Divided to the Quick

Divided to the Quick

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.

Hebrews 4:12

suggested further reading: Acts 2:14–41

It appears from this verse that the Word of God is not equally efficacious in all. In the elect the Word is quick and powerful, for when they are humbled by a true knowledge of themselves, the elect flee to the grace of Christ. This is never the case, except when the Word penetrates the innermost heart.

Hypocrisy, which has marvelous and extremely winding recesses in the hearts of men, must be sifted out. We must not be slightly pricked or torn but thoroughly wounded so that, prostrate under a sense of eternal death, we are taught to die to ourselves. In short, we shall never be renewed in the whole mind (Eph. 4:23) until our old man is slain by the edge of the spiritual sword. Hence Paul says that the faithful are offered as a sacrifice to God by the gospel (Phil. 2:17), for they cannot otherwise be brought to obey God than by having, as it were, their own will slain. Nor can they receive the light of God’s wisdom in any other way than by first having the wisdom of the flesh destroyed in them.

Nothing of this kind is found in the reprobate, for they will either carelessly disregard God speaking to them, and thus mock him, or they will clamor against his truth and obstinately resist it. In short, as the Word of God is a hammer, so is the heart of a reprobate like an anvil, which in its hardness repels the hammer’s strokes, however powerful they may be. The Word of God is far from being so efficacious toward them as to penetrate them to

the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.

Hence it appears that this character of the Word is to be confined to the faithful only, as they alone are thus searched to the quick.

for meditation: Has the Holy Spirit ever used the Word to penetrate the depths of your heart, expose your sin, discern your thoughts, and cause you to cry out for mercy? After having found the Lord Jesus Christ as a needy sinner, is this convicting ministry of the Word and Spirit continuing in your life in a sanctifying way?

 Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008).

365 Days with Calvin

(p. 281). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.