God in Action

by Frank Jones


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 (1 The 2:13)

"Paul's conviction that the preached word of God 'is at work in you believers' is similar to the view of the Old Testament prophets that God's word is God's deed: God's word goes out into the world as a powerful force that accomplishes his purposes. Peter also echoes this belief when he reminds his readers: 'You have been born anew ... through the living and abiding word of God.' If anyone should wonder what that word of God is precisely, Peter explains: 'That word is the good news which was preached to you' (1 Pet 1:23, 25). Like the prophets and Paul, Peter is convinced of the power of the preached word. that power is not some magical force in the words themselves but is the power of God whose word it is, for the gospel 'is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith' (Rom 1:16). The New Testament, therefore, views preaching as 'God in action.' Preaching is not merely a word about God and his redemptive acts but a word of God and as such is itself a redemptive event. (Greidanus, S. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature, 5)