Brief Bible Studies. Vol.24, N0 3, p.28.
Sidney Hatch, Th.M.
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth …. the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” — James 1:18,21.
The Word of God is able to accomplish “great and mighty things.” 1 Two examples are given in the first chapter of the Book of James. There the Lord’s brother, who was also head of the Jerusalem church, has written that God “begat” us with the Word of truth. Secondly, He will someday “save our souls” with His Word.
“Begat” is a translation of apo-kueo, a Greek word which meant “to bring forth” or “give birth to.” There are other words for “birth” in the New Testament, but apokueo is a medical word implying a safe delivery.2
Here is a wonderful thing. When we are “born” into the Christian life through the Word of God, it is a safe delivery. Other methods of evangelism may appear to work or “get results,” but they do not always prove to be successful. The Word of God, however, guarantees a safe delivery.
Secondly, James writes, the Word of God is able to “save your souls.” This expression refers to the future salvation, the resurrection from the dead when Jesus comes. Paul calls this future aspect “the hope of salvation.”3
It is interesting to observe that James also uses apokueo in verse fifteen of chapter one. There he says that lust conceives and brings forth sin, “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” This is the only other occurrence of apokueo in the New Testament.
The ultimate and certain result of sin is the second death.4 This is an extinction that lasts forever.
But God’s Word gives life! We are “brought forth” by it. Someday we shall be resurrected by it. No other power can accomplish such mighty things.
1 Jeremiah 33:3. 2 Abbott-Smith, Lexicon, pp. 51-52. 3 1 Thessalonians 5:8. 4 Revelation 20:14-15.