Battle Ready Part 7

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Here we are on the final piece of the Armor of God, “the sword of the Spirit”. Over the last several weeks we have gone piece by piece through the armor of God. We have fastened the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, put on our shoes given by the gospel of piece, we have taken up our shield of faith in all circumstances, we have put on the helmet of salvation and now we are going to learn how to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is a defensive and offensive weapon in the believers armor.
Ephesians 6:10–13 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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 firm.
Ephesians 6:14–16 ESV
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Ephesians 6:17 (LEB)
17 and receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Today we are going to finish this out with the sword of the Spirit. It will help us to understand what Paul is talking about if we look at this verse one piece at a time. The sword which he is referring to is not the broad sword we discussed last week. It is the macharia, it was more like a dagger, anywhere from 6” to 18” in length. Why is this important for us to understand you might ask, well it goes with the second part of this verse. In order to be effective with this smaller sword or dagger you must be precise with how it is used, unlike the broad sword which you could just swing around and inflict damage, with the macharia you have to hone your skills to be effective in hand to hand combat. (Swords)
Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
17 b, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
What does Paul mean by the sword of the Spirit, well what type of battle are we facing it is a spiritual one, so we need spiritual weapons to fight this battle. The sword comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, teaching us the truths of God’s word and bringing them to remembrance. This verse focuses on how we as believers are to use the sword of the Spirit. It is not a physical weapon designed by human minds or built by human hands. It is the perfect spiritual weapon of divine origin and power. This weapon is to always be at hand, ready to be taken up and used when the battle begins.
John 14:17 LEB
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him or know him. You know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.
Remember the later part of verse 12 our fight is against spiritual forces of evil and therefore we need spiritual weapons for this battle. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, whom resides in us, He gives understanding of God’s truths, and brings to remembrance the truth of God’s word.
Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
17 b, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Here Paul states that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. What do we think of when we hear this statement, the Bible, because it is God’s word. It was breathed out by God into the writers as they were carried along by the Spirit. It is sufficient, complete, effective. It is a limitless resource for the believer. (Read Thomas Guthrie Quote). A source of power as we see from Hebrews 4:12
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
17 b, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Now we need to understand what Paul is saying when he says word of God is being more specific than just scripture as a whole. He does not use the word Logos but the word rhema, which refers to individual words or particular statements. He is not just talking about a general knowledge of Scripture, but he is emphasizing the precision that comes by knowing and understanding specific truths. What did Christ do when he was tempted, He used the sword of the Spirit, effectively and accurately by quoting specific Scripture that dealt with what the devil had said. (Bible). Remember the two sides to satan’s sword, discouragement and doubt.
2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
If we are to rightly handle the word, if we are to wield our sword of the Spirit effectively in battle then we must know the word. Why do you think there is so much in Scripture that talks about meditating on the word day and night, about what the word does. What does a cow do when it ruminates or chews its cud it chews, swallows, brings it back up again, and starts the process all over again. This is what we should do with the word of God, we should chew on it, swallow it and then start all over.
Ephesians 6:18 ESV
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Ephesians 6:19 ESV
19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Ephesians 6:20 ESV
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(H.P. Barker Quote).

Battle Ready

After what I just read, I would like to ask are we being like the butterfly flitting from Bible study to Bible study, sermon to sermon and never gaining more than some nice feelings. Or are we like the botanist doing careful study and taking tons of notes, but only gaining information but little truth. Or are we like the bee going into the Bible to be taught by God, growing in a knowledge of Him, and never leaving empty. Are we getting the training we need from the Holy Spirit to be able to effectively and rightly handle the word of God, can we use our machaira to defend ourselves against satan’s attacks as well as strike blows against him and his evil forces. I want to make one thing very clear that you do not have to be Bible scholar with a degree to be able to effectively handle the word of God. God has graciously given it to us, and we should take full advantage of it.
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