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What Is This Word?

We preach it, teach it, discuss it and sometimes dissect it; but what is our conviction concerning the Word of Christ which we preach?

It was that same Word of His which caused consternation in the synagogue when the Lord rebuked the demon and exorcized it from the man. There was a dramatic reaction by those who witnessed the Lord's miracle. They were stunned, but when they found voice they said, "for with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out" (Luke 4:36). "What is this Word?" they enquired. Or, "What words are these?" translates Phillips. "What does this mean?" says Moffatt. "What sort of language is this?" enquires Weymouth.

The Word and the miracle were among the many introductions of Jesus the Son of God to the nation of Israel. It is encouraging to see that those in the synagogue recognized the authority and power of His words. Authority (Gr. exousia) indicates the word comes from a king or potentate; and power (Gr. dunamis) conveys explosive power. In their midst was One with incomparable authority and power, the Creator of all things, the One in whom "all things consist" (Col. 1:16,17). The psalmist describes Him succinctly: "For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (33:9). The hymn writer says:

The great Creator became my Saviour,

And all God's fullness dwelleth in Him.

Do we view His Word with the same awe, wonder, astonishment, as those who heard Him speak? Is it possible that familiarity has deprived us of its freshness, power, reality? Do those of us who preach publicly need reminding that we are not merely filling a place on a list of speakers, but that we are preaching, ministering the living Word of the living God? "I adjure you to preach the Word; keep at it in season, out of season, refuting, checking, and exhorting men; never lose patience with them", wrote Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:2, Moffatt). In fulfilling Paul's injunction we recognize that it is the same Word, the same authority, of Him who created all things. Through it, through us, as His ambassadors, the Lord is able today to create in dead people new life, eternal life; and reveal to His children the place of His divine dwelling.

What is this Word? It is the Word of God, the words of Christ, the gospel, the teaching, the exhortation. Be encouraged fellow labourer, that God has committed to us the joyous responsibility of preaching His Word. It is an act of grace on His part, and a joy on ours to fulfil it.

So, let us "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 4:2 NIV).