What Does The Phrase, ?The Word Of God? Mean?

The phrase, “the Word of God” or “the Word of the Lord” has a number of different meanings in Scripture. It can mean either something that God has decreed, something that God has said when addressing humans, words that God spoke through the prophets, Jesus Christ, or finally God’s written Word.

1. It Is Something That God Has Decreed

When God decrees something that will, of necessity, come about, it is known as “the Word of God.” The psalmist wrote.

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth (Psalm 33:6).

These types of decrees were something that God desired to occur – they were not necessarily spoken to anyone.

2. It Speaks Of God Addressing Humans

When God verbally addressed certain humans it is also known as the Word of God. Scripture gives a number of examples of God addressing humans. At the giving of the Ten Commandments the Bible says.

And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).

3. It Refers To God Speaking Through By The Prophets

The phrase “Word of God” is also used of something that is said by God’s chosen spokesmen. God spoke to His people through the mouth of the prophets. When the prophets spoke their words were called the, “Word of God.”  The Lord said.

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.  If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.  But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death (Deuteronomy 18:18-20).

The Lord promised to put His words into the mouth of Jeremiah.

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you” (Jeremiah 1:7).

Jeremiah then said.

Then the Lord stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me,  “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9).

Scripture makes no distinction in the authority of the words that God directly spoke and those things that were spoken by the prophets. All of it was considered to be the Word of God.

We must note that while God did personally speak to humans or used humans as His personal spokesmen these occurrences were rare – they were not the norm. This was not the way in which He regularly communicated with humanity.

4. Jesus Christ Is The Word Of God

God the Son, Jesus Christ, is known as the Word of God. At the beginning of John’s gospel we read.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).

In the Book of Revelation John describes the risen Jesus.

[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God (Revelation 19:13).

This description, the Word of God, is only used for God the Son. He is the one member of the Trinity who personally communicated God to humanity.

5. It Also Refers To God’s Written Word

The “Word of God” can refer to God’s Word in written form – the Bible. After being proclaimed orally God’s Word was put into written form. God’s Word was first put into written form in the Ten Commandments. God Himself wrote these tablets.

When he had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, he gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18).

Jesus compared the written Word of God to the tradition of the people.

Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition (Matthew 15:6).

Jesus also said.

If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came – and the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)

The Terms Are Used Interchangeably

The New Testament appears to use the terms “Word of God,” Word of the Lord,” and “Word of Christ” interchangeably. All of them refer to God’s authoritative Word.

Summary

The phrase, “the Word of God” is used in a number of different ways. It refers to something that God has decreed, the actual spoken words of God, words that God has spoken through the prophets, Jesus Christ, and finally God’s written Word. Scripture makes no distinction in the authority of the words that God directly spoke and those things that were written or spoken by God’s spokesmen – the prophets. All of it was considered to be the Word of God.

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