Use the Sword 101
Welcome to the new study titled "Use the Sword 101".
The intent, as always, is to direct you in God's word as you draw closer to the Lord in your walk with Him.
So what are we going to be studying in these coming bible studies?
Well, our base verses are:
Eph 6:13-17 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
In these studies we will look at the armor of God, including each piece and how and when it is used.
This is not a physical armor as God's word says just before the armor is spoken of in Ephesians:
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore the armor is not a physical armor but a spiritual one.
These studies are intended to help you out in your everyday battles against sin and the evil one.
Also remember you can e-mail me at any time during the study with any questions you may have or if something just isn't clear to you.
Also feel free to e-mail me with any other question you may have about the bible.
As always these teachings are free, as is this web site. I never ask for money as God provides all my needs. The only thing I ask of those who study here are to keep me in prayer everyday as I prepare the studies and devotionals.
This week we will have an introduction to the study to help get you fired up to use your armor. So let's get started.
We have all been to the movies and/or seen them on TV. Think of some of the movies you have seen, where the hero has this cool looking shiny sword made special just for him or her. All the others in the movie have these little weak swords or no swords at all. You know who the hero is by looking at his or her sword.
But this is not so with Christians, we all have the same access to the same sword.
Just think of that, the same sword that Jesus used to fight off satan's attacks in the wilderness is the same sword you can use right now.
"What do you mean?"
Verse 17 explains this "The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God".
And as we get more into the sword, we will look at Jesus using God's word against satan's attacks and will realize that we can use this same sword.
Back to our movie scenario. What happens when someone with no knowledge of how to use a sword picks up that special shiny sword? Basically it's no good unless they know how to use it. In fact if the person isn't careful they could hurt themselves.
The same is true of those who pick up a bible or try to quote from the bible with no knowledge of the bible. The only way to use such a powerful weapon such as a sword (God's word) is to have a complete knowledge of your weapon.
But even with little knowledge of how to use a sword, you can still inflict damage to an opponent, something to think about during these studies.
You see no one knows the bible completely except the Lord, since He is the author and writer of the bible. Now before you start getting into the different men who wrote the bible, this statement is based from the bible itself.
2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Some try and use a sword they don't even have or use an incorrect sword (wrong teaching or something other then the bible).
I remember myself as a young teenager and listening to music on the radio and playing my air guitar.
Just think if there were no music, it would look awful stupid with me pretending to play a guitar with no music playing. But then it looked stupid to play an air guitar, just pretending to have one.
Some people do the same thing with God's word.
Think of doing a battle against with someone who has a sword and you not having one at all.
You would look really stupid swinging your arms around like you have a sword just as I looked stupid playing an air guitar with no music or real guitar.
Neither one would have an affect; the air guitar would play no music, just as the air sword wouldn't even hurt a fly.
So what am I getting at in all of this?
Put very simply, in order to use the word of God, you must read it!
"Well that sounds easy"
It sure does, but it's easier said then done.
You will find that when you try to find time or make time to read and study God's word that satan will throw obstacles in your way to prevent you from reading the bible.
Some of these obstacles are,
· The phone will ring
· Someone will come over
· Your spouse or family member will want to start talking to you
· You may get hungry
· You will find out your favorite movie or show is on TV
· You may even find that during your reading that your thoughts are filled with other things so you can't concentrate.
These are just a few examples of how satan will try to distract you in your study time.
We will also devote a whole teaching or two on satan's attacks. After all the best way to do battle is to know your enemy.
You may have found it difficult to even start this study, with others bothering you as you are on the internet or if you print it out just trying to take the time to read it.
Let me let you in on a little secret that satan doesn't want you to know about. It's not really a secret but Satan wants you to think it is.
The best way to get past these sorts of obstacles is to pray, that's right pray! You should always realize that when you are trying to do something spiritual such as read, minister to others or study God's word, Satan will throw obstacles in your way because he knows how powerful it is to pray and study God's word. But Satan doesn't want you to know that because if he can make you think that you are wasting your time then he has won the battle.
So what do you pray for?
· Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit as you study and spend time in His word.
· Ask the Lord to clear your mind and remove all distraction, so that you may meditate or reflect on His word.
· Ask the Lord to give you a real hunger for his word.
· Just pray your heart to the Lord in regards to reading and studying His word. He knows your heart already, but still we speak need to it out.
So what's the best way to read and/or study the bible?
Actually they are different, but the same.
When you take time each day just to read the bible, I would suggest having a note pad and pen (or pencil) with you, so you can write things down as the Lord speaks to you through His word.
Some people even keep a daily journal of the things the Lord speaks to them and their prayer requests and when these prayers are answered.
You can do this also, so you have a few choices. You can go to a Christian bookstore and buy one of these journals, or you can buy a note pad. Either way you can keep a record of your time in Gods word.
