Summary: We have available to us two powerful weapons of offense. This ermos discusses the Word of God and prayer.
Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the armor worn by a Roman soldier. We have looked in great detail at the helmet, the body armor, the belt, the shoes, and the shield. We have compared the helmet to the knowledge of our salvation. The body armor to the righteousness given to us by God. The belt to the truth of God’s word. The shoes to the peace found in God and the peace of God. The shield to our faith, which completely covers us. Today we will look at two offensive weapons that are at out disposal.
Ephesians 6:17 “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The sword that Paul was observing was about 19 inches long. Both sides of the sword were razor sharp. The tip of the sword turned upward. This allowed the soldier to thrust the sword into his enemies gut, slightly twist, and degut him as the soldier withdrew his sword. It was designed not only to kill but also to rip out an enemy’s insides. It was terrifying weapon of murder.
So Paul is telling the church that we have a weapon that is just that brutal against the spiritual forces of evil. Paul says it’s the Word of God. The Greek word used in this passage is rhema. It was a statement that was spoken clearly and spoken vividly. It was spoken in an understandable language. It was a statement that was unmistakable, unquestionable, and certain.
This word of God is the word that gets deep inside of us. It’s the scripture that gives us power. We have a promise about this word of God. John 14:26 “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
When Jesus left the disciples behind He did not give then a red-letter addition of the New Testament. He left them with his teachings and his statements. He knew it would be hard for them to recall everything that had been revealed to them. So God sent the Holy Spirit to reside inside of them spiritually. It would be him that would bring into remembrance all of the teachings and sayings of Jesus.
We have that same Holy Spirit within us. Everything we hear about God, Jesus, righteous living, obedience, and the list goes on is inside of us. Everything we’ve read or been taught is in our mind. And the Holy Spirit will bring those things to mind when we need them to fight a spiritual battle.
However, it goes back to partnership. If we have not read, studied, or meditated on God’s Word, then there is nothing to draw from.
The Roman sword would hang on the belt wrapped around his armor. It would be within immediate reach if attacked. The sword of the spirit is to hang on the belt of truth wrapped around us in our spiritual armor. It is vital for our protection. If the belt of truth is not firmly in place, there is a chance that we could lose our grip on sword of the spirit and drop it at the very moment we need it. This loosening of the belt occurs when we neglect spending time in God’s word.
This is two-edged sword that we speak of in the spiritual realm is different from a physical sword. To better understand this picture let’s read Revelation 1:16 “He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.”
This same description of Jesus is repeated in Revelation 2:12. In both scriptures there is a two-edged sword proceeding from his mouth. This sounds like a strange sight unless we understand that the two-edged sword is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. And in recognizing that we also can understand the partnership aspect that we have with God.
God sharpened one side of the sword when the word proceeded from his mouth. When God first spoke his word and inspired biblical writers to record it, the sword was a one-edged sword. It was a mighty sword but not designed for spiritual warfare. It became a two-edged sword when it proceeded from the mouth of Jesus.
Let’s talk about Jesus, the man. He was born as we were. He was a human as we are. He did not arrive on this earth with full knowledge. He had to learn to walk, to talk, to be pottied trained. He did not have instant knowledge of the scripture. The Bible tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom. He became a rabbi, which meant He would have memorized the entire Pentateuch, the first five chapters of the Old Testament.