“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”Ephesians 6:17
We are on the fifth week in the Armor of God series taken from Ephesians chapter 6. If you missed reading any of the first four segments, I would encourage you to do so. The armor of God is the apostle Paul’s way of describing the warrior’s armor that every Christian should be putting on to combat evil every day. We need understanding and wisdom more today in fighting off evil and lust. We need to stay under the protection of God. With the helmet of salvation as our identity in Christ, we now take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I have not met a single Christian who does not have a personal battle to win. We are fighting the good fight of faith to lay hold of eternal life. We each have our own personal battle to win.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”1 Timothy 6:12
We are fighting to keep the faith and not to let go of the author and finisher of our faith. Every Christian is called to have a good profession before witnesses. A good profession is based upon the word of God. We can be like Jesus and say, “it is written,” when we are tempted. Read about what Jesus did in Matthew chapter 4. If you were hungry, would you command the stones to become bread.
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”Matthew 4:4
The sword of the Spirit is the word of God, and it will cut right through the thoughts and the intents of men’s heart. The word of God is the final answer for all human beings since it is the last will and testament of God. The sole purpose is reconciliation to the father God, but also to your brother, sister, mother, father, husband and wife. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” [2 Corinthians 5:18]. This is the heart of God that we all be reconciled by Jesus Christ and then to each other. God’s love will cut through hate. Many churches are now observing Lent, a Christian religious observance of the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert and endured the temptation by Satan. Lent is observed by the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, and the Roman Catholic Church. The practice of Lent in earlier times was very ascetic, and to some extent it may still carry a mystical journey. The exercise can be helpful in understanding the weakness of our own body. We cannot work out our own demons or selfish ambitions. We need the Holy Spirits help in releasing those feelings and letting go of them. This is the work of God and the grace of God. That we would know the mercy of God through Christ Jesus.
Let us remember that Jesus Christ was without sin whereas sin is ever present with us every day. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is through God’s grace that we can receive mercy and repentance through what Jesus did on the cross. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,’ [1 John 1:9-10]. Listen to what else John said.
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”1 John 5:10
If you do not believe, you have no witness, and you will not have the sword of the Spirit. Christ temptation in the wilderness by Satan was the test of his obedience to the Father. Would Christ act independently from his Father? No, Christ was dependent on the Father God, and so should we be dependent on the Father God. That dependence is through the word of God. The word of God becomes the sword of the Spirit. Christ combated Satan by saying “it is written,” thus using the written word of God as the final authority. The spiritual journey is through the word of God. It is the word that teaches us how we should walk in the world today. The word becomes our spiritual lifestyle. We should take the word with us everywhere we go, for it will instruct us how to live a Christian life.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
If you are not spending time in the word of God, you have lost one powerful weapon, the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is described sharper than any two-edged sword. Why? It is because of the Holy Spirit. We can only gain understanding of the word of God through the Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” [ John 16:13]. If you are a believer, then you have His spirit living with you, for He has promised not to leave you comfortless, [see John 14:18]. Just look at verse 20 of chapter 14 of John, “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” What mystery is this conveying? Is this not a relationship? We never walk alone, for the Holy Spirit is with us at all times. This is the mystery of the body of Christ. We belong to Christ for He has bought us with a price. Christ prayed to the Father to send the Comforter to abide with us. In John chapter 14, verse 26, Jesus said, “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” As you read the word of God the Spirit is teaching you and reminding you of things that pertain to you personally. Dividing and discerning what is in your own heart and to change that heart of stone into the heart of love.
Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”Ephesians 5:2
Walk in love as Christ has loved us. Christ who has willingly atoned for our sins. We are not to serve sin, for our old man was crucified with Christ that sin might be destroyed. This is how we became a new creation in Christ Jesus. Sin is ever present in the world today. Therefore, we need the word of God to discern our heart and mind so that we can be changed into image of Christ. This will build up our faith in God, for faith comes by hearing the word of God, [see Romans 10:17]. We must hold the word as truth in our lives. We must experience God through his word by the Holy Spirit. You must have a hunger for the word in order to receive its revelations. I have read that Smith Wigglesworth stated that the Bible was the only book he would read. He did not allow newspapers into his home. How astonishing and surprised I was to read about this. Wigglesworth sole learning was from the Bible as the word of God. Can we see its importance when we read what God said to Joshua after the death of Moses.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”Joshua 1:8
Meditate in the word day and night, so that your soul and heart may be changed into the image of Christ. As you observe the word of God, your way will become prosperous. I have always loved going on spiritual retreats, for it was the opportunity of spending more time in the word of God to learn, grow, and have our eyes opened to new revelations. These revelations were not always joyful, sometimes it was painful due to personal demons that an individual had to deal with. As you spend time in the word, God will reveal your weaknesses in your own life. As he reveals it, we then repent. This is putting to death the deeds of the body that would allow sin to reign in our life. We learn also to bear on one another’s burden by praying for healing and for the Spirits intervention to fulfill the law of Christ. As God told Joshua not to depart from the book of the law, so shall we not depart from the Holy Bible, which is the sword of the Spirit. This sword of the Spirit will pierce our heart for it reveals the weaknesses of humanity and the way it can be saved. Continue in the word of God and hold it close to your heart.