There are two primary Greek words in Scripture that are translated into word in the New Testament. The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, who is the living Logos.
The following passages of Scripture give examples of the logos of God:
- “In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God” (John 1:1).
- “The seed is the word [logos] of God” (Luke 8:11).
- “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [logos] of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23).
Rhema—The Spoken Word
The second primary Greek word in Scripture that translates into word is rhema, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse, or portion of Scripture, that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.
Every word of God is inspired, and “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). It is the Holy Spirit who illuminates particular Scriptures for application in our lives while we daily walk with the Lord.
The words of Jesus are significant on this point – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also stated, “The words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
When God gives a rhema for us to act on, He often confirms it by a second rhema. Just like the Scripture says that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [rhema] be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).
Biblical Examples of Rhemas
The following passages of Scripture give examples of the rhemas of God:
- When Jesus told Peter to cast the fishing nets on the other side of the boat, Peter answered, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word [rhema] I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5).
- When the angel told Mary that she would have a child, “Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word [rhema]” (Luke 1:38).
- Simeon recalled the promise that he would see Christ before he died: “Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word [rhema]” (Luke 2:29).
How do I “get” a rhema?
In the regular course of our daily reading of God’s Word (logos), we need to ask God to speak to us through His Word and give us insight into it. The Holy Spirit can cause certain passages to stand out with significant meaning or application for our lives. These are the rhemas of Scripture and should become a part of our daily thoughts and actions.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon