4. The Creative Word
The power of the word of God is best appreciated when you consider the work of creation. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap; He layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Ps. 33:6-9.
From this it is plain to see that the entire material of the earth and all that is in it, sprang from the word of God. We cannot comprehend the power of Divinity, but we can see from what is plainly declared, that the word of the Lord is not empty air, but that it is real substance. It is as though the world existed in the word, before it took the shape that it’s in now. When God’s word was uttered, then the earth and the heavens came into existence.
When the word of God names something, then the thing that is named is formed. Whatever is described by the word, exists in that word. Thus it is impossible for God to lie, for His word makes the thing so. We read in Rom. 4:17 that God “calleth those things that be not as though they were.” That is something that only God can do. It is true that we sometimes undertake it, but our word does not make the thing so. When you speak of a thing that is not as though it were, there is only one word that can be used to describe your action. It is a lie. But God cannot lie, yet He speaks of those things that do not exist as though they did. God speaks of something that has no existence. He calls it by name, as though it were well known. The instant that His word goes forth, that instant the thing exists.
Consider this text carefully. “He spake and it was.” Not that He spake, and after that it was performed, as a superficial reading of the texts might lead you to think. That idea would not be gained if the translators had not inserted the word “done,” in italics. It is true that it was done then, but it was the word of the Lord that did it. The idea would be conveyed better by translating the passage literally, as we have, “He spake, and it was.” As soon as He spake, everything was there. Whatever God’s word says, is, because His word creates the thing.
This is why in prophecy things are often spoken of as already done. He speaks of those things that haven’t happened yet as though they were already done. This is not because they exist in His purpose, but because they exist in His word. They are as freely in existence as they can ever be, although they do not yet appear to human sight.
It is for this reason that the word of the Lord is strength and comfort to those who believe in it; for the word which is written in the Bible is the word of God, the same as that which created the heavens and the earth. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” It is “God breathed.” Now remember that “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” The breath of God, which has creative energy in it, is that which gives us the precepts and promises of the Bible.
That creative word is the power of the Gospel. For the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believes; and the power of God is revealed in the things that are made. See Rom. 1:16, 20. The power of redemption is the power of creation, for redemption is creation. Thus, the Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Ps. 51:10. The apostle Paul says that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. 5:17.
What is this new creation that is brought about in the Gospel? It is righteousness, for the same apostle exhorted us to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Eph. 4:24. Righteousness means good works, and therefore the apostle says that “we are His workmanship, created The Creative Word in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained [or prepared] that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10.
The word of the Lord is right. He speaks righteousness. So just as He spoke to emptiness and created the earth, so He speaks to the soul that is destitute of righteousness, and if that word is received, the righteousness of that word is on that person. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed, through the forbearance of God.” Rom. 3:23-25. To declare is to speak; so when God declares His righteousness in Christ for the remission of sins, righteousness is spoken into and on you, to take the place of your sins, which are taken away. And it is not simply a passive righteousness that is declared on you, but real, active righteousness, for the word of the Lord is alive, and God’s righteousness is real and active.
This, in brief, is what the story of creation means to you when you believe it. Satan is eager to have you think that it is only a poem (as though a poem could not be true), or only a writing of fiction to amuse you. This is the means which he has taken in these days to undermine the Gospel. If you once look lightly on creation, the force of the Gospel is weakened for you. Satan is even content that you should call redemption a greater work than that of creation, for by doing so you are not in the least exalting the work of redemption, but depreciating it. Redemption and creation are the same work, and redemption is exalted only as creation is greatly appreciated. It may occur to you that since this is the case, that which commemorates creation must also commemorate redemption. This is true, but we will speak of that at another time.
Read the fifth chapter called Weakness and Power.