Welcome back to the fourth part of our study on obtaining spiritual victory. Over the last few weeks, we’ve explored the intricacies of the spiritual battleground as explained in the scriptures.
Last week we saw how God has given us His armor, for our protection and safety, and we also saw how much piece of that armor points to an aspect of Jesus and His complete sacrifice for us.
Today we will be taking a look at the weapon given to us in our spiritual struggle. A supernatural sword, to be used against a spiritual foe; and it might be different than you think.
Your Weapon in the Battle
It’s important for us to understand that God hasn’t just given us spiritual armor to withstand attacks, but He has also given us a potent weapon with which to properly stand our ground, and to take back ground when appropriate!
That last part is important, because oftentimes Christians are quick to abdicate authority and give up spiritual ground as “the will of God” without so much as a peep.
However, as we saw last week and are continuing to see today, if we casually relegate absolutely everything off to God’s will, then we miss a very crucial part of what Ephesians 6 is telling us.
There is a spiritual battle going on here, and we have been given armor to withstand spiritual attacks. We also have been given a spiritual weapon, to do some spiritual attacking of our own.
This requires some logical thought, but God has given us His armor, and the sword of His Spirit precisely because there are things that we should not simply roll-over and accept. Can you imagine how silly it would be for someone fully equipped to simply allow an opposing force to walk all over them? Yet that is exactly what many Christians are doing every single day!
If God didn’t want us to stand our spiritual ground and resist the spiritual attacks coming towards us, then He would never have equipped us for the battle.
The Word of God
So let’s examine the scripture now and examine the practical application of how this happens. Ephesians 6:17:
“ 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
As we can plainly see here, we are told to take up the Helmet of Salvation, which we studied along with the rest of the armor last week. But we are also told about another piece of equipment: The Sword of the Spirit.
We are told here that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. And unfortunately there has been a lot of confusion regarding this one single point. Most people think of “the word of God” as being the Bible; if this describes you, that’s okay. Most people have been told multiple times that the word of God is the Bible, without any further explanation.
The assumption of the word of God being the Bible leads people to believe that to properly use their sword, all they need to do is quote verses of scripture, similar to magic words or phrases. This theory is often paired together with Jesus’ being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. However, upon reading the account in Luke chapter 4, we see something fascinating.
Among the three attempts that Satan makes to entice Jesus, the first two Jesus responds with the phrase “it is written,” to which Satan simply tries again.
The third time however, Jesus responds differently. In verse 12, we can read that Jesus does not respond the third time with “It is written,” but rather it is said.
The implication here is that there is something different between merely quoting a scripture, and speaking with the voice of God… and this detail is recorded for a reason. And in these last days God has spoken to us through Jesus (Hebrews 1:2).
Understanding the Sword of the Spirit
So we come to the crux of our first segment today: what precisely is the Word of God? We need to know this, because if the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, as Ephesians 6:17 claims, then we must know what the Word of God is, to properly identify the Sword of the Spirit.
So what is the Word of God? You may be surprised that the Word of God is not the Bible; not the scriptures themselves. In two distinct places in scripture, the Bible tells us who the Word of God actually is: John 1:1-4, and Revelation 19:13.
In John chapter 1, The Word is defined as the person of Jesus Christ quite clearly, and in Revelation 19:13, it is revealed that the Word of God is actually a title of honor and respect which belongs solely to Jesus Christ.
Therefore, When Ephesians 6:17 says that we are to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the verse is instructing us to take Jesus Christ; to receive Him.
In Revelation 19:15, the verse mentions that a sharp sword comes out of Jesus’ mouth, which is an intriguing point, since our verse of Ephesians 6:17, continues on to verse 18 by saying “…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
Take notice of the second part of that verse, because this is how you take up and use your spiritual sword, by praying in the Spirit!
As we have been seeing these past few weeks, this Holy Spirit which Jesus has given to us, is a Spirit of Power— and now the pieces are beginning to come together.
We have done studies on praying in the Spirit in the past, however next week we will look in detail about how to apply this specifically in the context of our spiritual battles.
Join Me Again Next Week…
I encourage you today to not only take up God’s divine spiritual armor, but also the spiritual sword which He has given to you. God has given us all of His equipment for spiritual victory, and we should be ready to make full use of it.
Join me again next week, as we explore the details of spiritual swordsmanship for winning spiritual battles.