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Logos is Power

September 28, 2007

Words are powerful.  Make no mistake about that.  Our words have the power to invoke tremendous responses from the hearer.  In the darkest hour, a word of encouragement has the power to turn the night to daylight (Proverbs 25:25; 15:30).  On the other hand, an ill word can destroy in a moment what has taken a lifetime to build.  The tongue, James tells us, is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  The poison?  Words.  Words can build and words can destroy.

Which helps us understand precisely why it is of utmost importance that we use our words to the glory of God.  Otherwise we encourage what should be discouraged.  We praise what should be censured.  We call evil good and good evil.  And our words end up opposing and resisting the Words of our Lord.

Words have a power all their own.  A word represents a thought and expresses it, however inadequately.  Words convey meaning.  Effective words effectively convey meaning.  Through the use of words, a man expresses his love to his wife, and his wife understands. A father speaks a word, and instructs his children.  A pastor speaks a word, and instructs his congregation.  A friend speaks a word, and encourages his friend.

Words invoke powerful emotions.  Read Jonathan Edward’s magnificent message, Sinners in the hands of an angry God, and even to this day you will understand why the hearers were made anxious, even fearful for the condition of their soul.  Read Shakespeare’s Henry V, and you will wish that you could have joined him on St. Crispin’s day.  Read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and when you have read Mark Antony’s oration, you too will be crying for the blood of Brutus and Cassius.  What man has read a story and not been moved to tears by it?  What man has not received a warm note from his wife and not been overwhelmed with love by it?  Words are powerful.

Yet more than occasionally, we find our words inadequate to express what we really feel.  We struggle to find the right words, and wish that our tongue could be unhinged and loosened, that our words could effectively say what we intend.  Those who are the best at expressing their thoughts do the most productive speaking and writing. Yet, what man is sufficient?  What word is sufficient to express the depth of love a man feels for his wife?  Who can speak without being misunderstood?  Who can communicate without miscommunication?  Who can fully expound even his own thoughts?

Yes, our words are powerful, but not of their own power.  We find that our ability to express thoughts in the form of words is a gift.  The power comes from somewhere else.  This is the nature of logos.  Logos is a gift.  It is given.

Of course, the reader will recognize immediately from whence logos comes.  For there is One Who is Logos, the Living Word.  If words have power at all, it is by the power of the Logos.  At His Word, kings reign and princes decree justice.  At His Word, kingdoms rise and fall.  At His Word, mountains tower above the valleys.  At His Word, those same mountains are leveled and made low.  At His Word, the sick are healed, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk.  At His Word, mighty armies are defeated, and the weakest of nations triumph.

And if that were not enough, we are reminded that He upholds all things by the word of his power.  The Galileans noted that Christ did not speak as the scribes, whose opinions required proof from some other authority.  The Galileans recognized that Christ spoke with authority and with power.  They were astonished at his doctrine, because his word was with power.  We know this, because we have seen that the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.

That the Word of God is powerful we are well aware.  When there was nothing, no matter, no raw material from which to form a thing, there was logos.  God did not fashion material and from that material create a world.  God made trees out of logos.  God made birds out of logos.  God made the sun and the moon out of logos.  God made dirt out of logos.  Logos was the raw material God used to form all things.

Except man.  Man was different, and God made it so.  First, out of a word God made dirt.  Then, out of dirt, God made man.  But the distinction was not complete yet.  When God created man, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. God breathed logos into man and made man the image-bearer of God.  Logos is the image of God, for in the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.  Logos breathed himself into man.

We are not the express image of God.  Only One is that.  We bear the stamp of His image, and we are changed and being changed into His image from glory to glory.  As such, the power of logos comes to us as a gift.  As we live in the logos, the gift becomes more useful to us, and we become more fluent in logos.  His Logos is our logos.  His Word our word.

We should not expect to be ourselves empowered by the Spirit of God until we are filled with the Word of God.  Unfortunately, most who agree with that statement will think that it is a call for more Bible memory.  Certainly Bible memory plays a part, but it is not the whole.  We must be filled with the Word.  I have known many young people who memorized massive amounts of the Word, and live like they have no part with it.  Filled with the Word requires memorization, meditation, devotion, submission, dedication, and sanctification (John 17:17).

