Summary: This sermons gives practical advice on how to use the offensively (offensively as in offense and defense). What does it mean that the Bible is the sword of the Spirit - our one offensive weapon in the armor of God.
[Skit idea: A guy talking big (“saved by God, power of Holy Spirit, etc.,” he has a sword of the Spirit) then when an enemy comes and engages him in battle, he cowers, girl-screams, hops backward in retreat, head tucked down, blindly and wildly waving his sword around in the general direction of the person. Eventually flees. Enemy says, “That was quite a warrior.”]
HOW DO I USE THE BIBLE TO WIN SPIRITUAL VICTORIES? The Bible is our spiritual weapon for when we want to go on offense.
- Jesus tells Peter that the gates of hell will not be able to overpower it.
- Now this is a verse that people misunderstand. They presume an image like this: as the enemy comes against us, we swing our sword to defend ourselves and to try not to retreat too far. That is a misunderstanding. The key word is “gates.” You don’t pick gates up and move them forward. Gates are stationary.
- This is not a verse about us being able to defend ourselves when the enemy attacks us. Just the opposite. This is a verse saying that the enemy will not be able to withstand our attack when we move forward against them. That’s a great picture!
- Too often the main thing that we want when it comes to the Kingdom of Darkness is for it to stay away from us. As long as they’re off bothering someone else, we’re fine.
- That’s not what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be attacking, advancing, occupying enemy ground, forcing the enemy to retreat.
- One of the biggest problems the church has today is the pathetic timidity of its members in facing evil. We’re overwhelmed with fear. We’re too self-centered to be bothered with others’ struggles.
- We need to do more than just hope that the battle stays far away from us. We need to go on offense and work to defeat the enemy.
- In going on offense, among the “armor” mentioned here, it is the sword of the Spirit that is our lone offensive weapon.
- This morning we want to explore what it means that the Bible is an offensive weapon and how we are to use in that way.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO USE THE BIBLE AS AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON? We use the sword of the Spirit to break chains and set the prisoners free.
- This is the “mission statement” for His fledgling ministry.
- Notice the specific things He says He intends to do:
a. Preach good news to the poor.
b. Proclaim freedom for the prisoners.
c. Recovery of sight for the blind.
d. Release the oppressed.
e. Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
- For our purposes this morning, it’s the second and fourth statements that we want to focus on: He is going to give freedom to prisoners and release the oppressed.
- What’s that mean? As far as the Bible tells us, Jesus never went to a prison and did a big jail-break. That’s not what it means – it’s a spiritual thing.
- The prisoners are spiritual prisoners. People who are bound in their souls by their sin.
- The oppressed are those who are stuck in their sin.
- This is what Jesus says a huge part of His mission is.
- To put it in the offense analogy that we’re using: He intends to take those who are spiritual prisoners to the Kingdom of Darkness, break their chains, and set them free.
- He intends to go on offense, push forward into places where darkness rules, drive back those forces, and set free the prisoners.
- He’s going to occupy enemy ground. He’s going to force the enemy to retreat.
- How does He do that? The spiritual truth that He shares sets people free.
- John 8:32 – “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
- We are bound by sin’s lies and the truth sets us free.
- Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross makes it possible for us to receive that spiritual truth into our lives and become different people. Then that truth changes us, breaking our bonds.
- The reason the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our offensive weapon is that it has the ability to sever the chains of sin. It breaks the bondage of the lies we’ve been fed. It gives us the chance to be free.
- When we see people bound by the lies of Satan, what is our offensive weapon to set them free? The Word of God.