Surgery 101

The soldiers sword and the surgeons scalpel

by Edward Langenback

© December 3, 2000

Psalms 119:105, "NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

While all too often it is neglected, the word of God is (or should be) the centerpiece of the Christians' life. It contains a history of how others have both failed and succeeded in achieving God's will. It literally contains the mind of God, a written record of His love for us, and how He wants us to live. In His word, He give us loving fatherly advice for obtaining wisdom, true happiness, and prosperity and divine heath. It is truly the light that guides our walk through life:

With the word of God as your guide, you cannot go wrong. By following what God has given us in His word, we have the ability to KNOW what He expects of us in every situation that we are in and how to achieve it. His word shows us that satan is a defeated foe, and that we have power and authority that He has given us if we'll only accept it and use it. But the word of God is also much more than all this.

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

This verse has been used in countless teachings further explaining Ephesians 6:17 where the word of God is called the sword of the spirit. And while these teachings are not necessarily at fault as far as they go, most of them tend to picture this weapon as a sword pointing outward and used in defense or in assaulting the enemy. This verse is talking about the word of God and its effect on those of us who believe in and follow Jesus. Here the sword of the spirit takes on a finer, more delicate function, that of a scalpel rather than a sword.

First, the word of God is much more than simply text on paper or screen. It is a living thing, affecting and changing everything and everyone that encounter it. In this verse the king James calls the word of God 'quick, and powerful' the word 'quick' when used in this context is an old English usage that means alive, living. It is translated from the Greek word 'zao' {pronounced dzah'-o} [strongs number 2198] and means to live, breathe, be among the living. to be fresh, strong, efficient. As an adjective. active, powerful, efficacious living, alive. The word 'powerful' is translated form the Greek energes {pronounced en-er-gace'} [strongs number 1756] and means active

Everywhere in the bible, beginning in Genesis, you can see that when God speaks, His word accomplishes something, bringing life where there was none, changing lives and guiding people closer to Him. When His word is spoken by a prophet, we are warned of judgements that will come if we do not repent of sins and promised salvation and redemption if we will only turn to him. Within His word, there is revelation, life, wisdom, guidance and forgiveness for any who will receive it.

The next part of this verse to look at is 'sharper than any twoedged sword.' In Ephesians 6:17 God's word is called the sword of the spirit, which brings to mind the picture of a soldier wielding it in battle, using it to destroy the enemy and defend against attacks. The word sharper is translated from the Greek tomoteros {pronounced tom-o'-ter-os} [strongs number 5114] and means to cut, in a comprehensive or decisive manner, as if by a single stroke, rather than repeated blows or hacking. In this verse, the word of God takes on an additional function. The soldier's sword becomes the surgeon's scalpel, making delicate cuts, removing the harmful things and restoring life and health.

When you study the word of God, you are brought face to face with everything in your life that is contrary to the will of God. 'and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart' the word discerner is translated from the Greek word kritikos {pronounced krit-ee-kos'} [strongs number 2924] and means fit for and skilled in judging and making determinations.

This scalpel is one that we use to cut deep into ourselves, slicing away the things that get between us and God's perfect will for us in every aspect of life. Angry at someone? The word of God cuts out that anger by telling us that we need to forgive, just as He forgives us, unconditionally and without reservation. It doesn't matter if that forgiveness is deserved or not, because we did not deserve the forgiveness that God freely gave us. Afraid? The word of God cuts that fear away by showing us that God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. It shows us that God is always telling us 'fear not', and reminding us that He is always with us. It reminds us that 'if God be for us, who can be against us?'

The word of God is the scalpel that will cut away any pretense about what we have in our hearts, whether it is lust, fear, envy, depression, loneliness, grief or anything else. With it, we can cut away all of these things, leaving the pure faith and confidence in God that truly shows us to be His Children and gives us real power to be all that He wants us to be. What we have to do is make the quality decision to get seriously into the Word, and study it with an open heart and a prayerful attitude and allow it to change us into what God wants us to be.

Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

That scalpel will change your life and cut away all the harmful things from your spirit. Unlike the scalpel that is used in the operating room however, no ordinary surgeon is wielding it, God himself wields this one. He knows exactly where to cut, and He'll never cut in a way that harms you, and when He is done you will always be better off.

Click Here for This means war! The beginning article in this series on the Armor of God.