The Sword of the Spirit
The past few weeks we have been doing a study in the book of Ephesians chapter 6. We have been learning what it means to put on the whole armor of God in this war we are in with the devil and his principalities. This week by the help of the Lord we will understand what weapon we have to fight back against evil and just how to use it. That weapon is The Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God!
Handout: The Sword of the Spirit
Let us go now to God’s word once more to Ephesians chapter 6. I pray that each of you who may be studying with us each week do not get weary, we read the same passage of scripture because we need repetition to learn. I want so much to get these verses embedded in my heart as well as all of you who are reading so that we are armed for battle against the enemy.
Ephesians 6:12-17 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking on the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Sprit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
We plainly see here that The Sword of the Spirit is indeed The Word of God. So how do we use the word of God to fight back against Satan? The best way to see this is to follow our primary example and that is Jesus Christ himself. I listened to several commentaries while studying this. God showed me many wonderful truths. I would like to share some of those things in which Dr. David Jeremiah brought out on this subject along with some things that God has shown me. I pray this is as much as a blessing to you as it has been to me.
Turn with me to the book of Matthew chapter 4.
Matthew 4:1-3 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
Tears come as I read this passage of scripture. Just thinking about the things that our Savior, The Prince of Peace, came and willingly endured to save us is so humbling. Know Beloved, that if Satan is bold enough to tempt The Darling Son of God, he will certainly tempt you and I mercilessly. Jesus has been fasting, that is without food for forty days and forty nights. His body was weak, and He was hungry. That is when Satan made his move. Notice also that the scripture states that Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. There is a time of testing that you and I will go through in order for God to help us grow in faith. God doesn’t tempt us, but at times He allows Satan to, but with every temptation God makes a way of escape.
James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
We find in 1 John 2:16 the ways in which the devil uses to tempt us.
1 John 2:15-16 “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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.”
So here we have the ways the tempter comes at us.
Satan tempted and attacked Eve in the Garden of Eden this very same way and he will use these tactics on you and I as well. We see him tempting The Son of God this way as well in Matthew 4.
When Jesus was hungry, Satan tempted Christ to turn stones into bread. In other words Satan is saying to Jesus; satisfy your hungry by turning these stones into food for yourself. You’re the Son of God, why are you hungry? You have the power to do this. Satan was trying to get Christ to use His power to satisfy his own human needs.
The devil knew that if he could get Jesus to surrender to this temptation, then the plan of God for Salvation through Christ would have been null and void. He was trying to get Jesus to act independently of the Father. In reading the scriptures, we see that Jesus never performed miracles for Himself or His own personal gain. He came to minister and to serve others by the will of God.
What did Jesus do when Satan tempted Him with the Lust of the Flesh? He used the Sword of the Spirit.
Matthew 4:4 “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.”
Jesus was well versed in scripture and the Word of God and knew what it said and it was a light unto His path and a lamp to His feet. He was the word made flesh. He was letting Satan know very quickly that He would NOT work independently of The Father and that He would not use His power for personal gain. Notice Jesus did not sit and reason this or think how He maybe could do this but then decide that He shouldn’t. No! We should not reason with the devil. We know that what he comes at us is evil and we should follow the example of Christ and quickly strike back with the truths of Gods word. Jesus was victorious in the temptation of the Lust of the Flesh. Satan isn’t finished yet.
Matthew 4:5-6 “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.”
This pinnacle was the highest part of the temple, it was 450 feet above the valley of Kedron. Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived in the first century A.D. wrote the following description of this very pinnacle:
"This cloister deserves to be mentioned better than any other under the sun; for while the [Kedron] valley was very deep, and its bottom could not be seen, if you looked from above into the depth, this further vastly high elevation of the cloister stood upon that height, insomuch that if any one looked down from the top of the battlements, or down both these altitudes, he would be giddy [dizzy!], while his sight could not reach to such an immense depth."
–Antiquities, Book XV, Chapter XI, Section 5
Satan knew that according to Temple and Holy City Rabbinic Tradition, the Jews believed that when the Messiah would come, He would come and appear on the temple roof. Had Jesus jumped off and landed unhurt on the temple roof, He would have been identified by the Jewish people as the Messiah. Satan wanted Him to tempt God, if Jesus wouldn’t perform a miracle for Himself, and then Satan tried to get Him to do something in which God would have to perform a miracle for Him. Satan wanted Jesus to set Himself up, to exalt Himself, but Jesus took the Sword of the Spirit yet again and told the devil, it is written…
Matthew 4:7 “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
We are not to be foolish and expect God to cater to us. We serve God, not the other way around!
