1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Note 1 at 1Th 2:13: The cause that occasioned Paul's rejoicing here was the holy living to which he had exhorted the Thessalonians in the previous verses. The reason Paul could rejoice was because the Thessalonians had received his message as it was "in truth, the word of God." It's the reception of God's Word that causes holiness to come as a fruit. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Joh 8:32). God's Word is truth (Joh 17:17).
Note 2 at 1Th 2:13: It is the reception of God's Word into our lives that provides the basis for true Christianity. The phrase "the Word of God" is used forty-six times in Scripture. It not only refers to written and spoken words from God but also to Jesus Christ Himself, the incarnate Word (Joh 1:14). The Word is also a superhuman power that effectively works in those who believe (Heb 4:12).
The primary way God speaks to us and releases His power in the world today is through His Word, which has been organized into the Bible. It is through God's Word that we come to know Him (1Sa 3:21 and Joh 8:31-32). God's Word is settled forever (Ps 119:89); therefore, it's always relevant. It never changes. God's Word is the standard by which all will be judged (Joh 12:48).
God's Word always accomplishes its purpose (Isa 55:11). We are cleansed through God's Word (Joh 15:3), and everything that pertains to life and godliness comes to us through His Word (2Pe 1:3). We become partakers of God's divine nature through His Word and escape the corruption of this world (2Pe 1:4).
There is no success in the Christian life without being deeply rooted in God's Word (Mr 4:14-20).
Note 3 at 1Th 2:13: There is a difference between the word of man and the Word of God. God's Word is infinitely superior in every way. Any attempt to elevate man's words to the same level as God's always results in devaluing God's Word. Jesus told the people of His day that they were "making the word of God of none effect through [their] tradition" (Mr 7:13, brackets mine). The traditions and teachings of man are not worthy to be compared to the Word of God.
Note 4 at 1Th 2:13: Paul preached the same Gospel everywhere he went, but it didn't always produce the same results. It wasn't because the message was different; it was the way people received it that made the difference. These Thessalonians received Paul's message as the Word of God. Therefore, it produced life in them.
Even though ministers are responsible for how they minister, we also are responsible for how we hear. Jesus was the perfect minister, yet most of the people of His day rejected Him and His message. They didn't have ears to hear or hearts to receive. It's imperative that we keep pure and sensitive hearts to God so that when we hear the truth, we will receive it as it is in truth--the Word of God.
God's Word only releases its life-giving power when we mix it with faith in our hearts (Heb 4:2).
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