The Whole Armor of God--The Sword of the Spirit

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of  God"     (Ephesians 6:17)


Paul has been discussing the necessity of laying aside our old man of sin and pursuing a life of imitating our Lord throughout the Book of Ephesians.  However, he warns there will be forces that will try to undermine our efforts to do the Lord's will.  This amounts to nothing less than a spiritual war concerning our faith, our way of thinking, our emotions and our words and actions.  We must be focused on winning each battle, and to help us Paul has given the spiritual armor in this passage (Ephesians 6:10-18) to wear every day in this war.


After telling us to put on the helmet of salvation Paul said that we are to take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.  One writer said the authorship of the Bible is so wonderful. "There are words written by kings, by emperors, by princes, by poets, by sages, by philosophers, by fishermen, by statesmen, by men learned in the wisdom of Egypt, educated in the schools of Babylon and trained at the feet of rabbis in Jerusalem. It was written by men in exile, in the desert, in shepherd's tents, in green pastures and beside still waters. Among its authors we find a tax-gatherer, a herdsman, a gatherer of sycamore fruit. We find poor men, rich men, preachers, captains, legislators, and judges. The Bible is a library full of history, genealogy, ethnology, law, ethics, prophecy, poetry, eloquence, medicine, sanitary science, political economy and the perfect rules for personal and social life. And behind every word is the divine author God Himself."  Besides all of this, the Bible was written over a period of sixteen hundred years and there is no other book like it.  It is no wonder it has been given to us as a sword.


The Roman soldier used the "machaira—the short sword."  It was light and could be maneuvered quickly and with ease. It also only took one hand to use it, and this allowed the soldier to carry a shield. This sword could be used to defend the soldier against the attacks of the enemy, and be used for a quick offensive thrust or jab at an exposed or unprotected part of the enemy's body.  Roman soldiers knew that their skill with the sword was their lifeline in battle.  It is this kind of sword, the "machaira," that Paul mentions here.  The sword the Christian is to use is the Word of God. This sword is a spiritual sword—not a physical sword, and it comes from the Spirit.  It is not the Spirit, but comes from the Spirit.


The only way to take up the sword is to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. There are no short cuts or fast tracks. To immerse ourselves in the Scriptures is to spend as much time as we possibly can in them.   This requires the reading of it (I Timothy 4:13). The studying of it and meditating upon it (2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:2). We are to talk about and teach it (Acts 5:42). Pray about it (I Thessalonians 5:17). Think about it (Philippians 4:8). 



The Maranatha! Singers


Oh let the Son of God enfold You

With His Spirit and His love

Let Him fill your heart

And satisfy your soul

Oh let Him have those things that hold you

And His Spirit like a dove

Will descend upon your life

And make you whole


Jesus, oh Jesus

Come and fill Your lambs

Jesus, oh Jesus

Come and fill Your lambs


Oh come and sing this song with gladness

As your hearts are filled with joy

Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name

Oh give Him all your tears of sadness

Give Him all your years of pain

And you'll enter into life in Jesus' name



"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"

Walnut Street Church of Christ

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