A Knife Brings Life

Scripture References: Hebrews 4:12; Teaching Topics:

Introduction: In Caracas, Venezuela earlier this year, a 33 year old man was declared dead from a highway accident. When he was taken to the morgue, the medical examiners started the autopsy, cutting in the face – the probable point of fatal injury. When the incision took place, the doctors noticed blood coming from the area, so they knew something was amiss. Blood means life; he was alive, after all. Carlos Camejo later said that the excruciating pain from the knife is what woke him up. A knife brought him to life. If he hadn’t had the autopsy, he’d probably have been buried alive.

This brought to mind the use of the Great Physician’s surgical instrument: the double- edged sword of Hebrews 4:12. God has to wound before He can heal; He has to puncture us with His Sword – the Word, especially in salvation, where we are born dead. Let’s talk about the Instrument God uses:

  1. The Instrument –
    1. It is a Living Instrument (normally a knife has no life in itself);
      1. This is a living blade. The word “living” in the Greek is “zoe” and means “life principle”.
      2. In creation, the 4th day brought the stars, sun, moon – the lights to govern our atmosphere. The 1st day brought the light principle – God Himself. “In Him was light….”
      3. It is the Word – Greek “Logos”, which means “the expression of divinity”. The Greeks understood it that way. Notice it is not “a” Word, but “THE Word”, specifying the definite article, describing only One person as the Word. No substitutes;
    2. It is efficient – Greek word “energas” – “energy, energetic, active, powerful”. It’s like in baking, where you have an active ingredient. This word is also figurative of a door opening with promises of a rich field. The Holy Spirit is the active ingredient and the One who opens up God’s storehouse.
    3. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. Surgeon needs a sharp knife, not dull. Dull one tears. This word comes from “tumos” meaning, “cutting”.
    4. Two- edged word – Greek word “distomon” = “di” means two and “stoma” means “mouth”. Two mouthed, though God does not speak out of two sides of His mouth. It is akin to the mouth of a river – source, like the double- edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth in Revelation. Here the idea is with one edge comes the piercing of truth and the other edge comes healing for the seeker and destruction for the enemy.

Aren’t you glad you have a Great Surgeon who wields His own instrument, for the Sword of the Lord is an instrument of the Spirit of God (Ephesians 6)? It is God in action and form of expression.

Now let’s talk about the Incision this Knife makes –

  1. The Incision
    1. It penetrates – Greek word “ddiknoumenos” – piercing through skin, muscle, etc. God doesn’t use His Word to tickle us, but to free us;
      1. It has to go through pride, pain, etc.
      2. Like the autopsy, where the initial incision occurs where the fatal injury was, so God penetrated man at the death place – sin, to bring life.
    2. It divides – Greek word “merismon” from “meros” – to part, partition.
      1. Part of a whole that’s been divided. God divides to unite.
      2. Divides soul and spirit (soul being “mind, emotions, and will”, and spirit being innermost dwelling of God). Only God can be so precise in that tender place.
      3. Illustrates it through idea of ‘Joints and marrow”.
      4. Joint – “mon” – in Greek where word “harmony” comes from – to join together. Joints form a union and work together;
      5. Marrow- “muelon” from “mulos” “to shut. Marrow shuts and closes around the bone cavities, filling them. Strengthens.
      6. Nourishes the bones.
      7. In the deepest part of our being, only God can distinguish between the structure of the bone and the tissue, or between the soul – our emotions, feelings, decision, and the spirit, where we communicate with heaven.

So, the Instrument is used, The Incision is made, now we learn from it.

  1. Instruction
    1. It is a discerner – Greek word “kritikos” – Critique.
      1. Able to discern, judge, skilled to do so;
      2. Not judgmental – no emotional recourse, hurt feelings here;
      3. Why we are supposed to judge by “fruit”, not our experience.
    2. Judges thoughts and intents
      1. Our U.S. Jurisprudence relies heavily on intent— “I didn’t mean to kill them, so they can’t be dead.”
      2. It is determined by what your intent was;
      3. Thoughts is Greek word “enthumaseon”, meaning “reflections, thoughts, ideas:’ God judges deep into our mind.
      4. Intent is the term “ennoioif’ – “insight, deliberations! A jury will deliberate, based on their experience; that’s why they poll juries and reject many. They want the jury pool to have no opinion.
      5. Intent of the heart – God is judging our innermost affections.
    3. Lays us open, like flaying an animal. – verse 13
      1. Do you ever watch the surgery channel and see the surgeon open the skin and peel back to reveal the organs?
      2. God’s Word has to expose us.
      3. The words “laid open” are from word “trachelizo”, where we get “tracheotomy” – the opening in the throat to secure air flow.
      4. A friend of our family thought he couldn’t breathe in 1972. He went to the emergency room and seeing his distress, they put a hole in his throat, which brought about the heart attack he thought he was having. This is the reason we have to be careful handling God’s Word for ourselves and others; we have to try to not use it against people as a weapon, nor read it through our anxieties, fears, or personal experience; let the Holy Spirit do the work. He is careful, precise, and non- emotional about it.
      5. This word for the trach means “to bend back the neck to the eyes of God”, where we look up and have an airway. Let God open you up.

I read the story about a patron at Subway who almost took a bite into a 6-inch sandwich and it was a good thing he didn’t. There was a knife inside the sandwich. Think of the damage it would have done.

God’s Word is a sword in battle, a knife in healing, food for nutrition, and serves many other uses. Only God can bring us to life, so we are not buried under our own sin, but are free to serve God and help others.