For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12—NIV)

The Bible is not like any other book on your shelf, in the library or at the local book store. The Bible has changed the course of history, influenced the very foundation of nations, and withstood the critics of every age simply by its authenticity and by the fact that anyone can examine its credentials to their heart’s content. God has preserved His Word so that each generation may be introduced to truth.

This verse gives us the reason for its enduring relevance. It is the "word," the authoritative command of God. God gave His word, He is its source (God-breathed). The Bible retains the air of authority, the uniqueness of eternal wisdom, and introduces us to our Creator according the measure of His design of Self-revelation.

This "word" does not get its credentials from some anecdotal evidence you can provide of how it changed your life, wonderful as it may be. Its credentials exist, regardless of whether you have felt the impact of the living word. The Bible is verbally and plenarily inspired (every word and everything about each word as it was being penned by the various human authors).

The text tells us about the dynamic of the Bible. It is living, or constantly active. It is energetically powerful. Those who are born-again attest to it’s life sustaining attributes. The human soul is fed by the spiritual food offered in the Word. It is also a sharp instrument designed to penetrate as a two-edged sword. God has honed His sword for the conquering work it is to do.

The work of the Bible is described in very human terms. It slices to that which is the most precious in man, the essence of his being, the soul and spirit (all that is dear and eternal about us). The work of the Word is just as vital and unmistakable as a sword’s penetration into one of your joints or splitting of one of your bones to the very marrow. Every effective sword-blow of God upon a man is another step to the inevitable declaration of conqueror and conquered. He will prevail.

Finally, the Word weighs out our ruminations. It ponders our reflective thoughts, and it ponders our intended desires. God’s incisive, penetrating word exposes our shallow belief and false intentions as well. Is it any wonder why unregenerated people seek to do anything within their power to drown out the voice of the Bible? It is the believer’s highest priority to know God’s Word and be unashamed to give human voice and visible illustration of all God’s counsel as the only hope for a benighted world. Trust and obey!