In case you are anything like me, you may find yourself scratching your head on the use of the term “the Word” in Christianity.
There is actually a very good reason for this. As I have learned, the term can be used correctly in multiple contexts. To help you be more confident, I have complied a list of the top three applications of the phrase. Hopefully they will give you some quick understanding and/or validation…
#1: “The Word” is THE BIBLE
First, “the Word” is frequently employed to talk about the Bible itself. This utilization of the term appears to be among the most logical. We can easily think about the words on the page of the Bible… or maybe how the Bible is stuffed with the words and phrases of God.
In addition, there is a component of scripture memory regarding the words in the Bible. For instance, in Deuteronomy 30:14 we read “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it”.
I have learned to appreciate yet another facet linked with the use of “the Word” as the Bible. You’ll probably hear another Christian talk about being “in the Word”. In this instance, we’re simply preaching about making sure that we explore the Bible… that we read His words presented to us in the Bible.
#2: “The Word” is THE LAW
The phrase “The Word” is also employed to represent “the law”, or God’s law.
I like to consider this utilization of the term as a part of the first one discussed above. Inside the Bible (“the Word”), God’s law is revealed and discussed frequently. However, the Bible isn’t comprised ONLY of the law.
Yow will discover lots of examples of the use of the expression in this context in the Old Testament. God first delivers the law to Moses within the Book of Exodus. From there, “the word of the law” is constantly discussed by a great number of the prophets (e.g., Jeremiah, Ezekiel) as they continually remind the careless nation of Israel of its broken obligations to God.
Of note, prior to the law being formally delivered to Moses within the book of Exodus, “the Word of God” tended to be in reference to His words spoken, literally, to our Biblical ancestors.
#3: “The Word” is GOD HIMSELF
The last major context for the term “the Word” is that it pertains to God himself. As it says in the beginning of the book of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… And the Word became flesh 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 1:1-5, 14)
Many of us recognize that God is omnipresent, meaning always in existence. God has actually been named the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Here, John clearly links “the Word” as God and Jesus as “the Word becoming flesh”.
When we try to substitute our other contexts “the Bible” or “the law” becoming flesh, it doesn’t seem sensible. No… John is clearly stating that “the Word” is God Himself, and that God became flesh in Jesus. So how is “the Word” a synonym for God? Allow me to show you how I have developed an understanding of this complicated context…
Picture anything at all you would like in your life to become a reality. Think of the ideal relationships you wish to have… think of a dollar number in your bank account… think of that new home… imagine that location in the world you’d rather be than where you are at this moment…