A wise person once said, “It is right to believe in miracles, it is wrong to try to schedule them.”
Note that Satan quoted scripture to Jesus. This will be surprising to some. Satan is more versed on scripture than many Christians today. This is very sad, because he can twist it around, and leave parts out, or add to it to help deceive. It is so important to study God’s Word so we know what it says for ourselves. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12, but he left out part of it.
Psalm 91:11-12 “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
Satan left out “to keep thee in all thy ways.” He was using the scripture to try to trick Jesus. This makes me smile, how foolish, but it also goes to show, that if he will do that to God Himself, he will definitely do the same to us who are mere human beings. We must study Gods word. We must!
Next we see Satan try yet again to tempt Christ.
Matthew 4:8-9 “ Again, the devil taken Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
Shocking isn’t it? Here is Satan showing Jesus all the world’s kingdoms, telling Him if he will just bow down and worship him, that he would make Him a king now. In other words the devil is telling Jesus, You can by pass all the suffering, You can by pass the cross, I can give You a kingdom now. Forget about the sacrifice and all that pain You will have to endure to come into the Kingdom of God or a Spiritual Kingdom, you can have a kingdom now, on earth if you will just bow to me!
How many people would have taken Satan up on that offer??? Wow. I raise my hands and my heart in praise to Jesus right now for who He is and The Father for making a way for us through Christ.
At this offer, Christ again, did not reason with Satan, He quickly draws the Sword of the Spirit once again.
Matthew 4:10 “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.”
Matthew 4:11 “Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from thee.”
When we submit to God as Christ did, when we resist Satan and his temptations, when we fight back with the Sword of the Spirit, he has to leave us. Just like Christ won by using the Sword of the Spirit in battle with the devil, so can we! The Holy Spirit empowers us to do so. Thank You Lord for being such a perfect example for us! Thank You Dear Savior for coming and experiencing the battle and showing us how to fight back! Praise the Holy name of JESUS, the name above all names! Thank You LORD.
When Satan comes at us telling us that we are no good, that we are worthless, and that we will never be able to amount to anything we can fight back with The Sword of the Spirit. When he attacks our minds with all the darts he has, We can say.
It is written:
I have been given the gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:17) This makes me worthy.
It is written: Christ is the vine and I can do nothing apart from Him. (John 15:5) but,
It is written: I can do all things through Christ who is my strength. (Philippians 4:13)
It is written: it is my heritage as a servant of the Lord that no weapon that is formed against me will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
It is written: The LORD is a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy. (Psalm 61:3)
It is written: In the LORD I am safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
It is written: God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
It is written: lust brings forth sin and sin brings death. (James 1:15)
Through Christ I choose and can live life abundantly forever. (John 3:15 &16, John 10:10)
It is written that I shall not be afraid for the LORD my God is with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)
It is written: If God be for me, who can be against me. (Romans 8:31)
It is written: I will love the LORD with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength ( Luke 10:27)
It is written that nothing can separate me from God’s love. (Romans 8:39)
It is written that He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse me. (1John 1:9)
God has given us His word to use in battle. We are to use it in Spiritual warfare and we can win! Praise the Lord for His word!
This should help us to understand the dynamic of preaching and how important hearing the word is to us. This should encourage us to discipline ourselves to read and study God’s word through consistently, day by day. This should also lead us to the diligence of memorizing key passages of the Bible so that we can become mighty warriors for God.
We are not always going to have a Bible on hand, we are not always going to be able to run reference. We need to have God’s word hidden in our hearts.
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
We need to grip the Sword of the Spirit. We need to keep it sharp. We do this by reading, hearing, studying, memorizing, doing, and meditating on God’s Word.
Lift your swords high and fight the good fight of faith Dear Soldiers of the Cross!
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father,
We bow before You today in praise that You are our Sovereign God. We thank You for all You bless us with and that You are moving on hour behalf! Father we thank You this day for Your spoken and written word, we thank You for that Sword of the Spirit that we can go into battle against the evil one and that we can be victorious through Your Son and all He did on Calvary. Thank You for supplying all our need and for hearing and answering our prayer. Help us to indeed pick up the Sword of the Spirit and become the Warriors that You would be please with. In the name of Jesus we praise you and pray. Amen
June 28, 2009