The Bible is living and powerful, or living and active. The book of Hebrews defines God’s Word this way, and the passage in which it is found is Heb. 4:11-13:
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 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. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
The Word of God is living and powerful, living and active, because of the power vested in the received Word from the mouth of God. It is living, not because it is malleable to suit our current cultural milieu and preferences, but because it has a lively power to bring about the new birth (Rom. 10:17, faith cometh by hearing the Word of God), and because it has the power to sanctify and vivify Christians into deeper godliness (John 17:17). In other words, when we say the Bible is alive and living, we do not teach that it is changeable in its meaning, because the meaning is fixed—but rather it is powerful in its application—powerful enough to “read” the reader, to hold the intents and thoughts of your mind and heart back up to you as in a mirror even while you read it. Our passage says there is no creature hidden from God’s sight. We do not transform the Word because of its liveliness, but rather are transformed by the Word due to its liveliness. This is not some old musty Book, telling dead men’s tales. We give an account to the Lord someday based upon how we personally handled His Word (Heb. 4:13), and, to those who teach, we must give an account for what we taught and therefore we face a harsher judgment than the laity (cf. James 3:1).
“Your Word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it (Psa. 119:140).” Who inspired the written Word? The Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:16-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). What is able to make one wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, even from childhood? The Holy Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15).” To quote martyred missionary Robert Jermaine Thomas, “God’s Word is a treasure.” Amen.