Overview of God’s Word: A Brief Biblical Theology of The Word
In Genesis 1-2, God powerfully speaks all things into existence—by the sheer power of His voice He creates everything “out of nothing”. The act of creation demonstrates the authority and beauty of His creative word. In Genesis 3, we see the first pronouncement of the gospel. He speaks of sin’s consequences and promises redemption—the seed of the woman will one day crush the serpent. While mankind has brought sin upon itself, God has chosen to intervene on behalf of His people, as a result of His grace and love. In Genesis 9, we see what God will do throughout a number of generations—He makes a covenant with Noah and his offspring and provides deliverance according to their faith. In Genesis 12 & 17, God calls Abraham by the word of His promise—Abraham turns from his sin and trusts in God. As a result, God not only provides a son of promise but also a vicarious sacrifice. In Genesis 35, God blesses Jacob and forms the nation of Israel from his descendants.
In the early pages of Exodus, God calls forth a redeemer and delivers His people from Egypt by the power of His word. He demonstrates His absolute authority by sending judgment against Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt, and in so doing He secured the salvation of His people. In Exodus 19, He calls them a treasured possession, a holy nation, and a kingdom of priests—and in Exodus 20 He gives them the word of His law to guide them in faithful worship. In Deuteronomy 6, He reveals to them that He alone is their God and that they ought to love Him with a holistic love—all one’s heart, soul, and strength. In Judges, God speaks judgment against His people for forsaking His word. In 1-2 Samuel, God calls forth Samuel to represent Him among the people, and makes a covenant with David that includes the promise of an everlasting dynasty that will culminate in a King greater than David. In 2Kings, God reforms His people through Josiah’s recovery of His word; and in Ezra and Nehemiah God restores His exiled people by the convicting power of His word. And, God reveals the grace-giving effects of His word in Psalms 1, 19, and 119.
Throughout the various Prophets, God calls His people to repentance and promises a coming restoration. In Isaiah 55, we see that God works sovereignly through the agency of His word. In Ezekiel 36, He gives hope that He will transform hearts and implant His Spirit as He empowers the obedience of His people. In Ezekiel 37, His word breathes new life in order to resurrect the dead. In preaching God’s word to dry bones, Ezekiel demonstrates God’s power to bring new life. It’s riveting to read!! In Jonah God uses His word to break the hearts of the Israel’s greatest enemy and makes enemies into sons and daughters. In Hosea, God’s son is instructed to marry a harlot and through redeeming love, he reveals the relentless, enduring love of Christ for His Bride.
In John 1, we see that God sends His Son as the Word incarnate—Jesus makes the character and activity of God visible and tangible in human flesh. Throughout the Gospels, He heals the sick, forgives the sinner, and raises the dead. In Acts, God’s word builds the church and advances His kingdom; and in Romans, we see that He uses His word to produce faith in His hearers. Throughout the various Epistles, we find that God uses His word to sanctify us and conform us to Christ as we see and worship Him. In 1Corinthians we see that God, by His word, will finally put an end to sin and death. In Hebrews, He proclaims Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice and the place of eternal rest for His people. In 1 Peter, He reveals Jesus as the giver and keeper of our eternal inheritance, and in Jude He declares the church as the pillar and foundation of truth—the earthly guardian of His word. And in Revelation, He demonstrates that He will fully reveal Himself in all of His glory and that He will finally set all things right, both now and forever, in the establishment of the New Heavens and New Earth.
And yet, the most incredible facet of God’s word is that it reveals His character and activity. And since God is unchanging, His eternal Word is the display of His glory—both in Scripture and in His Son. Scripture expresses His heart and intention for humanity—in both hatred for sin and forgiveness in Christ. It is living and active, and in every place—reveals our need of Christ and points us to the person of Christ. So, while God’s word is both powerful and creative, the most beautiful, heart-gripping aspect of God’s word is that is makes known to us the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. All that God intends to express about Himself has been revealed through His everlasting word, inspired and written down for us—and His eternal Word, His Son, sent from heaven and sacrificed for us. Thus, it is in God’s eternal Word, His very own Son, that we see His character and glory made visible in human flesh. All that is true of God’s written word as an expression of His character and activity is most fully and clearly communicated through the unveiling of His Son, Jesus Christ.