The Word of God was at the very heart of the witness of the New Testament church. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost drew largely from the Old Testament to prove that Christ was the Messiah. Stephen’s dying testimony reviewed Israel’s history in the Old Testament. Peter referred to the “word which God sent to the children of Israel” (Acts 10:36, NKJV) and then shared the Resurrection story with Cornelius.
The apostle Paul referred again and again to the great Old Testament predictions regarding the coming of the Messiah, and Philip carefully explained to a seeking Ethiopian the significance of the Messianic prediction in Isaiah 53. In each instance, the disciples proclaimed God’s Word, not their own. The Spirit-inspired Word was the basis of their authority.
Read Acts 4:4, Acts 4:31; Acts 8:4; Acts 13:48-49; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:24-25. What do these passages teach us about the relationship between the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the witness of the New Testament church?
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God, works through the Word to change lives. There is life-giving power in the Word of God because, through the Spirit, it is Christ’s living Word.
Read 2 Peter 1:21 and Hebrews 4:12. Why is the Word of God so powerful in changing lives?
“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God”. — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 126.
The reason the Bible has such power to transform lives is because the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible in the first place inspires and changes us as we read it. As we share God’s Word with others, the Holy Spirit works to change their lives through the Word He inspired. God has promised to bless His Word, not our words. The power is in the Word of God, and not human speculation.