OceanSide church of Christ
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Part of the series: THE ARMOR OF GOD
THE ARMOR OF GOD
The Sword of the Spirit
Victor M. Eskew
A. The Christian is to be a warrior. The Christian is to be a warrior.
1. He must stand (Eph. 6:14).
2. He must fight (I Tim. 6:12).
3. He must endure hardness (II Tim. 2:3).
B. The Christian soldier does not go to the battle unprotected. He girds himself with the armor of God (Eph. 6:11).
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
1. Over the past several Sunday evenings, we have been studying the armor of God.
2. We have two lessons that remain. In these lessons, we turn our attention to our weapons.
a. These weapons are not literal instruments of warfare.
b. But, they are powerful in our spiritual battle (II Cor. 10:4).
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.)
C. Tonight, we will be examining “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. BACKGROUND OF THE ROMAN SWORD
A. The name of the sword was “gladius.”
1. It is the word from which we get our word “gladiator,” one who fights in the arena with a sword.
2. This was not just the Roman soldier’s sword, it was his “sword of choice.”
B. The sword’s blade was from 12” to 20” in length.
C. The blade was a double-edged sword.
D. The metal of the blade was refined, molded, and polished so that it glistened in the sunlight.
E. It was an instrument designed for close combat.
II. NOT JUST ANY SWORD
A. There are many swords that people attempt to use today on the spiritual battlefield.
1. The sword of human opinion.
2. The sword of human feelings.
3. The sword of human philosophies.
4. The swords (butter knives) of entertainment and amusement
B. We are to take the sword of the Spirit.
1. It is the sword that has been provided by the Spirit.
a. I Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
b. Galatians 1:11-12
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after men. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
c. II Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2. It is also the sword of the Spirit because He has instilled it with His power.
a. Hebrews 4:12
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.
b. See II Thessalonians 1:13 – which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
III. THE SWORD IS THE WORD OF GOD
A. “…which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17)
1. The Word of God is like the Roman soldier’s sword.
2. It can prick. It can cut and wound. It can penetrate deeply. It can slay and destroy.
B. Scott Cotrain: “The Apostle Paul is not referring to the cntire Bible, as such. For, the Greek word we have translated ‘word’ is not logos but rhema.” Rhema refers to just a specific portion of the Scriptures pertaining to the specific subject or applicable to a specific situation” (sermoncentral.com, “Christian Warfare – Pt. 6” ).
1. In other words, it is a section of Scripture that we use at a given time.
2. We pull if from the arsenal and use it just as the soldier would wield his sword.
a. One day against lying
b. One day against greed
c. One day against false doctrine
d. One day against lust
e. One day against revenge
IV. A SWORD IS MEANT TO BE USED
A. A sword was not to be
1. In a drawer at home
2. Above a mantle as a decorative piece
3. Kept in a sheath
B. A sword was designed to be wielded by the soldier.
1. Defensively against the blows of the enemy.
a. The example of Jesus
1) Command that these stones be made bread (Deut 8:3)
2) Cast thyself down (Deut. 6:16).
3) All these will I give unto thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me (Deut. 10:20)
b. We can defend ourselves:
3) Bad behaviors
4) Despondency and despair
5) Our enemies
2. The main purpose of the sword involves an offensive purpose.
a. Within the Old Testament, we see the sword doing the following things:
1) Slew (Gen. 34:26)
2) Discomfited (Exo. 17:13)
3) Smote (Num. 21:24)
4) Slay (Josh. 13:22)
5) Utterly destroyed (I Sam. 15:8)
6) Devoured (II Sam. 11:25)
7) Killed (II Sam. 12:9)
8) Caused others to fall (II Kings 19:7)
b. Three offensive purposes of our sword:
1) Reprove the deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:11)
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
a) By conviction to bring to light
b) To reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove
c) Generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
2) Refute worldly philosophies and false religions
a) II Corinthians 10:4-5
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations,, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
b) We see this done all of the time in the New Testament.
- Idolatry (Acts 17)
- Judaism (Acts 15; Romans, Colossians)
- Gnosticism (John, Colossian, and I John)
- Nicolaitans (Rev. 2-3)
3) Proclaiming the gospel to the lost
1) Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2) Philippians 2:15-16
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
3) Every soul converted to Jesus Christ is one less soul on the side of Satan.
A. To wield the sword properly, a Roman soldier needed to be properly trained. We, too, must be trained to use our swords. This comes from a study of and meditation upon the Word of God (II Tim. 2:15; Ps. 119:15).
B. Spurgeon: “The one note that rings out from this text is this: TAKE THE SWORD! TAKE THE SWORD! No longer is it, talk and debate! No longer is it, parley and compromise. The word of thunder is – Take the sword. The Captains’s voice is clear as a trumpet – Take the sword. No Christian man here will have been obedient to our text unless with clear, sharp, and decisive firmness, courage and resolve, he takes the sword. We must go to heaven sword in hand, all the way. “TAKE THE SWORD.”