TCH MINI-STUDY: 54
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, AND KEEP IT
To some unbelievers who questioned His authority,
Jesus responded, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it (Luke 11:28). What is this “word” that Jesus
mentions? Is this word the bible, as many think?
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS
WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD
word word is translated from the Greek word logos, which refers either to Christ Himself, or the gospel of Christ. For example, logos refers
to Christ in these verses: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word [Greek, logos, i.e., something said, the divine expression,
that is, Christ] was with God, and the Word was God. The same [Christ, the Word] was in the beginning with God. All things were made
by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light [revelation
of Christ] shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same
came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear
witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the
world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he
of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me (John 1:1-15). Within these verses, is is very
clear that the Word, the logos, was none other than Jesus Christ, and not the bible.
In another example in which logos refers
to Christ, the author of the book of Hebrews wrote, There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered
into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest
any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word [Greek, logos, i.e., something said, the divine expression, that is,
Christ] of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not
manifest in his [Christ] sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him [Christ] with whom we have to do (Hebrews
4:9-13). Within these verses, it is very clear that the Word, the logos, was none other than Jesus Christ, and not the bible.
WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL
The English word word [logos] can also refer to the gospel, or good news of the God's salvation and
Kingdom. For example, the apostle Paul wrote the Ephesian church, That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted
in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word [logos] of truth, the gospel [Greek, euaggelion, a good message,
announce good news, good tidings] of your salvation [Greek, soteria, rescue, physical or moral safety, deliverance, health, saving]:
in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:12-13). Paul also wrote the church
in Colossae, We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in
Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before
in the word [logos] of the truth of the gospel [Greek, euaggelion, a good message, announce good news, good tidings]; Which is come
unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the
grace of God in truth (Colossians 1:3-6).
In these verses, the word [logos] clearly refers to the gospel or good news of salvation
and the Kingdom of Heaven. In another example in which the word [logos] refers to the gospel, or good news of Christ and the Kingdom
of God, Christ explained the parable of the sower to His disciples. He said, Now the parable is this: The seed [scattering of seed,
object to be sown] is the word [Greek, logos, Christ and the gospel message of the Kingdom] of God. Those by the way side are they
that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the
rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of
temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares
and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest
and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:11-15). The seed clearly refers to the
gospel message of the Kingdom, and not the bible. When Christ sows the gospel into the good ground, or the honest and good heart,
that heart hears the gospel message, keeps and cherishes it, and, with patience, brings forth fruit. In context of these verses, the
seed is referring to the gospel message, not the bible.
When Luke, the physician, wrote blessed are they that hear the word of
God, and keep it (Luke 11:28), what did he mean? The word blessed is translated from the Greek word makarios, which means fortunate,
well off, supremely blessed, or happy. The word hear is translated from the Greek word akouo, which means to hear in various senses,
give audience of, hearken, be reported, and understand.
The word word, as we mentioned, refers, in this context, to the gospel
of Christ, while the word keep is translated from the Greek word phulasso, which means to be on guard, to preserve, obey, observe,
or save. When Luke wrote verse 28, he meant fortunate, well off, and happy are those who hear and understand the word [logos], that
is, the gospel or good news of salavation and the Kingdom, and observe it, save it, and preserve it in their hearts and minds. In
similar wording, the apostle Paul wrote Timothy, Meditate upon these things [concerning the gospel]; give thyself wholly to them;
that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine [of Christ and the gospel]; continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1 Timothy 4:15-16).
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION
When we examine the scriptures, it becomes obvious that the word [logos] can refer to Jesus Christ or the gospel. However,
this word can and must be distinguished from the English word, scripture also found in the new testament. Referring to His own betrayal
by one of this own disciples, Christ spoke these words to his disciples: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but thatthe scripture [Greek, graphe, a document, holy Writ, to describe, written] may be fulfilled [completed, brought to pass, happen],
He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me (John 13:18).
Addressing the church in Rome, the apostle Paul
wrote, For the scripture [Greek, graphe, a document, holy Writ, to describe, written] saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not
be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:11-13).
Paul wrote to his dearly beloved spiritual
son, Timothy, from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures [Greek, gramma, a writing, a letter or note, scripture, what is written],
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [Greek, graphe, a document,
holy Writ, to describe, written] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Again,
Paul referred to the graphe as scripture, not the word, as many consider the bible.
Speaking to some Jews who completely rejected
Christ and the life available in Christ, and sought to kill Him as well, Christ angrily said, And the Father himself, which hath sent
me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word [Greek, logos,
gospel of the Kingdom] abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures [Greek, graphe, a document,
holy Writ, to describe, written]; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not
come to me, that ye might have life (John 5:37-40). In these verses, Christ not only refers to the Holy Scriptures, but explains that
life is not available [as many believe] within the scriptures, but only by coming to faith in Christ. In fact, what the scriptures
do, according to Christ Himself, is testify of Him, who is the source of life.
Within the church, the error continues to be taught
by teachers and preachers that the bible is the word, rather than the graphe, or Holy Scriptures. When the bible refers to itself,
it refers to itself as the scriptures [graphe]. According to scriptures, the graphe [that which is written] is the bible, while theword refers to Christ [logos] or the gospel [logos]. The Greek word, rhema, is also periodically translated into the English wordword, and refers to the supernatural operation, movement, and working of the Holy Spirit, but a discussion of this concept is beyond
the scope of this article.
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD
UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH
Lord said, blessed are they who hear the word of truth, the gospel, and keep it. Why are those who hear, cherish, and keep the gospel
blessed? In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul answered this question for us. Paul wrote, For I am not ashamed of the gospel [Greek,
euaggelion, to announce or declare good news, to declare good tidings] of Christ [and the salvation available through faith in Him]:
for it is the power [Greek, dunamis, explosive, supernatural ability and strength] of God unto salvation [rescue, safety, deliverance] to
every one that believeth [commits to trust]; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein [the gospel of Christ] is the righteousness
of God revealed from faith [of the Jew] to faith [of the Greek]: as it is written, The just [Jew and Greek (Gentile)] shall live by
faith (Romans 1:16-17). Because the gospel is the supernatural ability and strength of God and Christ leading unto salvation, those
who hear and keep the gospel are blessed because they, Jew and Gentile alike, shall receive salvation and eternal life through the
gospel message or good news of salvation through Christ and faith in Him.
Elsewhere, Christ's disciples asked Him what they would
get by following Him. They exclaimed, we have left all, and have followed thee (Mark 10:28). In essence, Christ's disciples were asking
the Lord, what shall we get for giving up our lives and for responding to your instructions to follow you? Jesus answered His disciples,Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children,
or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters,
and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30). According to Jesus
Christ, the fruit of hearing the gospel, responding to it, and keeping the gospel in our hearts and minds is receiving an hundredfold
in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. AMEN.