HOW TO BE SEPARATED
Hebrews 4:12-13 says, "For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest before Him, but all things are naked and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we are to give our account." Word in verse 12 is logos in Greek. Account in verse 13 is also logos in Greek. This carries the meaning of judgment. The last part of verse 13 can be translated as "all things are naked and laid bare to the eyes of Him who judges us" or "all things are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the Lord; the Lord is our Judge."
The first thing we have to realize is that the Bible tells us that God’s word is living. If we really touch God’s word, it will be living to us. If we do not sense the livingness of God’s word, it proves that we have not touched God’s word. Some people have read through all the words of the Bible. But they have not touched God’s word. Only to the extent that we have touched something living can we claim that we have touched God’s word.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life." One person hears this word and kneels down, praying, "Lord, I thank and praise You because You love me and save me." This is a person who has touched God’s word, because His word has become living to him. Another man sitting right next to him may hear the same word. The sound may be the same, but he only is hearing the sound; he does not hear God’s word. There is no living response within him when he hears the word. God’s word is living. If a man hears the word and does not become living, he has not heard the word. God uses His own word, and this word is living.
God’s word is not only living, but operative. Living refers to its nature, and operative refers to the works which it accomplishes in man according to God’s will. God’s word does not pass away lightly. It always results in something. It produces results. God’s word does not come to us void. It operates to produce results in man.
God’s word is living and operative. What does this word do to man? It pierces and divides. God’s word is sharp, even "sharper than any two-edged sword." It pierces "even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow." Here is a contrast. On the one side, we have a two-edged sword versus the joints and marrow. On the other side, we have God’s word versus the soul and the spirit. The joints and marrow are the deepest parts of man. To divide the joints is to divide the bone outwardly. To divide the marrow is to divide the bone inwardly. A two-edged sword can divide a bone outwardly and inwardly. Physically, a two-edged sword can do this to our body. But there are two things which are harder to divide than the joints and the marrow: the soul and the spirit. A sharp, two-edged sword can divide joints and marrow, but it cannot divide soul and spirit. It cannot tell us what the soul is and what the spirit is. It cannot show us what is of the soul and what is of the spirit. But the Bible says that one thing, which is sharper than any two-edged sword, can divide the soul and the spirit. It is the word of God. God’s word is living, and God’s word is operative. It can pierce and divide. What it pierces is not the joints and what it divides is not the marrow. It pierces to the dividing of the soul and the spirit. It can separate the soul from the spirit.
(The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit, Chapter 7, by Watchman Nee)