Use the Sword 101
Sword of the Spirit
This week we will study the final piece of armor, which is the Sword of the Spirit.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
I'm sure a lot of you have been excited about this study because of your battle with sin and temptation everyday and are looking for a way to fight back and to have victory in Jesus Christ.
As we have looked at the armor over the weeks we noticed something the same about the pieces, and that is that each piece of armor is worn and with it in place protects you.
Even the shield of faith with the ability to move it about only protects you, but no fighting back is accomplished with these pieces of armor.
This is not so with the Sword of the Spirit. This piece of armor is not intended to just sit there in your hand with the fact that you have it being your protection.
Remember our first study in this series, and how we talked about the example of a warrior in a movie using the sword? Well it's the same thing with the Sword of the Spirit; it must be used just as the warrior would use his or her sword in battle.
So what is the Sword of the Spirit and how do we use it?
It's very clear at the end of verse 17 that the Sword of the Spirit is the word of God. We know that as the bible and God's word.
So how do you use it?
Well, to see the Master Swordsman in action and to learn by His example, let's check out what He did with God's word and how He used it.
We all know this Master Swordsman is Jesus and we are all probably familiar with Jesus using God's word against Satan in the wilderness. Let's take a look at it the book of Matthew.
Matt 4:1-11 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
'He shall give His angels charge over you,'
'In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "
7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
We have all read and or heard of these verses and this account. And we all know that Jesus used God's word to ward off satan and his attacks.
But it's more then just speaking God's word out, you have to live it also.
What do I mean?
Look at Jesus' answer to Satan.
"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
Jesus lived what He spoke. He was not concerned with His daily food, but more so on God's word.
John 4:31-34 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
"It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "
Jesus was tempted all the time to prove that He was the Messiah in man's way not God's. Jesus could have on many occasions used His power to reveal Himself and make others believe. But like all things after the signs have worn off so does the excitement of what happened, God knew this and wanted us to love Him for who He is, not because of the signs.
Mark 8:11-12 11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."
In fact I believe one of the hardest temptations for Jesus was on the cross because satan was going at Jesus with both barrels.
Mark 15:29-32 29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 "save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" 31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 "Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
The ones Jesus was dying for were mocking and taunting Him on the cross. And satan threw the ultimate one at Jesus on the cross; did you catch it in verse 32?
"Descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe"
You can almost hear satan saying these words to Jesus as He is on the cross, "All you have to do Jesus is come down from the cross and all that pain you are feeling will go away, and these precious people that you love so much will love you and believe in you. Go ahead and get yourself down from the cross, God will save You."
"Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
We know that through the word Jesus totally worshiped the Lord. It's wasn't the type of worship we think of as we use the word worship today. When we use this word worship today, we often associate it with singing to God. But there is only one instance that we read of Jesus singing to God.
Mark 14:26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus did not regard men, but did all things to serve God and what ever was pleasing to Him.
In fact, do you know the first time the word worship is mentioned in the bible? Here's a hint it's in Genesis.
Gen 22:5-6 5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
Abraham was going to sacrifice his son to God, because God said so. Obedience to the Lord God, that is true worship and just what Jesus did.
Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
So how do we do this?
As we learned we are to believe God's word, but to believe is to also live it. Do you tell others not to murder but have hatred in your heart towards someone?
Matt 5:21-22 21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' 22 "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
Do you tell others not to steal but you kept that ten-dollar bill in change when you only gave them a five at the store?
It's so easy to say something but to harder to do it. That's why Jesus said:
Matt 5:37 "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Jesus' brother said the same thing also:
James 5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.
Second, satan did not stop attacking Jesus the first time, because we notice that Jesus was tempted three times, or at least we have three accounts in a row where satan tempted Jesus.
But did you know that Jesus was tempted more then just these three times by satan during those forty days. We see this in Luke's account of this.
Luke 4:1-2 1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
We think we have it bad and that satan is always attacking us, personally I think Satan has bigger people to attack then me or you, like the president or evangelists that bring hundreds to the Lord each year through the power of the Holy Spirit. satan is not omnipresent, which means he is not like God who can be in all places at the same time. God watches over you and me all at the same time because He is omnipresent. But Satan can only be in one place at one time. Satan also is accusing us before God right now.
Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
But as we learned through these studies that satan is a liar. And even if he was right in his accusations, we are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. God does not see us as sinners but righteous in Jesus Christ.
So how and by who are we attacked then? I believe it is the fallen angels or demons that attack us. But regardless of who is attacking us we know we are attacked all the time as Christians.
We also must realize that our strength is not in ourselves, and even though we try and keep from sin we will fall at times, but that's no reason to give up.
We must realize that Jesus has already won the battle on the cross and the accuser has nothing against us if Jesus is in us.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
So just remember as you continue on with your walk with the Lord, you will have many battles, but you also have God's armor to protect you. But the only way to win the battle is not just stand there and take a beating, but fight back with God's word. Then and only then will you win the battle against sin!
1 John 2:14c (NLT) I have written to you who are young because you are strong with God's word living in your hearts, and you have won your battle with Satan.
Next week we will have a final teaching on the armor of God, which will be titled Putting on God's Armor. In the final study we will look at each piece and put it on and start using it.
May God richly bless you in His love grace and mercy!