The Power of the Word

October 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 gives us an exposition of the power of God’s Word.  There are at least three dynamics to this powerful Gospel.  First, it comes to us from other people (1:4-5).  We receive God’s Word in community with other believers.  The power of the Word is in fact the power of community.  We may think there is a neutral, objective meaning of the Word, but our understanding of God’s Word is always shaped by particular interpretive communities.  Second, it comes to us “with the Holy Spirit” (1:5).  When we read the Bible, we don’t just read any book.  We read God’s Word to us.  It has the power to form and transform, because it comes through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit uses the Gospel to reveal God to us.  Third, the Word does not belong to us (1:7-8).  It is meant to pass on to others.  It is God’s Word intended for the world.  Unfortunately, many believers treat the Word as private possession for their individual well-being.  But a domesticated Word that only stays within the community that interprets it is a powerless Word not reaching its destination.  Say a prayer of thanks today for the gift of God’s Word, and ask yourself what you do to pass it on.

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