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Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

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. 

Song Of The Day

Bible Commentary

Hebrews 4:12 is a popular Bible verse from the New Testament that gives us a mental picture of how the Word of God works in us. We have discussed that the Word of God is supernatural with the Presence of God. The Bible is not only the words of God; it IS God. (John 1:1)

Ephesians 6:17 says the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. And the first part of Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is living and powerful. If we have doubts about this, all we have to do is try out the Bible for ourselves to discover the truth personally.


Only when we experience the light of God’s Presence in the pages of the Bible for ourselves will we earnestly go back for more, like a well of living water.

Before studying Hebrews 4:12, I often wondered about its harsh language—a sharp, two-edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow.

Why does it take a piercing and why does God need to divide the soul and spirit, the joints and marrow? That sounds painful!

Let’s first look at the Greek meanings of “piercing,” which are: to reach through, penetrate. These definitions seem less harsh and help us understand God’s efforts to reach us (reach through or penetrate) with the truth and with His love. But what is it He needs to penetrate?

As we grow into adults in this world, we have a natural tendency to hide our hearts from things and/or situations that have caused us pain. We might lock away the truth about our own shortcomings, and our hearts become callous.


We care about number one—us, and our inner circle. We are selfish with our time and our resources. We have difficulty feeling heartfelt compassion for those around us who are struggling. We have enough struggles of our own to deal with, which are the only ones we really care about.

We get exasperated hearing someone repeat stories of difficulty in their lives because we can’t relate—because it’s not us in the story. And yet, when we are the ones expressing a time of difficulty, we get offended at the lack of compassion from others.

In general, our human hearts are callous and have need of repair because of all the junk that has accumulated in them--inside and outside. The only way to heal and restore the soft innerworkings inside our heart is by penetrating the tough outer shell with the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.

Unlocking the Truth - Healing Oil

We cling so tightly to our own ways and selfish desires that there is no room for anything else to enter in. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

As we follow the Lord and surrender to His leadership in our lives, He knocks at the places of our hearts that need the penetration of His love and righteousness. In the beginning, He knocks gently and waits for our response. If we don’t open the door, He knocks louder.

Before we can yield a particular aspect of our lives, we must first become aware of the problem. This is why God must reach through and divide the soul from the spirit, and the joints and marrow.

If someone came up behind you and jumped on your back for a piggy-back ride, you wouldn’t know who it was until you were separated from them. Our human soul (thoughts and feelings) must be separated from our spirit, which is where Christ dwells in us, so that we can see what the problem is.

Once the piercing (or separation) occurs and we see and acknowledge the truth in our hearts, He can then penetrate that dry and empty area with His healing ointment—the Word of God.

Without the healing power of the Word of God, our hearts are dry and callous—selfish and insensitive to others. Likewise without the marrow, which is the soft, fatty tissue that fills the cavities of most bones, our joints and bones would be painful.


As we open up our hearts to His Word, God reaches through and fills in the gaps between the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow. Our heart becomes enlarged (Psalm 119:32) and our dry bones become revived (Ezekiel 37:5).

As we invite the sword of the Spirit to penetrate the very depths of our mind, heart and soul, He revives us not only spiritually but physically! Hallelujah!

Because of the cross, as Christians we have access to the mind and body of Jesus Christ. He offers us everything He has, including his thoughts, His heart and His body. We only need to open the door as He knocks.


Hebrews 4:12
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. 

Study the Bible verse of Hebrews 4:12, and invite the sword of the Spirit to reach through to your heart and your body with His amazing love and healing oil. 



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