Standing Firm – A Study of the Armor of God – Sword of the Spirit
You don’t have the power to resist temptations or much of life circumstances in your own strength that’s why we are given The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Our only choice is to use the only offensive weapon in our arsenal:
BIG IDEA: (for the entire series): Standing firm in our faith demands suiting up in the strength of our God.
BIG IDEA: Standing firm demands living a Scripture-saturated life.
BIG IDEA: Only the Gospel Secures our Standing in the Spiritual Fight.
BIG IDEA: Faith in Jesus protects us when the fight is most fierce.
BIG IDEA: Christ has saved us so nothing can stand against us.
- A weapon is worthless unless you wield it.
- A sword left in its sheath is useless.
- Many Christians are not wielding the weapon they have been given.
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Shoes of the gospel of Peace
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit
BIG IDEA: The Holy Spirit has given us the Bible to beat back our enemy
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness. And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1) God’s Word is Our Weapon
- The Christian’s sword is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
- The word “Word” is ramus which is the spoken or proclaimed Word of God. Satan Tempts Jesus
Satan Tempts Jesus
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 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 by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. And said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, and in their hands, they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God. Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him Away with you, Satan! For it is written You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. Then the devil left Him, and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
Jesus is being tempted by the devil and His weapon each time is Scripture
What Matthew describes Paul prescribes in Ephesians 6:17
- Words are powerful.
- Words have led to war and have inflicted deep wounds.
- Human words have significant power, but they are nothing compared to the Word of God in a spiritual war.
- We have to follow the example of Jesus.
- If Jesus needed to wield God’s Word in His war against Satan, how arrogant is it for us to think we can do it differently.
2) God’s Word Defends Us in the Attack Every other piece of spiritual armor is to defend us in the spiritual attack, and the sword can defend us but it is also an offensive weapon.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
The Temptation and Fall of Man
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman Has God indeed said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
- Satan asked if God really said that you can eat from any tree and the obvious answer is NO.
- Satan deceived Adam and Eve by twisting the very words of God.
- Eve even adds to God’s word and says that God said that we should not touch the tree.
- Adam and Eve fell but Jesus beat the enemy back, and the difference is that He used the weapon that God gave to Him and Adam and Eve did not.
Christians need to compare everything we hear to God’s word and we don’t need to believe the world’s lies:
The Lie: God doesn’t really love you:
Scripture of Truth: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
The Lie: God is not in control:
Scripture of Truth: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
The Lie: Circumstances are difficult and God is not good:
Scripture of Truth: You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
The Lie: Circumstances are too difficult:
Scripture of Truth: And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
3) God’s Word Arms Us For the Attack
- This is the one piece of armor that is not purely defensive.
- It does defend us, but it also arms us to go on the offensive.
- Jesus rightfully used the Word of God and the devil left Him.
- He did not just hold His ground but He beat the devil back.
- With God’s word as our weapon, we wage war on the sin in our hearts and in the world.
- Make sure that you go to war with your own sin before you go to war on anyone else’s.
- Let today be the day that we declare war against the sin in our hearts.
- Don’t be that kind of Christian that downplays our sin.
- We are called to kill the sin in our hearts and keep killing it until Jesus takes us home.
4) God’s Word is Empowered By His Spirit
There is a critical and necessary connection between the Spirit and God’s Word.
a) It was the Spirit of God that did the work of inspiring the Word of God.
Knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private prophecy never came by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
b) The Spirit illuminates God’s word.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
- We are like blind men and women when it comes to understanding the Word of God unless the Spirit of God opens our eyes.
- It is the Spirit of God that gives us a love of the Word of God and illuminates it for us. (J.I. Packard)
c) The Spirit activates our application of the Word
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Without the enabling of the Spirit, we can’t even obey what we read in the Word of God
- We have to labor to be Spirit-filled and Bible-saturated people.
- We may have a tendency to lean too far one way and neglect the other.
- Some love to study the Word but may have a lack of love toward people (impatient, unloving) and lack the Spirit of God in their lives.
- Some are Spirit-filled and love others but are uninformed and not yielding the Sword of the Spirit.
- We have to be Spirit-filled and Bible-saturated because the Spirit is directly connected to the Word of God.
- We need to examine our tendency to lean one way.
How do we go about arming ourselves with the Sword of the Spirit?
a) Meditate on the Bible
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Unlike eastern meditation that empties the mind, we are to fill our minds.
We are to read slowly.
b) Memorize the Bible
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
John Piper developed the “Fighter Verse” app.
Unless we wield this weapon that we have been given, we are defenseless in the fight.
Jesus has already won the victory, and we can jump in with both feet.
Don’t be overwhelmed.
Will you pick up that weapon?
My Prayer is that throughout this entire Series you have grown closer to God.
Be sure to read more on the Armor of God Series