Armor: Sword of the Spirit

Armor: Sword of the Spirit

Perry Duggar |

We battle Satan’s strategies with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

Sword of the Spirit
Spiritual Warfare – Message 7
Perry Duggar
November 6, 2022

I. Introduction : 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)— 10 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. …

14 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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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 shoulder.
  3. This blade was a short, light, weapon used in close, hand-to-hand combat.
  4. 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 instinctive.

B. The spiritual meaning of the Sword of the Spirit.

The Sword of the Spirit represents capable use of the Bible. (Scripture)

  1. This sword, the Bible, is a believer’s best defense against the attacks of Satan.
  2. 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, lŏgŏs and rhēma .

  1. The English “Word” is translated from two different Greek words: lŏgŏs and rhēma.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (GW)— I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.

B. The Sword of the Spirit battles Satan’s strategies: (Matthew 13:3-7,19-22)

I will illustrate several of these strategies from the Parable of the Soils:

A. Matthew 13:3–9 (NLT)— 3 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)

  1. 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 [Satan] comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.” [Before it takes root.]
  2. Satan’s forces seek to undermine God’s Word and those who teach and tell it to others.
  3. Snatching away the seed occurs in many ways in our so-called “enlightened” culture.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.)
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.)
  11. 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.
  12. APP.: Do you ever ignore the Bible because you consider it irrelevant or outdated?

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 Thessalonians 3:3)

  1. 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.]
  2. The devil and demons can, according to the Bible, cause problems, illness and pain.
  3. They torment troubled people, suggesting God doesn’t care, to cause them to fall away.
  4. Satanic forces also promote the ridicule of Christians who believe the Gospel’s promise of forgiveness of sins and an inheritance of eternal life.
  5. They are accused of judgmental intolerance for rejecting our culture’s embrace of promiscuity, materialism and self-worship (all of which come from Satan).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.’”
  8. Having a sure foundation in God’s Word, secures you against attacks from Satan.
  9. 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 that house [representing trials, troubles, sickness, pain and problems] , it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
  10. APP.: Does personal suffering cause you to fall away from following God’s Word?

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)

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. When a person wants the world, he will forsake the Word, because they are in conflict.
  7. 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.
  8. APP.: Are you letting this world choke out the influence of God’s Word in your life?
  9. 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 truth. [like a skilled swordsman]
  10. APP.: Are you ready to train with your sword by reading and studying your Bible?

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