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NIRV: New International Reader’s Version

NKJV: New King James Version

NLT: New Living Translation

TNIV: Today’s New International Version

YLT: Young’s Literal Translation

ASV: American Standard Version

DARBY: Darby Bible

ESV: English Standard Version

GW: God’s Word Translation

HCSB: Holman Christian Standard Bible

KJV: King James Version

LEB: Lexham English Bible
      (New Testament only)

NASB: New American Standard Bible

NIV: New International Version

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God’s word is eternal and will never change or end

The Bible is God’s word

Those who love God will keep His word

God’s Word

By Les Sherlock

NOTES

This study was triggered by a sermon of Bill Johnson (the first in the ‘Transformed’ series, given in July 2010), whose very helpful insights produced a different perspective for me on the Christian life. Many thanks, Bill!

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream,, Illinois 60188.  All rights reserved.

All scriptures labelled NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


God’s word is more powerful than anyone could possibly imagine. Everything in the universe came into being by means of nothing more than God’s word.

Psalm 33:6 The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.

John 1:1, 3 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.

Ephesians 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; (NKJV)

Colossians 1:16–17 for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.

Hebrews 1:2–3 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (NKJV)

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (NKJV)

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God’s word is eternal and will never change or end.


Psalm 89:34 No, I will not break My covenant; I will not take back a single word I said.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear.

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord remains forever." And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

Furthermore, it is impossible for God to lie, so His word will always be expressing truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Hebrews 6:18 So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.


This being the case, God’s word can be trusted even more than our own experience.

Romans 4:19–21 And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah's womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.

Isaiah 55:11 It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

So, like Abraham, we should not consider what our past or present experiences are telling us, but listen to what God has said, since that is the only source of knowledge that is guaranteed to be reliable.

The new birth of the Christian takes place as a result of the function and power of God’s word.

1 Peter 1:23, 25 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, "People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever." And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

James 1:18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.


God’s word is not simply ‘information’. It has power in itself to perform what God intends and to bring about change in our lives.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two–edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

John 6:63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

John 6:68 Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.

John 15:3, 7 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (NKJV)

John 17:17 Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your word, which is truth.

Because God’s word has such power, the top priority of the enemy is to keep it away from us.


Matthew 13:19–23  The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

Mark 4:13–20 Then Jesus said to them, "If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God's word to others.  The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.  The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

Luke 8:11–15  "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God's word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.  The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good–hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.


Of course, there are many ways of keeping God’s word from us – Bibles have been burned, possession and reading of them considered a criminal offence (and still are today in some parts of the world), and they have been kept in languages unknown to ‘the man in the street’. Today’s more sophisticated method in the free parts of the world is to cast doubt on its validity, so if people do read it, they will not believe it, obey it and allow it to do its work.*

John 8:31–32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (NKJV)

John 5:38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. (NKJV)

James 1:21–22 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

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* One of the greatest factors today in the destruction of people’s belief in the Bible is the lie of the theory of evolution. This is why this web site exists: to demonstrate that the Bible’s description of origins sits in complete unity with 21st-century scientific knowledge. It conflicts, of course, with the opinions and interpretations of scientific facts held by some scientists, some of whom are atheists; but that is a different matter. They would think that, wouldn’t they?!

The Bible is God’s word


Matthew 5:18  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.

2 Peter 1:20–21 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

A thorough reading of the New Testament makes it very obvious that both Jesus and His followers considered the Old Testament writings the authoritative revelation of God’s word. Indeed, throughout the New Testament the Old Testament is quoted as being literal truth and there is no example anywhere of its validity being doubted. For example, we are told it was the Holy Spirit speaking through the mouth of David in his Psalms:

Acts 1:16 "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas…

Acts 4:24–25 …"Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things?...

This tells us two things: [1] since it is impossible that David could have worked out for himself what was going to happen in the future, his words must have come from God; [2] the Psalms of David were not merely poetry but also included prophecy. Therefore the notion that the Old Testament could be a mixture of truth and man-made theories is quite clearly shown to be false - and this by people who, when writing the books of the New Testament, were [a] themselves speaking by the Holy Spirit and [b] repeating what Jesus had told them.

