1 Thessalonians 2:13– “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers”
Paul is quick to remind the Thessalonians that the word they heard came “from us” but was “not the word of men” but was sincerely the “Word of God.” Even though it was words from God to the people it came through ordinary guys—men with real time constraints, men with self-awareness, men with illnesses, and so on.
Nonetheless, the Word these ordinary men spoke was not the words of men. Though it came immediately FROM men, it came ultimately from GOD. True to form, this word from God came with powerful life-changing results. It was “at work” in these believers (2:13). It birthed in them saving faith, laboring love, and steadfast hope in Jesus Christ (1:3). It filled them with the Holy Spirit’s power and deep conviction (1:5). So powerful was God’s work in them that it made God’s invisible work of election visible through their lives (1:4). This word made them “imitators of the churches of God in Christ” (2:14), so that, like it does everywhere it goes, it created men and women who “suffered” for Christ’s sake (2:14).
The Word we preach comes from very ordinary human lips but it comes with power that says, “let there be light” and “the light of the glory of Christ” shines in the hearts of many who hear us (Genesis 1:3, 2 Corinthians 4:6). The word produces in God’s people such reverence, fear, and obedience inasmuch as people, touched with a feeling of divine majesty, will never allow themselves to play games with it. What a powerful word we preach! (Hebrews 4:12)
We must remain aware of something far greater. The word we preach is not our own. It is God’s. It creates worlds. It gives faith. It grants repentance. In our congregation it will not fail to produce and grow new creations in Christ! This thought fills me with awe and gives me confidence to speak nothing but His Word. For His Words are amazing and true!
Sara Eggleston is a member of WCC and is a wife and mother of three beautiful children.