1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us…
Ministers and hearers are alike responsible, the one for preaching and the other for receiving. The Word of God is not to be trifled with. It is either a savour of life unto life, or the reverse.
I. THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN OF THE WORD.
1. As to its Author.
(1) It is not the word of men. Men are employed as instruments for making it known, but it is not a "cunningly devised fable" of theirs.
(2) It is the Word of God in truth.
(a) Such was the gospel as preached by the apostles (1 Thessalonians 2:2; Galatians 1:11, 12; Matthew 10:20).
(b) Such also is the Written Word — the Bible. Men wrote as they spoke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
(c) The same may be said of the Word as preached by true ministers now. They claim no inspiration, but if their teaching be founded upon and drawn from the Bible it is "in truth the Word of God."
2. As to its effects. The Word is not only the channel of Divine revelation, it is the instrument of Divine quickening. The Spirit not only inspires it, but conveys Himself with it. Thus the Word is made effectual (1 Peter 1:22, 23). Hence it is called "the rod of God's strength," a "fire," a "hammer" (Psalm 110:2; Jeremiah 23:29), and the converter of the soul (Psalm 19:7). It works effectually in —
(1) Producing conviction of sin. The Spirit does this with His sword (John 16:8; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12).
(2) Binding up the broken heart. It reveals the way in which the sin of which it convinces may be forgiven.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH IT OUGHT TO BE RECEIVED.
1. With attention, because of its importance.
2. With reverence, as coming from a holy God to sinful men.
3. With humility and teachableness, making the requisite effort to understand it, and when understanding it receiving it without question.
4. As God's appointed instrument for the conversion and edification of our souls.
(E. Cooper, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
WEB: For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.