Since God is truth…

John 3:33 Anyone who accepts His testimony can affirm that God is true.

Romans 3:4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about Him, "You will be proved right in what you say, and You will win Your case in court."

what was breathed out by God, must also be true…

John 17:17 Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your word, which is truth.


and infallible. Note: Strong’s definition of ‘inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16) is not as in the modern understanding of the word inspired (e.g. that beautiful scene has inspired me) but something directly breathed in, or given, by God:

G2315

Θεο πνευστος; theopneustos; theh–op'–nyoo–stos

From G2316 and a presumed derivative of G4154; divinely breathed in: – given by inspiration of God.

Due to the truthful nature of God…

Titus 1:2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.

the Son…

John 14:6  Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life...

and the Holy Spirit…

1 John 5:6 … And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with His testimony.


the Scripture which is inspired by God is also inerrant in every aspect.

Matthew 22:43 Jesus responded, "Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah 'my Lord'?...

Matthew 22:31–32 "But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven't you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'

Galatians 3:16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn't say "to his children, " as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says "to His child"—and that, of course, means Christ.

Sometimes the biblical writers base their arguments on a particular expression or even a single word. For example, in Galatians 3:16 the apostle Paul cites Genesis 13:15 and 17:8 when God said to Abraham, “Unto your seed (child) will I give this land,” not unto your seeds (‘children’). Paul’s whole argument is based on the noun being singular rather than plural. Rene Pache, in The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture (p. 77), gives a pertinent summary of this idea. “Very often the meaning of a whole passage rests entirely on one word, a singular or a plural number, the tense of a verb, the details of a prophecy, the precision of a promise and the silence of the text on a certain point.”


The Old Testament attests the inerrancy of the Bible. The word of the Lord is flawless…

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. (NKJV)

it is eternal and stands firm…

Psalm 119:89 Your eternal word, O LORD, stands firm in heaven.

and every word of God is flawless…

Proverbs 30:5–6 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Do not add to His words, or He may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.

The New Testament teachings that affirm the inerrancy of the Scripture include,


Galatians 1:12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.

1 Corinthians 14:37  If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord Himself.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received His message from us, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

Rev. 22:18–19 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.


Peter puts Paul’s writings on the same level as the Old Testament.

2 Peter 3:15–16 And remember, the Lord's patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

 Jesus Himself confirmed the verbal (the very words themselves are inspired) plenary (in the whole of the Bible) inspiration of the Scriptures.

Matthew 5:17–18 "Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.

The evidence that the very words of the Bible are God–given may be briefly summarized as follows:

  • It is what Paul said (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • Paul also said, “We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths." (1 Corinthians 2:13).
  • It is clear from the regularly used phrase "It is written."
  • Jesus said He was written about in all the scriptures (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Hebrews 10:7).
  • Jesus said not even the smallest part of a Hebrew word or letter could be broken (Matthew 5:18).
  • The New Testament calls the scriptures the "oracles of God" (Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12).
  • Occasionally the writers were even told to "diminish not a word" (Jeremiah 26:2, AV*). John even pronounced an anathema upon all who would add to or subtract from the "words of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:18, 19.



















* Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

Jesus is the Word, so the word of God – the Bible – is a representation of Jesus.

John 1:1  In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1 John 1:1 We proclaim to you the One who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.

Of course, while Jesus was on Earth, He had given up His rightful position in the Godhead…

Philippians 2:6–7 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;

John 17:5 Now, Father, bring Me into the glory We shared before the world began.

…so was as dependent on the Holy Spirit, as we are, for His source of God’s word.

Deuteronomy 18:18  I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. (c.f. John 5:46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote about Me. )

John 3:34 For He is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God gives Him the Spirit without limit.

