The Armor of God: The Sword of the Spirit

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 9, 2014 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The last piece of the Armor of God is the Sword of the Spirit. This is the one offensive weapon we have. You may notice that the first five pieces are defensive and the last one mentioned is offensive. But it is very important to note that we need the full Armor of God, not just a few pieces here and a few pieces there. Many of us love to wear just the Helmet of Salvation. We need it all. So let us talk about this weapon we carry.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God according to Ephesians 6:17. So the Bible describes the sword as a word. Another verse, Hebrews 4:12 also describes the word of God as a sword. In Ephesians, the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. In Hebrews, the Word of God is sharper and quicker than any other two-edged sword. As a fencer I know about speed. Out of every Olympic sport, a fencing blade is only bested in speed by the bullet out of a rifle. Yet Hebrews tells us that the Word of God is even quicker that the sharpest, fastest sword out there.

But if you look into the Greek words here, you will find that these are actually two different words. “Word” in Hebrews 4:12 is Logos. In the link you will find various explanations for what it means and I will zoom in one term 3056 (G3056 in your Strong’s Concordance). Logos is described as a complete expression or statement. It is everything someone wants to say about a particular subject. John describes Jesus himself as the Logos “Word” in John 1:1. Jesus himself is the complete expression, the complete statement, everything that God wanted to say to us is found in Jesus himself. The Bible itself is also often described as the Logos Word of God.

But there is another Greek word for “word”: Rhema. This is the one Paul used in Ephesians 6. Rhema is the breathed, spoken, revealed Word of God. Have you ever had a time when you are reading the Bible and a particular verse stands out with a new meaning that you never saw before? This is what happens when God takes the Logos Word and makes it a Rhema. It is a personal application that is different than a private interpretation. God does not make anything special to any one person. But he will point out a truth that was always there and show you how to apply it to the situation you are dealing with.

What am I talking about? Let us examine a case study of how the Sword of the Spirit was used in battle. Let us turn to Matthew 4:1-11, when Jesus was tempted in the desert. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and Satan tempted him to turn rocks into bread to satisfy bodily needs. Jesus was tempted to show his skills and abilities publicly by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple. Then Satan offered Jesus all the fame, glory, and political power the worldly system had to offer. In each of these temptations, Jesus fought them off with Scripture. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The word used in this verse is Rhema. Man lives on the spoken, breathed, revealed Word of God. This is the Sword of the Spirit. It is a sword unlike any other weapon we could carry.

There is more to the nature of this sword. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 we learn that the weapons we fight with are not carnal. They are not made out of wood, or steel, or bombs. They are spiritual weapons. They are designed to tear down strongholds. What are strongholds? Strongholds are areas in our life or in our communities that are being rules by sin or by Satan. Nathan Buck just finished an awesome series on addictions. His three-part series is found here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Addictions are just one example of a stronghold. But what weapons do we have to conquer and destroy addictions or problems like addictions? The Sword of the Spirit is one of them. The Sword of the Spirit can break the chains of sin that have so easily entangled us.

The Sword of the Spirit can also break down the strongholds that plague our communities. Every city has a particular area or a particular sin that they are known for. Where I live in El Paso, Texas, two of our major issues is drinking/drugs, and the sex industry. It is strong enough in our area that the largest church in El Paso could not get a sex club shut down a few blocks away. This type of thing is a major stronghold in El Paso. And it is one that cannot be broken down by political means or moral legislature. The government is not the solution to these problems. This is a spiritual problem. And to fight a spiritual problem, you need a spiritual weapon. And one such weapon is the Sword of the Spirit. There are many more weapons we have at our disposal. I’ll just list some of them off with a Scripture reference to each other. Prayer, singing/praise, the Blood of the Lamb, the Word of our Testimony, not loving our lives as unto death, fasting….the list goes on. The forces of darkness cannot stand these weapons because they were what Christ used to defeat them.

So the next time Satan comes and tells you that what you are dealing with is beyond what your abilities, that you cannot overcome it, that you are stuck dealing with these problems forever, that you are unworthy of being loved, that you cannot be saved because of whatever sin, etc, etc, when Satan comes with these lies, pick up the Armor of God. Tell him the Truth by having it buckled around your waist. Tell him that you are declared Righteous by the Blood of the Lamb and wear it as a Breastplate. Have the Gospel ready in your feet so you can tell the Devil what God has done in your life and what Jesus did on the Cross. Take up the Shield of Faith and trust in the power of God to protect you instead of in the lies to harm you. Stand with the Helmet of Salvation and be not afraid to publically declare that you wear the colors of the King of Kings. And take up the Sword of the Spirit, parry the enemy’s attack and answer back with the Word of God. We are in the battle for the long haul but remember. We know who wins at the end. Stand strong, be firm and don’t quit. For Jesus Christ is our conquering King and will crush our enemy underneath his feet.