And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God -Ephesians 6:17
All the previous parts of the armor are defensive in nature, the breastplate, shoes, helmet, shield is meant to defeat satan’s attack on us, Today we look at our one offensive weapon: The Sword of the Spirit.
The Literal Interpretation
Paul spoke of one of five different types of Roman swords. This one was a two-edged sword with the end turned upward. It inflicted much more damage than the other swords. Not only was it intended to kill, but also it could rip the enemy’s insides to shreds. It only needed to penetrate the enemy a depth of two to three inches to mortally wound him. Another advantage to this sword is that the soldier did not have to turn his sword around to inflict damage to the enemy. It cut in two directions. This was seen as a very deadly and powerful weapon.
The Spiritual Application
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
The Bible is described as being sharper than any two edged sword. As dangerous as the roman sword was to doing bodily damage to the enemy, the Word of God in the hands of His Warrior is just as dangerous to our enemy and so powerful that it enters even to the deepest and most inward and secret parts of the heart, fatally wounding the stubborn, and openly reviving the believers.
The Battle Plan
The battle plan is exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, who left us an example that we should follow in His steps. How did Jesus react when tempted by the enemy, satan?
Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (7) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (8) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (11) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
We see the three temptations of Jesus here. We are told that Jesus was tempted in all ways like we are yet without sin.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
- Lust of the Flesh: he was 40 days fasting and he was hungry.
- Lust of the Eyes: He was offered the kingdoms of this world.
- The Pride of Life: That he could jump off the temple and live.
Jesus was tempted just as the Eve was tempted in the garden and failed.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
- Good for food: the lust of the flesh.
- Lust of the eyes: it was pleasant to look at.
- Pride of life: they would be like gods.
Where Eve failed is she added to the word God had spoken (God never did say she could not touch the fruit) and she fell for the temptation while her lilley-livered no account husband watched.
But while in Eve we see how to fail, in Jesus we see how to succeed. He battled back using the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
Excerpted from Christian Warrior VIII: The Sword of The Spirit.