The bible is a lesser Word — in truth the baby was larger and more powerful at birth. The Bible can’t really be understood without the help of the Holy Spirit.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. [John 1:14 RSV]
This resounding, magnificent verse is the core of our faith. Here we have another important truth about this word logos. It goes contrary to some of the most common evangelical preaching about the Word.
Most of the preaching today identifies the Word with the Bible. There is truth here, but it confuses many people. The scriptures are the written Word. There is no denying that. The written Word has great power because it is backed up by the indwelling Word—the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the book is powerless.
The bible is a lesser Word — the baby was more powerful
We deal with three versions of the Word
They are all from the same source, but they do not all have the same power or authority. These three Words are:
- The written word: the scriptures
- The indwelling word: the Holy Spirit
- The incarnate word: Jesus, our Messiah
The written word and the indwelling word both point toward and lead us to the incarnate Word, the Word made flesh, the Word who is both human and divine—Jesus. Though the indwelling Word has all the power and wisdom of the Messiah, he is subservient to the Lord of lords and the King of kings.
The written Word is a framework, a history, a written structure enlivened (made living and active) by the Holy Spirit to lead us to Jesus and teach us what we need to know to walking the Spirit. There is no way that this book can contain all that is God. It is a source of amazing power in our lives. The scriptures must be read and studied. They will bring us life. But this life comes from and happens through the power of the Holy Spirit. A heathen reading the Bible normally gets confused or misinterprets the Bible. It’s not a magic book.
Calling the scriptures the Word of God may be true, but it really confuses the truth of the matter.