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God’s Word Divides Joints and Marrow
Biblical Counselors help counselees experience transformation through wielding God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God cuts deep within the person, dividing joints and marrow. How should Christians understand this expression? How does God’s Word cut joints and marrow?
In this week’s episode of the Biblical Counseling Podcast, pastor Jeff Christianson continues to discuss the importance of God’s Word in biblical counseling. Counselors rely upon God’s Word to interpret a counselee’s experiences, to reveal sin and pride, and to transform the human heart. Pastor Jeff explains the significance behind the phrase “joints and marrow” from Hebrews 4:12.
Many times in Scripture, we see God use something physical to illustrate spiritual realities. Paul uses the human body to explain the relationship between different Christians within a church as well as the connection with a church body and Christ. Furthermore, Hebrews describes how the Word cuts between “joints and marrow.” How should we understand this phrase?
When Scripture speaks of joints, this image describes the outworkings of life. Joints illustrate movement and animations as various sections of the human body work together to accomplish tasks. For Christians, this idea communicates physical activity, spiritual devotion, and busyness for God’s glory and God’s kingdom. Marrow refers to the inner spiritual life or the life-producing source of the spiritual body. This idea connotes abiding in Christ, fellowship with God, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. The phrase “joints and marrow” describes the dynamic between internal and external spiritual realities for every Christian.
Hebrews 4:12 uses this phrase to help Christians understand the importance of overseeing the interplay between internal and external devotion to God. For example, Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength.” In this verse, we see that the marrow of waiting on the Lord fuels external activity--renewing strength for spiritual service. Many passages such as Hebrews 12:1-2 and John 15:4-5 also convey this idea, whether we are looking to Jesus (marrow) while running our race (joints) or abiding in Christ (marrow) while we bear fruit (joints).
Pastor Jeff concludes with a final reflection upon Hebrews 4:12. How should Christians respond when they face the most difficult counseling situations or pastoral challenges? They should draw upon God’s Word for wisdom, for God’s Word reveals the hidden thoughts and intentions of the heart.
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