John 8:26  I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won't. For I say only what I have heard from the One who sent Me, and He is completely truthful."

John 12:49–50   I don't speak on My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say."

John 17:8 for I have passed on to them the message You gave Me. They accepted it and know that I came from You, and they believe You sent Me.

Hebrews 1:1–2 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe.


Those who oppose Jesus do so because they have rejected God’s word.

John 8:37 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. (NKJV)

John 8:43–45 Why can't you understand what I am saying? It's because you can't even hear Me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don't listen because you don't belong to God.

Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing Him to the cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.

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Those who love God will keep His word

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (NKJV)

It is having God’s word living in us that brings about answers to prayer.

John 15:3, 7 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (NKJV)

The early Church preached ‘The Word’. While we might simply say “We went and preached,” frequently we are told they preached ‘The Word’. Why the emphasis on what they preached? Because it is The Word that ‘produces the goods’!


Acts 5:20 "Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life."
         (c.f. John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.) (NKJV)

Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. (NKJV)

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, (NKJV)

Acts 11:1 Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God

Acts 12:24 Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.

Acts 13:49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. (NKJV)

Acts 17:11 These were more fair–minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (NKJV)

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (NKJV)

Romans 1:15–16 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

1 Corinthians 15:1–2 I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (NKJV)

1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8  So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.... And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God...

1 Thessalonians 2:13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received His message from us, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, (NKJV)

2 Timothy 3:17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.


It was when the word was preached that things happened, bringing about salvation in the unsaved and change in the saved, as the above verses state. For example, why was it necessary for Peter to go to Cornelius?

Acts 10:44   Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.

The answer is that the declaration of God’s Word was necessary. What about the day of Pentecost? The Holy Spirit fell on the 120 then in response to the declaration of the word of Jesus ten days earlier:

Acts 1:4–5 Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Do you want to see signs, miracles and healings? It is the declaration of God’s word that produces them.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. (NKJV)

The unsaved are unable to accept the Word

1 Corinthians 2:14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.


The next two passages are absolutely key to Christian living:

2 Corinthians 10:3–5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (NKJV)

Ephesians 6:13–17 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


For all of my life I have understood these scriptures to be saying that our fight is not with people, but with the powers of darkness. Well, of course, they are saying that, but they are saying more. We walk in the flesh – we have physical bodies – and everyone has struggles with them – i.e. the lusts of the flesh, or in other words the body’s sinful nature, which can take many forms (selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, temper, etc.). But the Bible says when we are born again we are born to a completely new life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

1 John 3:9 Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God.

Romans 6:2, 4, 6, 7, 11 ...Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 1:22–23 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth…  For you have been born again,

2 Peter 1:3 By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.


What do we make of the apparent contradiction between what we experience and what God’s word says? Like Abraham, we must not accept what our bodies are telling us, but recognise that our struggles are not against the desires and problems of our bodies but against the spiritual forces that attack them with their thoughts and feelings. They are liars, and use their lies to bring and hold us in bondage to these things.

John 8:44–45 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don't believe Me!

2 Corinthians 4:3–4 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh–and–blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Revelation 12:9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world…

Revelation 20:10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulphur…


It has always been this way: the very first action of Satan in his dealings with humans was to contradict God’s word by casting doubt on it:

Genesis 3:1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?"

We have been born again – a second time. The old life is gone and a new life has begun. The new life is free from sin, sickness and all the problems that haunt us. Therefore when they do attack us, they are not generated by our bodies, which are inhabited by the Spirit of God, but by these lying powers of darkness, masquerading as ‘our’ problems. They may ‘feel’ like our problems, but they cannot be so because God’s word, which can never lie, says otherwise. When we experience them, therefore, we have the right – the responsibility, even – to recognise their source and demand they leave us.

This may sound like ‘mind over matter’ but it is not. Trying to pretend something is true when it is not until it does become true, simply cannot work. It is only the truth that makes us free, not mind games or pretence.

John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Which is why avoiding lies is essential for the Christian: they are diametrically opposite to God’s word, which is always Truth. Note:

Revelation 21:8 "But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death."

