We would not die eternally. Creation would be restored on the Last Day.

Jesus’ Words have power – they do what He says. John 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 8:51: “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

These powerful Words of Jesus are still heard today and they still do what they say. As we heard Jesus say, “I baptize you into the name of the F, S, and HS - MY NAME,” you became part of His family, snatched from the darkness of sin and death. As we hear Jesus say through the mouth of the pastor, “Your sins are forgiven,” your sins ARE forgiven. As we hear Jesus say, “this is My body and this is My blood for the forgiveness of your sins,” your sins are forgiven, your faith is strengthen.

God’s Word does what it says. His Words are action. They call things into being. They call you out of this dark world into His family, into His marvelous light. They forgive you and renew you and give eternal life to you. Thank God for His Word of truth – for His Word made flesh – and for accomplishing great things for us by the power of His Word!

Comments

1 7:58 p.m. on September 17, 2014

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