Brian Schoonmaker

Men's Ministry & Counseling Pastor

Hebrews 4

I had the honor of working in law enforcement for over three decades in the County of Los Angeles. In all of those years I had never received a 911 call from a patient in a hospital emergency room complaining that his doctor assaulted him and wounded him. Nor have I ever arrested a doctor for an assault with a deadly weapon for using a scalpel to cut into one of his patients while performing surgery. Can you imagine?

Police Dispatch: “911, state your emergency.”

Caller: “Yes, I’m at the General Hospital in the emergency room lying on a gurney. I came in this morning because of an abdominal tumor that is cancerous. My doctor proceeded to drug me and then slice me open with a sharp weapon. I began bleeding profusely from the wound. Using another sharp weapon he cut out my tumor. And now he’s piercing this same area repeatedly with a needle and thread, I think in an attempt to conceal the wound, which he inflicted upon me. I need an officer to come and place him under arrest for ‘assault with a deadly weapon!’ I am willing to press charges”

Well, this is absurd, of course. We all know that if a medical doctor needs to cut us open it is for our good in order to repair us. The doctor has no evil intent to cause undue harm to us. In fact, we pay him a lot of money for cutting us open! But the end result is worth it. We’ve been healed.

Similarly, Hebrews 4:12 is a picture of spiritual surgery. It says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The word of God, in a sense, cuts deep into our soul in order to perform spiritual surgery on our hearts. The heart of man is naturally “deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jer 17:9). We are loathsome in our natural state. We cannot change the natural condition of our heart. Only God can go deep enough into our sin-sick soul to change us internally. The word of God is living and therefore produces life and change inside of the Christian. It actively transforms our hearts in ways nothing else can.

Colossians 3:16 tells us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” In other words, if we saturate ourselves with the word of God, Hebrews 4:12 says God will use it to perform spiritual surgery on our hearts and our minds. Of course, there will be “surgical” pain along the way, but the Great Physician intends for the pain to help repair and heal us. Pain is a gift from God as it produces growth (James 1:1-5).

Get into the word of God and let the word of God get into you. The results will be a complete metamorphosis of the heart.