"And God Said..."
A word is a wonderful thing. Words are often aptly defined as vehicles of thought. Technically, they are a speech sound which has meaning attached to it. So strong is the word attached to the thing it represents that the two cannot be separated. Some have called words “signs of ideas”–and so they are. They represent something. They are not actually that thing, but they represent it so closely you cannot think of the thing without using the sign that represents it.
Words don’t really do much by themselves. They need help from other words. When we string a group of words together to express an idea we often refer to the result as a “train of thought.” Notice, if you will, the idea of expressing the thought is like a train expresses its load. An “express train,” I suppose you’d say.
Words are not the only form of communication, but they are the most efficient and accurate form of it. Written words, properly understood and used, are an accurate means of expressing an idea or thought. Spoken language is the most emotional and probably the most accurate means of communicating because it translates things to bright thoughts and expresses them from one mind to another.
God has always used language–what he says–to accomplish His plans and purposes. He spoke the worlds into existence with words. He sent Christ, who is called “The Word” that He might be understood by man (John 1:1-3, 18). The ability to communicate through spoken words is one of the ways we were created “in the image” of God.
After God had created him, men became very vain (Genesis 11:1-9). They sought glory for themselves. They wanted a name (11:4). The impiety of these insurrectionists caused them to desire to make a name-structure to reach all the way to heaven. Thus the tower of Babel. How did God treat their rebellion? He separated them by “confounding” their language. He mixed up their speech so they could no longer understand one another. The result was predictable.
There can be no commonality when there is no understanding, no fellowship where there is no comprehension, so they “left off the building.” No wonder. You can’t build with one another when you don’t understand one another.
Scripture states or implies in many places the role of communication in God’s plans. The Bible says, “God said, let there be light, and there was light.” He literally spoke the creation into existence. He said and that which had not heretofore existed, came into existence. Jesus is called The Word because He was the very expression God. God spoke to man in various ways, but “in these last day hath spoken to us by his Son...” (Heb. 11:2). In John 1:18, John says of Jesus “...the only begotten son who was in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.”
II Timothy 3;16-17 speaks of Scripture being inspired of God.” The Greek word used here literally means “God-breathed,” an obvious reference to the language factor involved in revelation. Just as creation involved language, inspiration involved language. God’s eternal purpose involves language. It is His spoken word.
Ephesians 3:1-10 combines inspiration and revelation. Paul says he received by inspiration what he wrote down so that “when ye read ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ Jesus.” Our ability to perceive the will of God is accomplished by words–words which can be understood and acted upon.
In Romans chapter ten, Paul says, “But what does it say? The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in our heart...if you confess with your moth the Lord Jesus and believe with your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved.” Here, our salvation is connected to our confession–our statement of our belief. He continues, “for with the heart one believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” He further asks, “How shall the call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heart?
In the Pentecost sermon in Acts 2, Peter said, “Ye men of Israel and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, hear these words...” he then preached about Jesus as. When they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts and said, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” Peter told them. Communicated information is involved preaching the plan of God for salvation. (God spoke to the people in their own languages so they could understand).
In addition, consider that:
- We are born again by the word (I Peter 1:23).
- We are cleansed by the word (Ephesians 5:26; Psalm 119:9)
- We are saved by the word (I Timothy 4:16; James 1:21)
- We grow by the word (I Peter 2:2, Jeremiah 1516).
- We are sanctified by the word (John 17:17)
- We are kept by the word (Psalm 17:4)
If a man would be saved he must listen to what God has said.