In my last post I talked about the Word of God in its different forms. These are emphasized by the Greek words graphe, logos and rhema.
We have seen that graphe refers to the written Word of God – the Scripture. To see the differences between logos and rhema, we need to understand the Scriptural illustration of the Word of God as a seed or grain of wheat.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The two purposes that God determines for His Word are seed for the sower and bread for food. It’s just like the function of wheat in the natural. You can find wheat all over the world in literally millions of forms.
Grains of wheat, wheat berries, flour, crackers, and bread; it’s all wheat, just in different textures, shapes, and consistencies. Mankind lives on wheat products.
But the real question is; which form of wheat would you prefer to eat, given a choice? Which form is easier to digest? Which is more palatable to you? Personally, I love a fresh loaf of Italian bread, hot out of the oven.
In the same way, the Word of God comes in many forms. All of them are powerful and life giving. We need understanding to discern the differences and how they relate to us.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
The word in this verse is logos. The logos of God needs to be handled correctly. As a matter of fact, throughout the Scripture we find that logos can be distorted, nullified by tradition, peddled for profit, and spoken vainly or carelessly. This means that we must use integrity when dealing with logos.
Based upon a careful study of Scripture, I believe the following: Rhema is the raw, unadulterated Word that God Himself has spoken. Logos is man’s attempt to express the Word that God has spoken.
Let me use myself as an example. As the Senior Pastor of a church, I’m responsible to spend time in the presence of the Lord, listening for His voice. When I hear from God, that’s rhema to me. It’s the raw grain of the Word that God plants in my heart. I then study and meditate on the rhema I’ve received. As I work on it, I’m grinding up the Word into spiritual “flour”.
Along with that I also study the Scripture. In essence I’m adding the flour of the Apostles Matthew, John, or Paul to the mix. In my studies it’s as if I am mixing and baking the Word into a loaf of bread that I can then present to my congregation for their nourishment.
Of course, along the way I’m adding my personality and preaching style into the mix. That’s why it’s important for pastors and teachers to be careful how they form their spiritual bread.
The Word that I present the congregation with is the logos of God. It’s the same Word, but in a form that’s more digestible to the general group of church people. This is what they’ll feed upon for their edification.
In my next post I’ll explain how this Word from God can be life-giving to those who hear it.
Question: Why will God judge preachers and teachers more strictly than others?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016