Sword of the Spirit – One of 6 Pieces of God’s Armor

Sword of the Spirit

In our church, the men have the opportunity to attend Man Academy. Man Academy is a two-year discipleship program for men which trains them in Christian leadership. At the end of the two years, the church holds a Man Academy graduation for the participants. The men are awarded a sword to represent they war for the Lord’s honor, their families honor, and the church’s honor. My husband hung his sword above his office door as a reminder that the Battle belongs to the Lord and sometimes He uses His People.

Swords are Offensive Weapons

“All other pieces of the soldier’s arsenal are defensive weapons, but not his sword. The sword was a deadly weapon. In the hands of a skilled warrior, he could pierce through even the strongest armor.” [Connect Us]

“God’s word is our offensive weapon, supplied by the Spirit (Heb. 4:12). Thus Scripture rightly understood and correctly proclaimed turns back evil, destroys strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4), and rescues people from darkness (Acts 6:7).” [Moody]

“’Your word is truth…John 17:17’ The truth of God’s word is foundational to our spiritual warfare. The man who hears God’s word and puts it into practice is likened to a house built upon the rock, which will stand against anything nature has to throw at it (Matthew 7). The man who meditates on God’s word day and night is like a tree with strong roots (Psalm 1).” [Cheddie]

The Word is a Sword

“In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus] was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4 NASB)

“And the Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:14, 17 NASB)

Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31b-32 NASB)

“The ‘Word of God’ has several meanings – The Gospel, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. And The Bible. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, he used Bible verses to answer and the devil left him. [Matthew 4:1-11]” [Rose]

“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NASB)

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NASB)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 NASB)

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 NASB)

Foundational Thoughts on the Sword of the Spirit

“The soldier takes the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The classic illustration of this is our Lord’s use of this sword in His encounter with satan. Three times He quoted the word of God – not just random verses but the appropriate verses which the Holy Spirit gave Him for that occasion (Luke 4). The word of God here does not mean the whole Bible, but the particular portion of the Bible which best suits the occasion.” [MacDonald]

“As the sword was the soldier’s only weapon, so God’s Word is the only needed weapon, infinitely more powerful than any of satan’s. It was used both defensively to fend off satan’s attacks, and offensively to help destroy the enemy’s strategies. It is the truth of Scripture.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Heb. 4:12) [MacArthur]

“In the Old Testament, God is a God who uses words. In Genesis 1, His words have the power to create reality from nothing. ‘And God said’ was enough to create light, sky, dry ground, seas, and every living thing.” [Stedman]

“In the New Testament, Jesus Himself is the Word. ‘In the beginning was the Word…and the Word became flesh.’ In Jesus, God became flesh. We see that to put on the armor of God is to put on Christ. When we take up the sword of the Spirit, we clothe ourselves with Jesus, and let Him and His words fight our battles. This imagery is especially vivid in the book of Revelation, in which Jesus is depicted with a sword coming out of His mouth (Revelation 1:16; 2:12, 16) with which He fights (Revelation 19:15, 21).” [Stedman]

Warren Wiersbe on the Sword of the Spirit

“This sword is the offensive weapon God provides us. The Roman soldier wore on his [belt] a short sword which was used for close-in fighting. Hebrews 4:12 compares the Word of God to a sword, because it is sharp and is able to pierce the inner man just as a material sword pierces the body.”

“You and I were ‘cut to the heart’ (Acts 2:37; 5:33) when the Word convicted us of our sins. Peter tried to use a sword to defend Jesus in the garden (Luke 22:47-51), but he learned at Pentecost that the ‘sword of the Spirit’ does a much better job.”

“A material sword pierces the body, but the Word of God pierces the heart. The more you use a physical sword, the duller it becomes, but using God’s Word only makes it sharper in our lives. A physical sword requires the hand of a soldier, but the sword of the Spirit has its own power, for it is ‘living and powerful’ (Hebrews 4:12).”

“The Spirit wrote the Word, and the Spirit wields the Word as we take it by faith and use it. A physical sword wounds to hurt and kill, while the sword of the Spirit wounds to heal and give life. But when we use the sword against satan, we are out to deal him a blow that will cripple him and keep him from hindering God’s work.”

“When He was tempted by satan in the wilderness, Christ used the sword of the Spirit and defeated the enemy. Three times Jesus said, ‘It is written’ (Luke 4:1-13). Note that satan can also quote the Word – ‘For it is written’ (Luke 4:10) – but he does not quote it completely. Satan tries to use the Word of God to confuse us, so it is important that we know every word that God has given us.”

“‘You can prove anything by the Bible,’ someone said. True – if you take verses out of context, leave out words, and apply verses to Christians today that do not really apply. The better you know the Word of God, the easier it will be for you to detect satan’s lies and reject his offers.” [WBC]

Sword of the Spirit Application

“Our sword is the Word of God, both the written and the incarnate Word. Every other piece of armor protects us against attacks. With God’s Word, we are truly able to fight and defeat all enemies. Christ used Scripture to defeat satan when He was tempted in the desert. We must do the same.” [Connect Us]

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:16-17 NASB)

“The Word of God can be used in two ways. We can use it to destroy strongholds in our minds and establish a strong foundation of truth. We can also use it to resist temptations. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He responded, ‘It is written.’ But it’s not just quoting scripture. The Word of God must be written in our hearts for it to be effective in our lives.” [Cheddie]

“The Word of God is self-installing (like a download on the internet). Just reading and meditating on the Scriptures releases the inherent power of the Word of God, which gradually self-installs the will and wisdom of God into our lives. The Word of God, once it self-installs, will affect its own relevance.” [Stedman]

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He [Holy Spirit] will not speak on His own initiative, but what He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13 NASB)

Full Armor of God Scripture

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.

Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].

So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].

Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17 AMP)

The Sword Brings Victory

Wiersbe reminds us, “A physical sword requires the hand of a soldier, but the sword of the Spirit has its own power, for it is ‘living and powerful.’”

Moody clarifies, “God’s word is our offensive weapon, supplied by the Spirit. Scripture rightly understood and correctly proclaimed turns back evil, destroys strongholds, and rescues people from darkness.”

Stedman suggests, “That to put on the armor of God is to put on Christ. When we take up the sword of the Spirit, we clothe ourselves with Jesus, and let Him and His words fight our battles.”

Recommendations

Dwight L. Moody’s Read and Remember Scripture Tips Dwight L. Moody’s Read and Remember Scripture Tips – Strength with Dignity

3 Keys to Knowing God’s Voice 3 Keys to Knowing God’s Voice – Strength with Dignity

References

Amplified Bible. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation, 2015.

Armor of God. Kindle edition. Rose Publishing, 2005.

Cheddie, Dr. Denver and Indira Rampaul-Cheddie. Spiritual Warfare without the Spiritual Weirdness. Kindle edition. Published by Denver Cheddie, 2019.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2005, page 1706.

MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 1992.

New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Stedman, Rick. Praying the Armor of God – Trusting God to Protect You and the People You Love. Harvest House Publishers, Kindle edition, 2015.

The 7 Pieces of the Armor of God and How to Use Them. Written by the Editor in Chief of Connect Us. Published December 2, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2021 from https://connectusfund.org/7-pieces-of-the-armor-of-god

The Moody Bible Commentary. General Editors: Michael Rydelnik and Michael Van Laningham. Moody Publishers, 2014, page 1855.

Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete New Testament. [WBC] Published by David C. Cook, 2007, page 624.

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