When you were growing up, did you read comic books like I did? Do you remember the ad in the back for glasses that would give you X-Ray vision? The ad explained that for only $1, you could see through your skin, see an egg yolk, or see lead in a pencil. What young boy or girl didn’t want X-Ray vision like Superman?
Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us that God sees the condition of our hearts. In fact, nothing escapes his notice, and he uses Scripture to assess the health our heart.
In Hebrews 4:1-13, the author of the book encourages his readers not to make the same mistake Israel did at Kadesh-Barnea—disobeying God’s word and missing out on God’s rest. As he explains: (1) the aim of life is to enter God’s rest (4:11); (2) to enter his rest, we must believe God’s promises (4:3); (3) to trust him, we need to hear the good news that was preached to us (4:2); (4) we need to guard our hearts against unbelief (3:12); (5) we need the Word of God (4:12) and the God of the Word (4:13) to give us an honest assessment of the health of our hearts.
The Word of God: God uses Scripture to assess our health (4:12). The word of God is living and dynamic. It drives home warnings to the disobedient and promises to the believer. The word of God is living because it endures forever (Psalm 119:89).
The word of God is active. You cannot passively listen to it and then ignore what it says. It actively works in our lies to change us. It will accomplish the purpose for which it was spoken (Isaiah 55:11).
The word of God is penetrating. It can cut through the hard shell of our souls like a hot knife through butter. It can penetrate the furthermost recesses of a person’s spiritual being.
The word of God is discerning. It can sift out and analyze the thoughts and intents of the heart. What we think is secret and hidden will be brought to light.
If you want to truly know yourself, fill your life with God’s word. It will act like a mirror to reveal the state of your soul. When we read Scripture, Scripture reads us as well.
The God of the Word: Nothing escapes God’s notice (4:13). The God of the word will examine every Christian. Nothing and no one is hidden from his sight.
The God of the word will expose our hearts. The phrase, “all are naked and exposed” can refer to a wrestler’s headlock hold or pulling back the head of a sacrificial animal to expose their throat to the knife. All creatures are in the grip of God, totally vulnerable, helpless, and laid bare.
The God of the word will hold us accountable. As Christ followers, we will one day stand before the throne of Christ to give an account of how we lived our lives.
Knowing these things should motivate me to remain faithful even when those around me are giving up. It should encourage me to fill my life with God’s word.
How’s your heart today? What would God say about your attitudes, actions, beliefs, behaviors, desires, drives, motives, or methods? Allow God to examine your heart and life. Allow him to change you.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on April 28, 2019. It is part of a series of sermons on the book of Hebrews. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.