The Word is Mightier than the Sword Someone said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I wonder who said that? Well, I kind of do know because I did a Google search. “The pen is mightier than the sword” is a metonymic adage coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. How true is that statement though? It is true if you look at biblical Christianity. Remember in the Garden, that Peter pulled a sword, and Jesus told him to put it away (Matt. 26:52). His kingdom would not come by the sword. No, the kingdom of God has come by word and deed! Just think of the millions of people the world over that have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the word of God. Billy Graham alone has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people in 185 countries.
The Bible teaches us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).
Here we have a beautiful picture of the “word” that became the “living word” (See John 1:14, where the word became flesh). The living word took on skin and bones. Jesus became a man. The Bible tells us that He came to reveal to us the Father. In Jesus Christ we saw the Father (God).
The Bible (New Testament) is a message to mankind. It is that which is mightier than the sword. As a matter of fact we read in Hebrews 4:12 the following truth, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The word has the power to cut and to do spiritual surgery on a living soul.
The teaching of the word of God has changed more lives, than the sword of man. You might be able to get converts to a religion by sword point, or the threat of having ones head cut off, but have you really made a convert? Outwardly you may, but not inwardly. No, it doesn’t happen with a human sword. However, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17) has great power to change the human condition.
There is a wonderful verse in the book of Romans that teaches us, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). Yes, this is even true from the Old Testament. In the book of Isaiah we read, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
The sword of man may change ones behavior, but the word of God changes the human nature. I for one am so thankful for what God has done in my own heart. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t pause and thank God for the change that has transpired in my life because of the power of God’s word.
May we remember this simple truth: The pen (God’s word) is mightier than the sword of man.
I hope that you and I will remember just how powerful the word of God is. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matt. 4:4)