Ephesians 6:17 “…and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is Word of God.”
All the other parts of armor protect particular parts of the body. However, it seems that the Sword of the Spirit not only holds back the enemy in a defensive matter, but also offensively in protecting the entire body.
James 4:7 says “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The question that comes is how do we resist?
Christ is an example for us when He was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness by using the Word of God. Satan has a strategy with tactics. One tactic is to try to terrorize us, produce a fear that will paralyze and stop us; hinder us from doing what God wants us to do. Because of this we must be confident in resisting him and this brings us back to the Word of God. We can resist the devil and cause him to flee. However, to do this we must stand and withstand using the Sword of the Spirit that causes him to flee.
What does it mean to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God? Some translations bring out instead of the “Word of God” the “words that come from God.” However, I do not believe that this is what is meant. Yes, I believe, we are to take the Word of God, the Scriptures from the Holy Bible. We read in chapter 4 about Jesus defeating the devil as He was being tempted in the wilderness. He took hold of the Scripture and the devil left Him.
The Holy Scriptures found in our Bibles is the Sword of the Spirit. I take this to mean that ‘truth’ in the Scriptures is the Sword that the Holy Spirit gives us to use against our enemy. The Spirit of God trains us to properly use the Word of God.
We know from Scripture (1 Timothy 3:16) that all Scripture is God breathed. This means that what we have in our hand the Bible which has been given to us by God – to use. It was God’s Spirit who moved upon men chosen by God that wrote down the revelation from Him. Like one Bible scholar said: “It was breathed into these men and they wrote it.” We must also realize that it’s only by the Holy Spirit that we can understand the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
We will not understand Scripture by intellect alone. It does not make any difference on whether we are a genius or like some say a great scholar; it will only be by the Holy Spirit who gives us understanding of God’s Word. Not only will He, Holy Spirit, give us understanding, but wisdom that helps us to use the Word properly.
It is very important for us to understand the relationship between the Spirit and the Word. Some today say that since we have the illumination of the Spirit we do not need the written Word. What a tragedy! But, we have the other side that tends to say that since we have the written Word we need nothing further. Again, what a tragedy. The Spirit and the Word always go together.
When we read through the Gospels we see how Jesus (our example) perfectly used the Word of God. When the Pharisees, or lawyers who were trained men and supposedly experts in the Jewish Law, tempted Him – He always defeated them by using the Word of God.
We live in a world today that believes that there is no such thing as ultimate truth, and the only way that we can defeat “fake news,” or untruths that are being promulgated today, is to use the Word of God.
It was 500 years ago that a man by the name of Martin Luther discovered the truth that “just shall live by faith.” Luther brought about what we now call a “Reformation” that basically transformed Western civilization. One of the things that took place was that the Bible was getting into the hands of the common man.
Tyndale, wanting us to have a good translation in the English language, said that “his resolve was that every plow man, every boy at the plow should be able to read and understand God’s Word in order that they might be safeguarded against the false teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” It was at that time the Catholic Church was keeping the Holy Scriptures out of the hands of laypeople.
This brings us to the point that we all are to know the Word of God. It is available to us and with it we can give an answer to anything that might come to us and against us. Keeping to the Word of God for truth with Christ’s teachings – we too can cause the enemy to flee. We need to be students of the Word of God and depend on the Holy Spirit in how to use it properly.
Just as God told Joshua – so God is telling us: Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Just as Joshua was strong in the Lord and the power of His might, we can be as well.