Also when you read the bible, don't use the turn and choose method of deciding what you will read. What's the turn and choose method? That's where you pick up your bible and thumb through and say, "OK Lord wherever you want me to read today just stop me and I'll know that's for me"
There is a story of someone who did this, they where seeking advice from the Lord. So this person starting doing the turn and choose method and he stopped at:
Matt 27:5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
This man thought "This must be wrong" , so he did it again stopping at:
Luke 10:37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
So he said, "I'll do it one more time" and turned to:
John 13:27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
"Hang yourself", "Go and do likewise." "What you do, do quickly." ?
You see how crazy this could be. When you read the bible start in a book and read through it. Personally in my reading time, I like starting in Genesis and reading all the way through the bible.
What about those one-year bibles are they good to use? Yes and no, Yes because they will help you read through the bible with most having you read in the Old as well as the New Testament each day along with a Psalm and/or Proverb.
The only bad thing about them is, if you miss a day our two it can cause you to get away because you feel like you got off the program and wont catch up. If you do use one and you do miss a day or two, don't worry about it. So what if it takes you a year and a month to read through the bible or even two years, as long as you try each day to spend time in God's word.
If you don't know when you will have time to read, personally my time for reading the bible is at lunchtime. I sit there each day eating my lunch and reading the bible. I do this in my car so there are no distractions (after all who want's to sit in a car with you while your reading anyway). It gives me ½ hour or an hour each day to read the bible.
Studying the bible is a little different then reading the bible.
2 Tim 2:15(KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When you study the bible you are either studying a particular book in the bible, like we did with Genesis, or you are studying a particular subject, like we did in the Holy Spirit study. Another thing to study is a particular word or phrases, like "Love" or "sin" or "forgiveness".
When you study the bible you don't just read it, but you dig into it. You should have at least a note book or large note pad, a good commentary to help you understand a particular verse or verses, a bible dictionary which includes the original Greek and Hebrew meaning of the words and a good concordance to help you look up words and or phrases.
I use a few bible programs, which includes all of the above along with many other helps such a maps, pictures, multiple commentaries and various versions of the bible and other helps. These programs can be any where from free to hundreds of dollars. If you go to the links portion of this web site, you can find a great FREE bible software with all of what I mentioned that you could download and use right now, also the link to the particular software that I paid for which I also like a lot and use most of (I used it longer and am more used to it).
There are also books you can buy on each book of the bible, which will help you, study each book. Just ask you local bible bookstore for some help, and remember just because it cost more, or has more bells and whistles doesn't make it better. The Holy Spirit will always be your guide as you study the bible not man!
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
1 John 2:27 (NLT) But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.
One other way to study the bible is just what you are doing here, go to a study on the internet and study along, print it out and take notes and always verify what you are being taught is scriptural, and if something doesn't seem right, then question it.
Acts 17:11-12 (NLT) 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did some of the prominent Greek women and many men.
So which version of the bible is best?
For studying I prefer the New King James Version (NKJV) and/or the King James (KJV) because they are the most accurate to the original.
For reading I use either the New King James (NKJV) or the New Living Testament (NLT), which I really like for reading.
I would also encourage you to go to church each week (Sunday and Wednesday or midweek) and also find a home group or home bible study where you can study the bible with other believers. This is important to get others insight on the bible as well as fellowship with believers. I know when I taught home groups the people grew very close as a family, which we are in Jesus Christ.
I personally like going to a Calvary Chapel church because they all teach through the bible, but I'm sure many other churches do also. But then there are those that don't. So should you not go if they are not teaching through the bible or leave your church if it's not?
Good question, but only one that the Lord can tell you to do. I know how hard it is to leave a church where you have grown close to the people. So seek the Lord and His will for you and your family.
Speaking of family, men I want to remind you that you are accountable for the spiritual upbringing of your family and what they are taught. Don't just send them off to church while you sit there at home watching football on Sunday. Teach them by example!
Finally, one very important thing; if you are not a Christian you can read the bible and not understand it.
Eph 4:17-18 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
2 Cor 3:12-15 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech-- 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
2 Cor 4:3-6 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So if you desire to know and understand the bible, seek the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Not only will He reveal the scriptures (the bible) to you, but you will also have eternal life with Jesus in Heaven, what more could you ask for!
Just pray this prayer from your heart and you will be saved and not rejected.
John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Jesus, I admit I am a sinner; I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead and I thank You Jesus. I ask You to please forgive me for my sins. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and open my eyes that I may see Your word in truth. Please help me to share Your word with others and what You did on the cross for them also. Please be a light shining in me for others to see You and no longer myself. I ask this in Your name Jesus. AMEN!
If you just prayed this prayer from your heart you are now a Christian, welcome to the family of God. I would encourage you to find a good church to go to and tell someone what you just did. If you have no one to tell, send me an e-mail and I will rejoice with the angels in heaven over your decision to accept Jesus Christ.
To close this week's study, I would encourage you to start praying and reading your bible everyday, get involved in a home bible study, and in your church.
I know that sounds like a lot, but to be an affective warrior, you must always be prepared, have others around you to help in your battles, and be on the side that has already won, the side of Jesus Christ!
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Next week we will study prayer, which is, an effective weapon, but also a healing for any warrior.
May God bless you as you spend time in His word and with Him everyday.