“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8)
Paul and Peter both lay this concept\truth out in the open. A Christian’s life is a battle. Our lives are a fight, yet too often we go into the fight with no weapon. Of late, The Heart of Teens has been looking at the Armor of God. In this post, I want to look at a weapon God has given us to fight against the Devil and sin: the Bible.
In the 1st Century, the Roman Empire was still at large. Paul would have been very familiar with Roman soldiers. Likewise, the Ephesians would have understood what Paul was implying near the end of Ephesians 6. However, today some of the analogies have been lost to the average reader. We don’t exactly see soldiers walking around with swords anymore. In Ephesians 6:17 Paul says, “And take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. Why does Paul call it the sword of the Spirit? As I was studying this passage I was reminded of a couple very gripping truths.
The Bible is called the sword of the Spirit because the Spirit guided men to write it (2 Peter 1:21). The word of God is given by the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit helps Believers to understand the Bible and transforms us through it (Ephesians 1:17-18 & 1 Corinthians 2:6-16). In summary, the Holy Spirit gives us the word of God and works in our lives through it.
That explains why the Bible is a sword of the Spirit but why does Paul call it a Sword? In this next section I want to focus on a couple reasons Paul called the Bible the sword of the Spirit.
The Greek word for “sword” here refers to a small sword that would be anywhere from 18 inches long to 1 foot. This was the sword that Roman soldiers had with them at all times. So, the kind of sword Paul is speaking about is a sword that one uses or has all the time.
This sword would be used for defense as the rest of the armor of God. Moreover though, it would be used offensively. In that sense, the sword of the Spirit is different from the rest of the armor. It is a WEAPON for FIGHTING!
Therefore, the Bible is given by the Spirit and is used through the working of the Spirit. What’s more, it is weapon that should be used all the time. The Bible is not just for Sunday messages, or Wednesday night prayer meetings it is for all of life! Too often I, too often we, go into battle without our sword! We possess the Sword of the Spirit we just need to pick it up and fight! Satan is powerless against the power of God’s Word. The Bible is a formidable weapon and the source of spiritual victory. We just need to use it!
The question is how do we pick up the Bible and how do we fight with it? Do we just pick it up off the shelf and start swinging it? No, of course not! And no, I am not going to leave this post as one large confusing analogy. So, how can we take the Bible and fight with it? Let’s look to Christ, the ultimate example, as to how He used the sword of the Spirit.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is tempted by none other than Satan himself. I want to draw your attention to verses 4, 7, and 10. In each instance Jesus fights against Satan’s temptations with (guess what?) SCRIPTURE. You see putting on the armor of God is putting on Christ. When we use Scripture to combat sin and the devil we are then walking as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). So, how can we apply what Jesus did here in this passage to our lives?
We can read the Bible. You see by reading the Bible we pick up the sword. I once heard that John Wesley was up as early as 4 each morning to read his Bible in 5 different languages. I tell you this to make you feel really bad.
We can dig deep into the Bible. We can study it so we understand it. How can we fight well with something, if we don’t understand it?
We can memorize it. I entreat you to memorize scripture! I know memorizing can be hard at times but I believe that is the best way to have the Bible with us at all times like Roman soldiers would have their sword with them at all times (Psalm 119:11).
Lastly, we can apply the Word of God that is how we fight with it. We can take the truth, and God will change you through it. So, we like Christ, can say, “Be gone, Satan” (Matthew 4:10).
In conclusion, I have a quote from John Owen (a smart dead guy), “Be killing sin or it will be killing you”. Pick up the sword and fight! God has given us His Word to fight against “the schemes of the devil” we just need to start using it like Christ, “It is written”, “it is written”, it is written”. Read it, understand it, memorize it and apply it.
~ Brad Grizenko, Guest Author for The Heart of Teens