The Word of the Lord Endures Forever

Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum! The word of the Lord endures forever!

This phrase is not heard a lot, and it probably isn’t for two reasons: 1) it is mostly ascribed to the Lutheran Reformation (of which I am very inspired by, but one that I don’t entirely agree with either since I am a Reformed Baptist), and 2) the phrase is painstakingly longer than Sola Scriptura (seriously, you try memorizing that). However, that doesn’t mean it’s not important!

The phrase was based on the passage found in Isaiah 40:8 (ESV) which says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” One could look at the text and take a straight-forward approach. The word of the Lord will stand forever because it is not physical, and that is true. Nevertheless, I believe, along with Luther and many reformers of the past, that there is something much deeper than that. I believe that the reason why the word of the Lord endures forever is because it is the primary means of grace.

The preaching of the word of God is an amazing sacrament, and it must be treated with great reverence and awe. The reason for this is because God saves His people through the people through the preaching of the word throughout countless generations. Paul emphasized this point best through the Holy Spirit in Romans 10:14 (ESV), “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” God’s word has lasted in order that He would bring souls to Himself. God is glorified through the careful exposition of His word, and this work is not to be taken lightly.

One of the biggest evidences I’ve seen for a lack of reverence for God and a departure of the gospel is the denial of the need to preach the word. People no longer desire to have Bible teachers like Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Today, churches are looking for the next Steven Furtick. Modern congregations don’t seem to care for an old man providing a good exegesis of a text, but rather a young, fit guy who could entertain a crowd with humor and illustrations. People come to churches today expecting to hear what they want to hear rather than to hear what the Lord has to say through the preaching of the inspired word of God.

Whether people like it or not, the word of God is living and active. It is a shame to see so many “spiritual” Christians abandoning Scripture when it is literally the written word of the Spirit. He inspired Prophets and Apostles to write sacred content; this was not only for the benefit of the Church but also for the glory of Christ. All of the Bible’s power comes from the Holy Spirit, and the power of the gospel comes from the preaching of the word of God.

Now, to borrow some of Calvin’s way of thinking, the Bible itself is not infinite. When you pick up a Bible, you are not picking up a member of the Godhead. However, don’t think that doesn’t make it divine. Yes, the finite cannot contain the infinite, but the Spirit can use what is finite to connect us to what is infinite. This isn’t gnosticism; this is God’s promise. If we continue to have faith in Christ, and if we are willing to see the Spirit’s power through the preaching of the Lord, we will see great and mighty things done in the Name above all others’.

It is by the word we are given the promises of justification, the values of the sacraments, and insights into the character of God. If take away the word, what are we left standing on? Where does our hope for the gospel lie? Some people like William Lane Craig or Andy Stanley believe that it is the resurrection, but in the words of Christopher Hitchens, “Just because someone raises himself from the dead doesn’t make them divine.” He’s right! There were plenty of people who were raised from the dead in the Bible, and we don’t consider them divine do we? (Take that Evidentialists.)

Do you know how we know Jesus is divine? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV): “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” We know Jesus is who He says He is because the Scriptures foretold His coming, and the Lord’s word is true. Once He fulfilled them, how can there be any doubt to His divinity? Even the power of the resurrection comes from the word of God!

Our faith, hope, and love rest upon the promises of Scripture. Our comfort in life and on the death-bed is the truth contained within the word. Our breath and inheritance are found in the joys and delights of the Bible’s great treasure. The Bible is amazing! How can we not adore what God has given us? It is far better than any fleeting pleasure or any vain pursuit.

Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum! The word of the Lord endures forever!

I would advise every person to try and learn this phrase. It is very much important! God’s word is our primary means of grace. May we look forward to the preaching of the word, and may those who strive to preach do so with fear and trembling, knowing that what they possess in their hands is the eternal word of the Lord that will lead many nations to the loving arms of the Father.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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