But this is the point.  We do not merely say that Logos is “powerful.”  Though it certainly is.  We say that Logos IS power.  And that means something.  Do we want the power of God in our lives?  The power of God rests in and on His Word.  For many years (partly because of the teaching I received as a young child) I struggled with understanding what it meant to be “filled with the Spirit.”  As a pastor, I want to preach “Spirit-filled” messages.  But what does that mean?  The Spirit of God works through the Word of God.  If I would be Spirit-filled, then I must be filled with the Word.  A man who claims to have a Spirit-filled ministry, but whose ministry is void of the Word, is a man whose “filling” is of his own flesh.  Truly Spirit-filled preaching is truly filled with the Word.  Not with a quote thrown in here or there, or a text turned to but never expounded.  Spirit-filled preaching is full of Logos.  And if we would be filled with the Spirit, we too must be filled with the Logos (Isaiah 40:6-8; I Peter 1:23-25).

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Categories: Mallinak, The Word
  1. September 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    I should be more appreciative for the power of the Word of God and the wonderful gift of words He has given.

  2. September 29, 2007 at 7:45 am

    I appreciated your article. I think it important to say that since the Day of Pentecost, every believer “born again” of the Spirit of God is INSPIRED; i.e. indwelled by the Spirit of God. Yet the believer is commanded to be “filled” with the Spirit of God (Eph. 5:18). Being “filled” is spirituality (see article http://lineuponlinedmm.blogspot.com/ What is a Sanctified & Consecrated Priesthood).

    What you are detailing here is the heart and soul of the doctrine of grace. In most cases, New Evangelicalism has distorted it so badly it is hardly recognizable. (see article at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/PDF%20Files/Romans/Romans%2039.pdf)

  3. September 29, 2007 at 7:53 am

    This article adds to what I said in my previous comment: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/PDF%20Files/Romans/Romans%2040.pdf

  4. September 30, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    As a pastor, I want to preach “Spirit-filled” messages. But what does that mean? The Spirit of God works through the Word of God. If I would be Spirit-filled, then I must be filled with the Word. A man who claims to have a Spirit-filled ministry, but whose ministry is void of the Word, is a man whose “filling” is of his own flesh. Truly Spirit-filled preaching is truly filled with the Word.

    You are totally correct here. To be filled in the Biblical sense means to be controlled or influenced by something. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled or influenced by Him – and He leads according the the Word He authored and inspired.

    It is neat when you compare these two parallel passages, which reinforce exactly what you are saying:

    Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God, even the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

    Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you are called in one body; and be thankful. 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. And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.

    Being filled with the Spirit of God will lead to the same effect as being filled with the Word of God – they go together.

  5. September 30, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I just realized that I accidently quoted from the KJV2000 (from my Bible program), rather than the King James Bible. Sorry about that – the KJV is the only one I use, but I was looking up a reference last night in several versions to see how they were changed, and did not realize when I shut down the Bible program that it kept the KJV2000 as the startup version today. Here are the references from the King James Bible:

    Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

    Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 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. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

    I was leaving comments on several other blogs, so hopefully I didn’t quote the wrong Bible there too!

  6. September 30, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    🙂 Jerry.

  7. October 1, 2007 at 4:18 am

    Brother Kent,

    Amen & Amen!

    For years I have struggled with the explanations people give for being “Spirit-filled.” I believe the Bible states clearly that the more the Word fills us the more the Spirit fills us.

    I asked some good pastor friends this question, “What does it mean when we say that we are getting a message from the Holy Spirit?” Does this mean that we receive some “mystical” communication from God which tells us of a topic we need to preach, and then find a passage which “preaches” that topic, OR does it mean that God speaks to us the way He said He would – through His Word?

    If more pastors would stop looking for some “experience” from God, and would actually fill themselves with the Word, they would have “Spirit-filled” messages. One of the reasons I preach expositionally is to give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to use His Word to convict and change the people who hear the Word.

    Thanks for your article.

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