Spirit and Life 
Written by Donna on 28 April 2016.

Several years ago, Hollywood released a film titled “The Book of Eli” starring Denzel Washington. The film is not considered family fare. However, despite its graphic violence and profane language, the film had something to say about one man’s determination to carry the Word (a Bible) from one coast to the other, making sure nothing detoured him from his mission.

Some might wonder why I mention “The Book of Eli” to start off this article, since the film is over five years old at this point. My choice actually points to the gist of what I want to convey with this article. In one scene of the movie, one of the villain’s henchman could not understand why the villain, “Carnegie,” was so set on obtaining a Bible. The henchman retorted, “It’s just a book.” Carnegie angrily replied that it wasn’t just another book (with an expletive added in, of course).

I oftentimes wonder if those of us who claim Jesus as Lord look at the Word of God with the same understanding that it’s not just another book. On the surface, no believer would assert such a thing. After all, we claim it to be the inerrant Word of the living God that we say we adore, serve, and worship. Yet, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that we indeed treat it as just another book.

And why would I say that? I say it because our actions and interaction with “the Book” belie our true sentiments. How much of it do we put into action? How well-versed are we in its contents? Do we study it? Do we adhere to what it says? When it is expounded upon by spiritual men and women, how well do we regard the truths released? How much do we regard the revelation therein? How much do we practice what is revealed? Are our lives so enmeshed in the natural world around us that we no longer regard the Bible as God’s revealed truth to us on how to live the supernatural life Jesus died and rose to provide for us?

Or is it just another book that is on a shelf or table and rarely used or referenced? Has it gone out of style like an old movie, no matter what message it contains for our lives?

In John 6:63, our Lord said, “... the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” Thus there is a supernatural element to them and a life-giving element to the Word of God. And, let us not forget – it is “the Word of God.”

So what truths have we filed in the dust-laden recesses of our minds because the concepts are no longer trendy to discuss or live by? What truths have we let slip? What doctrines do we treat with disregard because they are inconvenient?

You see, although we might not voice the phrase, “It’s just another book,” the way we respond to what it says is a telltale sign of how we really feel.

When it tells us to not allow foul, corrupt, or injurious words to emerge from our mouths (Eph. 4:29), do we? When it tells us to avoid bad language or coarse joking, (Eph. 5:4), do we? When it says to live in holiness as a reflection of our holy God, do we?

Do we treat such commands like an old movie that’s out of style and played out, relegated to the recesses of our minds? Just because a specific teaching no longer has popularity does not cause it to not be spirit and life.

If it is spirit and life, then we ought to be regarding it accordingly. Otherwise, our actions say that it’s just another book to us. Even the villain Carnegie in “The Book of Eli” knew that was not true.