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Spiritual Warfare (SW-14)

Ephesians 6:17

The Sword of the Spirit

This morning I want to talk with you about one of the most exciting and powerful weapons available to you in your entire spiritual arsenal. Although every piece of armor is essential - the way you use this one will tell me whether you ‘got it’ or missed that session or perhaps just tuned out. This weapon is the key to your victory. If you will let me watch the way you handle this one, I will tell you whether you are on the road to victory or the road to defeat, success or failure. What we are going to look at today holds the keys to your being what God has called you to be - an overcomer.

Our series is entitled very simply - Spiritual Warfare. And we are busy with a study entitled The Armor of God. This morning I invite you to open your Bibles to the book of Ephesians and the 6th chapter once more as we take a fresh look at The Sword of the Spirit. I want to give you some insights into this passage that will change the way you look at it from here out - and empower you to use this weapon like you have not understood it before. What I am going to show you is profoundly refreshing - but it is not new - everything I am going to show you is directly in this passage - it is not fresh revelation but simply accurate observation. Turn to the person next to you and say this - say ‘Listen up’ - now say this - ‘this is going to be good.’

Ephesians 6:13-18 - Read Pray.

You and I are engaged in a battle that started in Eden and will end at Armageddon. We have knowledge of the outcome - we win. That does not mean we do not need to fight as effectively - rather that we fight as victors. We are not fighting for victory but from victory. We are not looking overcome - we are already more than overcomers. You see, we are called, equipped and empowered to win. We do not win because of what we do but because of what He has done. We get to walk in His victory - we benefit because he defeated Satan. We administer His victory.

Now one of the most powerful weapons that we use as we inflict that victory is found in our verse.

Let’s look at it again.

Ephesians 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

I have always been told that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God - the Scriptures. Well it turns out there is more.

". . . the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God" - what is the Word of God - the sword or the Spirit? Do you see that the pronoun ‘which’ could refer to either. Does is refer to ‘the sword’ or to ‘the Spirit’? Without going into a Greek lesson . . .

The word "which" is neuter and singular.

The word "sword" is feminine and singular.

The word "Spirit" is neuter and singular.

To be accurate we must say that the "word of God" is describing "Spirit" and not "sword." How does that change the sense of the verse? It means that we should translate it something like this - ". . . and the sword of the Spirit, which (Spirit) is the word of God."

Moffat in his version of the Bible captures this meaning when he translates it ". . . and take the Spirit as your sword (that is, the word of God)."

A number of other translators have translated it similarly.

And there is more - the word used here for ‘word’ is not ‘logos’ but ‘rhema.’ You will remember, there are three different words in Scriptures that we translate ‘word.’

There is the written Word - graphe - 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21

There is the living Word - logos - is Jesus. John 1:1-3, Luke 1:35, Hebrews 4:12

There is the spoken Word - rhema - Jesus said in John 6:63 "the words that I speak (rhema) unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

What is rhema - it is the word of God boldly received with faith or boldly confessed with faith. That is the sword spoken of here.

And the word used for sword is the short sword that is used in combat, not the long sword used in sword fighting. In other words - lets go back to our verse. I want to give you the Emile - Amplified version.

Ephesians 6:17 "And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

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