What is a “Rhema”?

Scripture for personal application

The Word of God

There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated 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.

Biblical Examples of 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).
  • “Holding forth the word [logos] of life” (Philippians 2:16).
  • “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word [logos] of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
  • “For the word [logos] of God is quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).
  • “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 that describes Scripture 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 a 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 upon, He often confirms it by a second rhema, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [rhema] be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).

Biblical Insights Into Rhemas

The following passages of Scripture provide insight into the rhemas of God:

  • “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17).
  • “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
  • “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word [rhema] (Ephesians 5:25–26).
  • “If ye abide in me, and my words [rhema] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

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).
  • God gave John the message he was to preach as a forerunner to Christ: “The word [rhema] of God came unto John” (Luke 3:2).
  • God reminded Peter of His Word: “Then remembered I the word [rhema] of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 11:16).
  • Jesus told Peter he would deny Him. “Peter remembered the word [rhema] of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Matthew 26:75).

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.