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TAKING UP THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: TAKING UP THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

COMPILED/EDITED BY:-
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”— Ephesians vi. 17.

Summary: The supreme weapon we have to successfully fight in our spiritual battles is the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

The Sword.

Every Roman soldier had a sword, the gladius. It was a double-edged blade of a length between 12 and 20 inches long. That is was not a long sword tells us that it was designed for close combat. The gladius was not the only Roman soldier’s weapon, but it was the weapon of choice. Using it effectively was a matter of life or death.

To be a Christian is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war. As he puts on piece by piece of the panoply provided for him, he may wisely say to himself, “This warns me of danger; this prepares me for warfare; this prophesies opposition.”

Difficulties meet us even in standing our ground; for the apostle, two or three times, bids us— “Stand.” In the rush of the fight, men are apt to be carried off their legs. If they can keep their footing, they will be victorious; but if they are borne down by the rush of their adversaries, everything is lost. You are to put on the heavenly armour in order that you may stand; and you will need it to maintain the position in which your Captain has placed you. If even to stand requires all this care, judge ye what the warfare must be! The apostle also speaks of withstanding as well as standing. We are not merely to defend, but also to assail. It is not enough that you are not conquered; you have to conquer: and hence we find, that we are to take, not only a helmet to protect the head, but also a sword, with which to annoy the foe. Ours, therefore, is a stern conflict, standing and withstanding; and we shall want all the armour from the divine magazine, all the strength from the mighty God of Jacob.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Ephesians 6:10-17

The Sword is the Word of God.

The Spirit of God has given the Christian a marvelous weapon in the word of God. However, I need to clarify what is meant by the “word of God”. This is extremely important.

The Apostle Paul is not referring to the entire Bible, as such. For, the Greek word we have translated “word” is not logos but rhema. Rhema refers to just a specific portion of the Scriptures pertaining to a specific subject or applicable to a specific situation. It is a particular passage that is relevant to the particular need at hand.

With that clarification in our minds, we can see how a word of the Lord compares wonderfully with a sword. For, whether used defensively or offensively, a single verse or passage, well understood and rightly applied is an extremely powerful weapon in our spiritual warfare.

Defensive Weapon.

A relevant Scripture can challenge and deflect a sharp temptation or block the thrust of a false teaching. We have several examples in the Bible of the inspired Word doing both.

When temptation comes our way, whether it be a temptation to lose one’s temper, a temptation to be greedy, a temptation to become discouraged, a temptation to indulge in sexual immorality, a temptation to be selfish, a temptation to wallow in self-pity, a temptation to choose entertainment over worship, a temptation to gossip, a temptation to cheat, a temptation to drive over the speed limit, a temptation to complain, a temptation to worry about matters, a temptation to get high or to get drunk, a temptation to be envious or jealous, a temptation to speak a lie, or whatever else the temptation may be, we need to be able to blunt the temptation with a Scripture that speaks to the issue and meditate on it. If we are thinking on and speaking forth the Scripture, Satan and the temptation no longer can gain a foothold within us. We are on our way to enduring and triumphing over it.

A physical sword pierces the body, but the sword of the Spirit pierces the soul, or the heart…

It is often pointed out that with this piece of armour we pass from the Christian’s defence to the one piece weaponry designed by God for attacking his enemies. There is a proverb to the effect that attack is the best form of defence, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Christian life. If we don’t take the battle to the enemy they’ll think we’ve hung up the white flag. They will start dictating to us, and we’ll develop a perennial ‘damage limitation’ mentality. In fact it is only when you go onto the front line of Christian service and start wielding the sword that you truly appreciate the rest of your armour. For example, you find yourself increasingly trusting in the Lord to help you, that is, you are taking the shield of faith. The other pieces of armour are all protecting you as you swing and thrust with your sword; without the sword you can put on all the armour but you’re going to be defeated. For victory you have to use the sword of the Spirit.

The Bible is the source of power. We’re really impotent in our lives if we don’t use God’s word. The Bible is the source of our power. “The word is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Further, the Bible is the source of guidance, Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The Bible is a source of comfort. Romans 15:4 talks about the comfort of the Scripture. The Bible is the source of perfection, 2 Timothy 3:16, “That the man of God may be perfect!” The Bible is the source of so many things. This incredible book that never has an error, never makes a mistake, is always sufficient and complete and authoritative and effective and determinative can bring to your life truth and happiness and growth and power and guidance and comfort and perfection.

SHALOM!

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