Posts Tagged Ephesians 6: 17

Sword

Ephesians 6: 17b

Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Paul concludes his inventory of the armor of God with a sword, but not any old sword. This sword is the sword of the Holy Spirit. Paul reveals that the weapon of the Spirit is actually the Word of God. So here we are again, back to the Word. The Word is the only matter which is the source of multiple pieces of armor. This bespeaks of its importance. The Word of God is fundamental to our success in standing firm, warfare, and life. The consequence of time in the Word cannot be overrated or overstated and this one revelation has enormous potential to impact our lives. Eventually, we must all embrace the Word as meaningful to our everyday existence.

Why would Paul include a sword in a discussion about armor? The sword is an interesting piece of equipment. It is both defensive and offensive. With the sword, you can parry the attack of a foe. How does that look spiritually? Well, let’s watch Jesus fight with his sword. In the book of Matthew we see the temptation of Jesus. “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4: 3 – 4). Jesus responded to the devil’s trickery with the Word of God. The Word will always protect you. Jesus countered every move of Satan with his sword, the Word of God. It works the same way with us. When those thoughts come, the ones that have kept you bound for years, you can counter them by brandishing your sword. When the devil persecutes you with the mistakes of your past, you can remind him that you are the righteousness of God. For every problem, every situation there is a parry provided to you in the Word. Even a rookie warrior knows he needs to spend some time practicing with his sword. You and I are no different. When the enemy attacks, it is too late to learn how to handle your sword. Proficiency with the sword is accomplished with time so begin practicing now.

And there you have it, the armor of God. With this armor you can stand firm against all the attacks of the enemy. Jesus has forged this very effective armor for you but it is you who must put it on and wear it. You must learn to stand up to the enemy. He has no weapon which is effective against your armor (Isaiah 54: 17). No matter what challenge is assailing you right now, Father has a defense against it. He has provided everything we need and we are growing into this armor every day. May your victory be complete in the name of Jesus.

Covered

Ephesians 6: 17

Take the helmet of salvation.

Paul wrote this passage under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is no accident that he made salvation a helmet; no accident that salvation is at the head. I imagine this salvation, which is at the top of the armor as well as the upper most part of us, as a covering. Though I see a helmet in my mind’s eye, I also understand that the covering flows down from the helmet of salvation to cover our entire bodies, right down to our shoes. The helmet is more than a hat. It is a complete covering. It caps off the armor and it is appropriate that it would be saved to the last for that reason.

Let us look at the simple ideas here. If a soldier determines to eliminate an enemy, he is likely to target either the heart or the head. The heart is protected by the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus which we wear as a breastplate. Our brain is the one vital organ which is not covered by righteousness. It is contained in the cranium and protected by salvation. That is an interesting construction.

What is salvation? Most of us think as salvation as our rescue from a hell sentence, a condemnation to eternity in the lost realms of Hades. That is good stuff, important awareness. However, it only just begins to embrace the idea of salvation as Jesus knows it. When Jesus speaks of salvation he refers to saving grace in every aspect of life. Salvation embraces the fullness of life. This fullness of salvation is what protects our brains. In other words, salvation in your family relationships, salvation in your finances, salvation in your physical self, saved in your occupational life, and in every single aspect of life is what Jesus has capped us with.

Salvation means the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc., the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc. The helmet is protecting us from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc. Jesus said the devil comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10: 10). We are also told that he is a devourer (1 Peter 5: 8). So, the helmet of salvation protects our minds, our thought process from that which would destroy us. If the enemy can get to our minds, he can destroy our lives. Jesus has provided though. All we have to do is to put on salvation like a helmet. We have to put on the complete helmet though. Don’t leave off the salvation in your finances leaving part of your head exposed. As we embrace the fullness of Jesus’ definition of salvation, our heads, brains and thoughts will be protected in each of those areas and salvation will be the helmet or our lives. It will protect and guard us. Salvation will cover us from the top down.

Word Power  

Luke 4: 1 – 13

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.  And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”  And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment.  And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore if you worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”  And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You to guard you.’ And ‘On their hands they will bear You up lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

This is an important story because it shows how the devil tempts and how Jesus fought those temptations.  Ephesians 6: 17 says that the weapon we have is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  Jesus, being our model, demonstrated how to defeat the enemy.  I want you to see and recognize the weapon of His warfare.  Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God.  Notice that after Jesus fended off two of Satan’s attempts with the Word, Satan quoted from the 91st Psalm to try to deceive Jesus.  But Jesus knew the Word.  He knew it so well that he could see the perversion of the word that the devil attempted to sneak past Him.

There is no other weapon that would have defeated the devil then, nor is there any other weapon that will defeat him now.  The Word, is the sword that the Father has given us.  It is well able to defeat the enemy but you have to know how to wield it.  Each time the devil threw a temptation at Christ, Jesus countered that temptation with, “It is written.”  It is a good thing, then, that Jesus knew the Word.  He used the Word itself, not just his knowledge of the Word, to combat the devil.  Jesus did not rely on His own strength, His own knowledge or His own wit to defeat the devil.  No, He used the Word of God.  He did not argue with the devil.  He just quoted the scripture to him.

Today’s passage brings us a very important message.  If we are to defeat the devil and his minions we must first give attention to the Word.  If you don’t study the Word then you are unarmed and you really don’t want to fight the enemy unarmed.  Further, we need to understand that Jesus did not fight with or argue with the devil.  He did not rely on His position as the Son of God.  He was a man and in all ways tempted as are we and he had to resist the devil with the same tools that are available to us.  He simply quoted the Word to the devil.  He did not enter into a debate with him.  Jesus made the Word of God the final authority and the wielding of that Word defeated the devil.  We must all learn to do this too.  Read the Bible.  Arm yourself with the living sword of the Spirit.  Then when the devil gets in your face, just start quoting scripture.  You will see for yourself that the devil cannot stand up to the Word.  He will have to flee from you just like he did from Jesus.