Armor of God: Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians #54)

Text: Ephesians 6:17

Every piece of armor is spiritual: spiritual helmet, spiritual shoes, spiritual belt, spiritual body armor.  So this sword is spiritual as well, it is the word of God. It has also been given to you physically in the form of the Bible.

All of these armor illustrations describe the function of each piece.  More specifically, how it functions in the context of the battle you are in.  This defines your warfare and the battlefield.

Sword is for cutting

  • The sword is the piece of armor that inflicts pain.
    • But it’s not offensive so you can destroy a person, but it will destroy devilish thoughts and strongholds in your life and in others.
    • Preaching occurs and where there is pain called conviction, cutting to the heart, that is the word of God making an attack on the enemy in an area of the heart the enemy has possession of.
      • Preaching pricked the hearts and they respond right – Acts 2:36-37
      • Preaching cuts their hearts and they respond wrong – Acts 5:29-33
      • Preaching cuts their hearts and they respond wrong – Acts 7:54
      • Preaching was pricking Paul’s heart and he was fighting it – Acts 9:5
    • You find out under conviction by the word of God that the enemy is more a part of you than you thought.
      • Like a cancer that has to be cut out and all that goes with that.  You see it is much more a part of you and more interconnected than you want it to be.  And it will be painful to remove it.
      • Conviction by the sword of the Spirit, when God’s words make an attack on the enemy you feel a cutting in your heart.  Realize that’s not you, but the enemy’s stronghold. But that devil has become so much a part of you in that area you FEEL like the word of God is attacking you personally.
      • Romans 7:19-25 – you are not your body
  • Colossians 2:11
    • Circumcision in the Old Testament as a sign and illustration for the New Testament
    • It is so sharp it will divide spiritual things and things that are not seen.  So, I don’t need to sharpen the sword, I need to improve my ability to use the sword.

Sword is offensive

  • You cannot separate progress in the Christian life or Christianity from the word of God.
  • You gain ground with the sword
    • Everything you have is defensive until you get to this piece.  It is the only offensive piece of armor named.
    • Just as an army will not make progress without firepower, a Christian won’t make progress against the enemy without the sword.
    • You can’t gain ground without preaching and teaching from the word of God.
  • Revelation 19:15 – Destroy enemies with the word of God.  Physical victory.
    • if you don’t like preaching, you won’t like to hear Jesus talk in heaven either.  Everything he says is the word of God.
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:8
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 – Gain ground by preaching.  Spiritual victories.
    • Because this is how you as a Christian make progress and resist the devil, there is a violent yet very subtle battle to prevent you from wielding the sword.
    • The problem is not that the world doesn’t wield the sword of the Spirit, but that Christians don’t wield the sword of the Spirit.
  • Enemy’s reaction to the sword
    • If this is the only offense that gains ground, then the devil wants to take your sword.  It’s the same philosophy of gun control in order to better control the people.
    • Your enemy is not afraid of the word of God.
    • He will use it like he did on Jesus Christ in Matthew 4.
    • He will question it like he did in Genesis 3:1.
    • He will corrupt it.
    • He will counterfeit it (2 Corinthians 11:5)
      • Social gospel replaces the sword of the Spirit for folks who don’t know how to wield the sword or are unwilling to wield it.

Responsibilities with the word of God

  • You don’t need to sharpen it or improve the word of God – Hebrews 4:12 able to divide and open and assess and make all things open and naked before him.
    • If you have a gun in a hostile situation, you don’t have to convince the enemy that the gun is actually a gun.  You just need to know how to use it.
  • You need to believe it.
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:13 …effectually worketh in you that believe…
    • The enemy can’t resist it if believed
    • Soul recognizes they’re a sinner and repents of their sin and believes on Jesus Christ the the devil lost that battle.  There is nothing he can do about that.
  • You need to know how to handle it
    • Acts 18:24-28