Sword of the Spirit
Spiritual Warfare – Message 7
November 6, 2022
: We continue our series of messages, Spiritual Warfare.
- Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Corinthians 2:11; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9
A. Ephesians 6:10–11,14-17 (NLT)—
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to
stand firm against all strategies of the devil. …
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of
God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that
comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith
to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation
as your helmet, and
[theme verse and focus for today] take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
- Roman soldiers carried a small, double-edged, sword (dagger, Greek machaira),18-24 inches long, 2 inches wide, much smaller than
long, two-handed broadsword (Greek rhomphaia).
The sword was carried in a leather sheath or decorated wooden scabbard that
was attached to the soldier’s belt or to a leather strap worn over the
This blade was a short, light, weapon used in close, hand-to-hand combat.
Warriors spent hours practicing with it, so using it in a fray offensively
to inflict blows and defensively to deflect an enemy’s thrusts, would be
B. The spiritual meaning of the Sword of the Spirit.
The Sword of the Spirit represents capable use of the Bible.
- This sword, the Bible, is a believer’s best defense against the attacks of
Jesus quoted Scripture in the wilderness to battle against the devil’s
temptation which included the misuse and misapplication of Scripture
(Matthew 4; Luke 4).
C. Meaning of Word of God.
English “Word” = Greek,
- The English “Word” is translated from two different Greek words: lŏgŏs and rhēma.
At Ephesians 6:17, Paul did not use lŏgŏs, which refers to the
Scripture generally, but rather, rhēma, which refers to particular
statements with specific use.
All of the Bible is inspired (written by men inspired by the Spirit; 2
Peter 1:20-21), so it is the Word of God (logos); it becomes the rhema of God when empowered by the Spirit.
Bible verses are transformed into swords for spiritual warfare when the
Spirit applies them powerfully, supernaturally, in specific situations.
(illumination; 1 Corinthians 2:13-14)
The Bible (logos) is like a stockpile of weapons in an armory or
arsenal that become Swords of the Spirit (rhema) when deployed in combat
against the deceit of our enemy.
EX.: The Spirit causes a verse you have read many times to suddenly pierce
your conscience with persuasive conviction that changes you; or, a verse
comes to mind in a particularly compelling way, giving you strength and
resolve to resist Satan.
We must use specific scriptural truths to counter particular satanic lies,
so we need to be familiar with our Bibles or we will fall prey to cultural
false ideas and practices.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (GW)—
I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about
B. The Sword of the Spirit battles Satan’s strategies:
I will illustrate several of these strategies from the Parable of the
A. Matthew 13:3–9 (NLT)—
He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he
scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the
birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil
with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was
shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and
since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds
fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants.”
Satan’s first strategy…
1. Denying the relevancy of the Word.
(Matthew 13:19; Psalm 119:11; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:25)
- Matthew 13:19 (NLT)—
“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the
message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one
comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.”
[Before it takes root.]
Satan’s forces seek to undermine God’s Word and those who teach and tell it
Snatching away the seed
occurs in many ways in our so-called “enlightened” culture.
Some people, including supposed scholars (false teachers) attack the
reliability of the Bible, suggesting it is a compilation of made-up verbal
stories, full of mistakes and contradictions, of doubtful authorship,
combined by editors. (SEBTS professors)
There are 23,986 New Testament manuscripts (earliest dated AD 130), making
it the most authenticated ancient writing. (Next is Homer’s Iliad, with less that 2000 manuscripts.)
The Bible includes 66 books written by about 40 authors over about 1500
years, but the writing is consistent and shares a common theme, God’s
salvation of humanity, and a central character, Jesus Christ, because the
Spirit was the ultimate author (2 Peter 1:21).
Satan and his soldiers attack the inspiration of the Bible, because if God
isn’t the author, the Scripture is irrelevant, out-of-touch; it has no
authority over our lives or morals.
Some of these attacks assert that biblical moral standards are outdated
because they were formulated by men who were narrow-minded, intolerant, and
unenlightened, but if the Holy Spirit is the author, the Bible is always
current and applicable to our situations.
God created people, knows us thoroughly, so He knows what is best for us
physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, which is reflected
in the Bible’s guidelines.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NLT)—16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true
and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when
we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses
it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
(Because it is honest, accurate, and always current.)
The greatest evidence of the relevancy, reliability, supernatural nature of
the Scripture, is changed lives, the transformation people from sin and
death to rightness and life.
APP.: Do you ever ignore the Bible because you consider it irrelevant or
Another strategy of Satan’s…
2. Disobeying the Word because of problems.
(Matthew 13:20-21; C/R: Matthew 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2
- Matthew 13:20–21 (NLT)—20
“The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and
immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t
have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they
have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s Word.”
[Satan isn’t named, but he is the source of this suffering.]
The devil and demons can, according to the Bible, cause problems, illness
They torment troubled people, suggesting God doesn’t care, to cause them to
Satanic forces also promote the ridicule of Christians who believe the
Gospel’s promise of forgiveness of sins and an inheritance of eternal life.
They are accused of judgmental intolerance for rejecting our culture’s
embrace of promiscuity, materialism and self-worship (all of which come
Our culture embraces faith, actually, spirituality, that every person has
their personal view of god and no one’s belief is right, true or superior
to anyone else’s.
But Jesus said at Matthew 4:10 (NLT)—
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You
must worship the LORD your God and serve only Him.’”
Having a sure foundation in God’s Word, secures you against attacks from
Matthew 7:24-25 (NLT)—24
“Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise, like a
person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain
comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against
[representing trials, troubles, sickness, pain and problems] , it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
APP.: Does personal suffering cause you to fall away from following God’s
A third strategy of Satan’s…
3. Discarding the Word for the world.
(Matthew 13:22; C/R: Psalm 119:37; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 2:15-17)
- Matthew 13:22 (NLT)—
“The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s
word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out
[sumpnigō, strangled, choked] by the worries
[Greek mĕrimna] of this life [cares, distractions,
attentiveness], and the lure [Greek apatē, deceitfulness,
delusion] of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”
We think of worries as concerns due to difficulties or threats we
are experiencing, but this verse refers to a voluntary focus on, and love
for, this world and the connected preoccupation with those things, which
distract us from anything spiritual or eternal.
This person loves riches and lives as if they are the answer to all his
needs and desires, which is the lure and ultimately, the delusion
and deceit (or lie) of wealth.
Satan has fooled this world into believing fame should be sought to solve
insignificance, and you should sacrifice everything else, even your own
soul, to attain celebrity.
Observe the evidence of Satan’s strategy by the way actors and performers
turn ever darker, more evil, more sensual, less moral, more anti-Christian,
to attract attention.
When a person wants the world, he will forsake the Word, because they are
1 John 2:15–17 (NLT)—15
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love
the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical
pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our
achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are
from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along
with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God
will live forever.
APP.: Are you letting this world choke out the influence of God’s Word in
Substitute memory verse: 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)—
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who
does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of
[like a skilled swordsman]
APP.: Are you ready to train with your sword by reading and studying your