And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Eph 6:17
The sixth and final piece of the Christian’s armor is the sword – a sword made and furnished to us by the greatest of all Artisans! The sword has long been esteemed as a necessary part of a soldier’s vocation. While all the rest of the Christian’s armor is made up of defensive parts, the sword is a weapon that is both defensive and offensive.
On the one hand, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is a defensive weapon, in how it keeps the Christian from being stripped from all other graces. Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction (Ps 119:92). Christ had only to say, “It is written,” in answer to Satan’s temptations, to put his enemy to flight (Mt 4:4, 7, 10). It was David’s prayer in Psalm 17:4, by the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer. The sword is unique in that it defends the whole person from an enemy’s attack; not specific to any particular part of the body, (like the other pieces of armor), the sword can be wielded to hold back the enemy as a whole.
The Word of God, our sword, is also an offensive weapon, with it we can route our enemy! This gives light to verses such as James 4:7, resist the devil and he will flee from you. There is something given us by God that drives the enemy backward, causing him to retreat – it is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God!
I must qualify these words by saying that the offensive nature of the sword does not give us the right to take on Satan or his demons in any kind of foolish or reckless manner. Jude 9 tells us how even Michael the archangel, … dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Such must be our attitude as well, when it comes to battling Satan; we are not to rail against him, but we are to stand using the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God – and this will cause him to flee.
Another qualification lies in the order in which these pieces of armor are given. There is nothing more abused in the world than the Word of God. So in order to rightly use it, we must have the rest of our armor in place. We cannot use the Word without being girded with the sincerity of truth, without donning an understanding of imputed righteousness as a breastplate, without our feet firmly planted in the Gospel, without a shield of faith, or a proper understanding of the doctrine of salvation as a helmet on our head. When these pieces are not properly in place, we will more than likely misuse the Word of God. But by the same token, a Christian who has all other graces in place, must finally take up the Word of God – from the novice to the Bible scholar – we are incomplete without the Word of God.
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