Our war is not with our bodies and we can never win the battle against these things by using fleshly weapons – will power, New Year Resolutions, self–improvement methods, etc. Our weapons are mighty, and in the Christian’s armoury the only offensive weapon is the sword – the word of God. It is the power of God’s Word in our hearts that brings our thoughts into captivity and us into freedom. (It’s a happy quirk of the English language that ‘Godsword’ is at the same time ‘God’s word’ and God sword!)

God commanded Israel to have His word, not in their minds, but in their hearts. Why? Because that is where the power to perform it lies. It is not a question of remembering information so one knows what God does and does not want, although that is certainly included. It’s a question of having God’s creative power – His Word – residing in our hearts, where it can do its work.


Deuteronomy 6:6–9 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NKJV)

Jeremiah 15:16 When I discovered Your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O LORD God of Heaven's Armies.

Jeremiah 23:29 Does not My word burn like fire?" says the LORD. "Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?

Psalm 19:7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 107:20 He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.

Acts 20:32 "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (NKJV)

Ephesians 5:25–26 …Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word.

Philippians 3:21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.

Colossians 1:29  That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)

1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (NKJV)

1 John 2:14  ...I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God's word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.


How do we get God’s word from our minds into our hearts? It has to sink in! Meditation is the key. This is not the mind–blanking meditation practiced by many. Nor is it simply memorising verses, or repeatedly chanting them over and over again. It is holding and prayerfully pondering God’s word in one’s mind over a period of time, until it becomes a part of one’s nature.

Joshua 1:8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Psalm 1:2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

This is important because of the effect our heart has on us.

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.


We do not have the power to change our own hearts, but we do have the power to choose what we think about.

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

In fact we don’t even know fully what is in our own hearts.

Psalm 19:12–14 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep Your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 139:23–24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.


So David asks God to search his heart, cleanse it and lead him in the right direction. In order to cooperate with this process he fills his mind with God’s word.

It is a two–way process.

1. As we hold God’s word in our minds, it sinks into our hearts and does its life–changing work there, which is why the Bible says so much about our thought lives. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who lives within the believer.

2 Corinthians 3:3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

Note: God’s word is not the Christians’ sword, but the Spirit’s sword. So when the Christian, under God’s guidance declares God’s word to someone, the Holy Spirit takes it and wields His sword with power. Likewise, when the believer plants God’s word in his own heart (via the mind) the Spirit takes it in exactly the same way and uses it to produce the change He considers necessary.


2. The life and power of His word then, from the depths of our being, empowers us to think, speak and act according to His will. We can’t do what we can’t do – change ourselves. But we can do what we can do – change our minds – and God’s word will have its effect on us if we read, meditate on, believe in, and obey it.

Hebrews 4:2, 12 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it… For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two–edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)

James 1:21–22 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.


This is a basic principle of life: whatever we take, takes us. You take food and eat it, but then in the digestive process it becomes a part of your body and takes you! If you take medicine, it then takes your system and destroys infections. If you take poison, it then takes over a function of your body and kills you. Likewise, if you take God’s word, it will take you and change you into what God wants you to be.

However, you can hinder the process. If you take an antidote to poison, it will prevent the poison from doing its work and you will be safe. The antidote to God’s word is unbelief and disobedience. If you choose not to believe God’s word, which is actually saying it is a lie and therefore siding with the father of lies, then it cannot do its work. Likewise, if you continue to live as you lived before, ignoring what you have read, then once again, change cannot take place.

But our salvation is so comprehensive and overwhelming, there is nothing in this world that can compare to the joy and satisfaction of seeing our own lives changing into the glorious fullness of a child of God, who is:


Romans 6:11 ...dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:19 ...complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

1 Peter 2:24 ...dead to sin and liv(ing) for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.

3 John 1:2 healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

So we can truly and gratefully say:

Psalm 119:103  How sweet Your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.

2 John 1:2 ...because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.

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