Chapter 16: Kept by the Word
In the Christian life everything depends upon the word of God. It is true that God is able, and desires, to keep us from sinning: but this must be done through his word. So it is written, “By the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This is the way that God has appointed, and there is no other way to have this thing accomplished.
Nor is this way appointed merely because he arbitrarily chose that this should be the way, and then laid it upon men that this must be the way that they should go. His word is the way of salvation and the way of sanctification (Christian living), because this is the way that the Lord does things: because this is the way that he manifests himself. It was by his word that he created all things in the beginning: it is by his word that he creates men anew; and it will be by his word that he will re-create this world and all things pertaining to it. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” “Being born again, . . . by the word of God.” “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. . . . And he said unto me, It is done.”
It is not only that the worlds were created by the word of God; but they are also sustained by the same word. “By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby [by the word of God] the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store.” So also it is not only that the Christian is created by the word of God, but by that same word he is sustained, nourished, and caused to grow. God holds up “all things” by his powerful word. And the Christian is among this “all things” no less than any or all the worlds.
There can be no question whatever that all the worlds are held up, and held in their places, by the Lord. But it is not only all the worlds, it is “all things” that are held up and held in place by the Lord. and it is as true of the Christian as it is of any star in the firmament or any world on high. Nor can there be any question that the stars and the world are held up and held in their courses by the word of the Lord. And no less than this can there be any question that the Christian is held up and held in his right course by the word of the Lord.
This is to be believed an depended upon by every one who professes the name of Christ. You and I can no more hold ourselves up and in the right way than can the sun or the earth. And as certainly as the worlds are dependent upon his word, so certainly is the Christian to depend upon his word. And when this is so, the Christian is kept in the way of the Lord as certainly and as easily as is any planet in the universe. It is written that he “is able to keep you from falling.” And he says, “I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” “Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.”
O struggling, failing Christian, is not that word which holds up great worlds able also to hold up you? Trust that word. Depend implicitly upon it. Rest wholly upon it: and they you will find rest in it. Trust the Lord to hold you up, just as you trust him to hold up the sun. His word holds up the sun, and his word is over and over to you, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee.” “I will uphold thee.” I will keep thee, thou art mine. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I will never leave thee till I have done that thing which I have spoken to thee of.
“The word of God is quick [“living,” R.V.] and powerful.” “Powerful” means “full of power.” The word of God is living and full of power, to do for you, with you, and in you, all that that word says. Believe that word, trust it: for it is the word of the living God. It is the word of the pitying Saviour. “Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” “I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up.” You “are kept by the power of God through faith.” The power of God is manifested through his word, and therefore it is his powerful word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God; therefore it is the faithful word, the word full of faith. Therefore when he says, you “are kept by the power of God through faith,” it is only saying in another way, You are kept by the word of God, “unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Believe that word, trust it, and find its keeping power.
— A.T. Jones, Review and Herald, October 13, 1896