God’s Word is precious and Christ is the ‘Word of God’.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
“The Word was made flesh (became human), 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 1:14
So much of the Bible celebrates the significance of the Word of God, and so we treasure it in all its forms.
My focus here is to prompt you to look for and walk in the spoken word of God, as part of the Word of God, but a unique expression of that word as well.
The Koine language in which the New Testament was written has two main words for ‘word’. The Koine word Logos refers to the text or the body of the writing, and the writing in all its fullness. The Koine word Rhema refers to words that are spoken out.
The New Testament speaks of both the Logos and the Rhema when referring to God’s Word.
Jesus, as the Word, is the Logos. He is the fullness of the Word of God. All of God’s Word is embodied in Christ.
However there are times when the word Rhema is used, such as when Jesus quoted a key verse to overcome a temptation from the devil. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 about how man is to live by every word spoken by God.
“Jesus answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live only by bread, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
As is to be expected any word that comes out of the mouth is a spoken word, a Rhema, so that’s the Koine word used by Jesus in that statement.
Consider that for a moment. Man is to live by every word spoken by God. Surely that must include the whole of God’s Word, the Logos, and it does. Yet it puts emphasis on the spoken nature of the words.
We know that God spoke the worlds into existence.
“God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the stars by the breath of His mouth.” Psalm 33:6
“For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” Psalm 33:9
Thus we know that there is great power in God’s spoken words.
What spoken words have in particular is their ability to address specific people in specific situations. While all the word of God exists, God still spoke specific words to people He called to serve Him, or people He warned through the prophets. Those words were peculiar to those people at that time and in that place.
Similarly God is able to address specific words to the hearts or His people as a ‘Rhema’ (spoken) word from God.
Jesus said we are to live by those spoken words.
What I have enjoyed about words that seemed to be personalised to me, as a Rhema word from God to me personally, is that I can take hold of them with faith and release the word to come alive in my life and circumstances.
By that process it is as if a branch of God’s Word has been grafted into the trunk of your life and becomes a part of you. The Bible refers to this as the ‘engrafted Word of God’, or the word that has been planted inside you.
“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21
There are abundant testimonies of Christians who felt impressed with something from the Bible that seemed to come alive in their heart. The verse or words from a verse became personally real to them and they felt those words were God’s promise or God’s direct communication to them, personally. It is easy to respond in faith when we sense that kind of quickened (living) word from God.
So I encourage you to be attentive to those things that seem to light up inside you from God’s Word. You may well be receiving a Rhema word from God, the kind of word you are to live by and which will build faith and empower you for the outcomes God has for you.
When Jesus was on earth He spoke several things to people, specific to them. Yet at the same time those things said by Jesus can have wider application.
For example a leper came to Jesus and said that he was sure that if Jesus wanted to heal him then Jesus certainly had the power to do so. Jesus responded by saying it was His will to heal the man.
“A leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, If you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and said to him, I will; be clean.” Mark 1:40,41
Here we have a specific word to a particular leper. But we also have a display of the will of Jesus, who only did what His Father would do. We can extrapolate from this incident that it is God’s will that people be healed. Otherwise God is showing partiality and healing one but refusing to heal another. God does not have such favouritism and partiality.
“Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” Acts 10:34
So a person who needs healing might read the words of Jesus and claim them for their own situation, maybe praying something like, “God it is written in Your Word that it is Your will to heal. I know that You are not a respecter of persons, so You don’t give to one and deny another, and You healed that leper, so I ask You for healing in my situation.” That would be taking the written word of God and claiming it for your situation.
Another person may not be so bold as to claim the Word of God for their situation, and only see that verse as being God’s spoken word for the leper, not to be applied more broadly. But suppose that person then felt impressed by those words, maybe sensing they are leaping off the page, or maybe the words might keep floating into their mind when they are not thinking about their healing. They might then sense that God is turning that written (Logos) word in the Bible into a spoken (Rhema) word specifically for them.
If they sensed that then their faith would spring up and they would claim the healing they sense God is promising them.
So let prompt you to take stock of what God is saying to you, and especially what is coming to you as God’s Spoken Word.