Summary: The Holy Spirit empowers us through the Word of God to live the Christian life
Standing in the Spirit
August 12, 2007
Recently National Geographic ran an article about the Alaskan bull moose. The males of the species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide. Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken. That ensures defeat. The heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs. Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually. The one that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight. Those that eat inadequately sport weaker antlers and less bulk. There is a lesson here for us. Spiritual battles await. Satan will choose a season to attack. Will we be victorious, or will we fall? Much depends on what we do now--before the wars begin. The bull-moose principle: Enduring faith, strength, and wisdom for trials are best developed before they’re needed.
Craig Brian Larson.
Just as the Alaskan moose needs strength for its battles, we also need strength for our spiritual battles.
This morning we are continuing our series of messages on the full armor of God. If you have your Bibles open them to Ephesians 6:17. Today we shift our focus to the Sword of the Spirit.
Stand firm then… Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
When Paul speaks of the sword, he uses the Greek word machaira, which is where we get our word machete. The sword was a common weapon for the Roman soldier. It was primarily used in close quarter hand to hand combat. This same word was used to describe the swords carried by soldiers who arrested Jesus, the sword used by Peter to cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant and the sword Herod’s men used to execute James.
Paul further describes this sword by saying that it is of the Spirit. When Paul says this he is communicating a dual truth. The weapon of the Christian is indeed spiritual. The phrase that Paul uses here is also used in Ephesians 1:3 and 5:19. Both cases the phrase is translated spiritual.
Many times I have heard this passage quoted and said that the sword is the person of the Holy Spirit. Paul is not saying that the weapon at our disposal is the Holy Spirit. Instead He is saying that our spiritual arsenal comes from the Holy Spirit. The sword that Paul speaks about comes from God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Work of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit reveals the reality of spiritual truth to humanity. In fact, all divine truth flows through the work and the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples before they received the Holy Spirit that He was coming. Look at Acts 1:8 with me
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Jesus wants you to receive something more. This word receive literally means to take or to gather but not in a selfish or greedy way. It means to take what is already yours. A good example of this is when the Fed Ex guy stops at the house and delivers a package to me. The job that guy is doing is bringing to me what is already rightfully mine and all I have to do is accept it. Jesus is saying here that there is more that belongs to us as believers, all we have to do is gather it in.
Jesus understood it would take power to change a persons life and He makes what you need available. In fact, He sends it “Fed Ex”, ready to be received. All you have to do is accept it.
The word that Jesus uses here for power is the Greek term dunamis, which is where we get our English words dynamite and dynamic. The meaning is to be given the strength or the ability to perform a certain task.
Jesus understood that we would need more power in our lives to make them dynamic for Him. Jesus sends the ability or the strength that we need through the work and person of the Holy Spirit.
Christ reveals the power of the Holy Spirit because the Spirit was His partner in ministry. Just think about what the Spirit did in the life of Jesus.
• Pre-birth: The Spirit conceives Jesus in the womb
• Pre-ministry: The spirit protects and anoints Jesus like a dove
• Ministry: The Spirit gives Jesus the power He needs to live a sinless life
• Post- Resurrection: The Spirit fills the church as a promise of Jesus