Good News Translation (GNT)
12 The word of God is alive and active, sharper than
any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through,
to where soul and spirit meet,
to where joints and marrow come together.
It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.
13 There is nothing that can be hid from God;
everything in all creation is exposed
and lies open before his eyes.
And it is to him that we must all give
an account of ourselves.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we have a great High Priest who has gone into
the very presence of God - Jesus, the Son of God.
15 Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy
for our weaknesses.
On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was
tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.
16 Let us have confidence, then,
and approach God's throne, where there is grace.
There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us
just when we need it.
Commentary taken from
'The Applied New Testament
Jesus the Great High Priest
Hebrews Chapter 4 v12-16
It is not enough to hear God's word; we must obey it.
For the word of God is living and active.
To the believer it brings salvation.
To the unbeliever it brings judgment.
It penetrates to a man's inner mind and conscience.
The word reveals and judges the deepest parts of our being.
God's word shows us what, in our lives, is of the flesh and
what is of the spirit.
God's word examines our soul - that is, our mind,
our inner motives and desires.
Sometimes we think we are doing God's will,
but it's really our own selfish will that we are doing.
Our soul naturally follows our selfish will,
but our spirit follows God's will;
God's word is able to distinguish between these two wills.
That is what the writer means when he says that the word
penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit.
God's word is Christ Himself (John 1:14).
That word which brings judgment and salvation and
which judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart -
that word is Jesus Himself.
We can deceive ourselves, but we cannot hide anything from God,
nor can we deceive Him. Every man will one day have to give a
complete account of himself to God;
on that day, everything will be uncovered and laid bare.
Jesus has ascended to heaven, and now He is seated
at the right hand of God. He has gone before us to prepare
a place for us.
In order that we might not lose that place, let us hold firmly
to the faith we profess.
Jesus knows that we are weak.
He knows how great our temptations are, because He Himself
has been tempted in every way.
We can talk to Him as a friend.
He completely understands our situation.
Because He never sinned that He became a perfect high priest,
through whom we can obtain salvation.
We can come directly into the presence of God Himself.
We can come with confidence, because we know that we shall
obtain mercy and grace.
Therefore, when trials and temptations come upon us,
let us not run and hide from God;
rather, let us go at once to Jesus,
and He will help us in our time of need.