Thursday, December 28, 2006

Framing Your World: The Word of God

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
The Bible says that the worlds were framed by words, more specifically, by the Word of God. The Greek word for “frame” means to render, fit together, equip, arrange, adjust, put in order, perfect, complete thoroughly. The worlds — the heavens and the earth — were put in order and brought to completion through the command of God. The word for “word” here is rhema and refers to the acutely articulated and precisely particularized word spoken by God. For example, when darkness covered the face of the deep, God said, “Light, be!” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). His rhema brought the darkness into order by establishing light.

Because the world was created and framed by the spoken word, it also responds to the spoken word. For example, Jesus rebuked the fever in Peter’s mother-in-law and commanded the wind and the waves. He also taught His disciples about the power of their words:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
The key, of course, is faith in God. Rendered literally, the Greek text has “faith of God.” That is, the God-kind of faith, or the kind of faith that comes from God. The Bible in Basic English translates it as “Have God’s faith.” The faith that comes from God comes by hearing the Word of God. Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17). When we have the faith that comes from God, and we believe in our heart, then the words we speak with our mouth will be done.

That is how God made us to function. He created man in His image and likeness, that is, to be like Him. When he form Adam from the dust of the ground, He puffed His breath into Adam’s nostrils, and Adam became a “living being” (Genesis 2:7), or as ancient an Jewish commentary put it, a “speaking spirit.”

God created us to speak, and He gave us the mandate to subdue the earth and bring it into divine order (Genesis 1:28). The first assignment He gave Adam was to name the animals, that is, to bring them into divine order by the words with which he would call them (Genesis 2:19). God created the animals, but by naming and calling them, Adam determined what they were going to be about. By words, he established their purpose and destiny within the plan of God. To put it another way, Adam framed his world — the realm of his existence and the sphere of his influence — by the words of his mouth.

Of course, we know that Adam and Eve rebelled in the Garden of Eden, and by their disobedience disconnected from the life of God. From that day on, man began calling forth all sorts of things that God never intended to be upon the earth, framing the world by faithless, fearful words. But that is why Jesus came, to deliver us from the curse. Even in the Old Testament, God promised that a Redeemer would come, a Messiah who would rule and reign and restore the order of God’s kingdom on earth.

We are now living in that time. When the Lord Jesus Christ came two thousand years ago, He sacrificed Himself for our sins, then was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Ephesians 1:19-23).

Because of Jesus the Messiah, we can now speak words of faith, words that come from God’s own mouth. We can frame our world through rhema words and bring it into the order God in which God intended us to live.