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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Taking the Offensive
The Sword of the Spirit
Ephesians 6:17
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Hebrews 4:12

Intro.
Ephesians 6:17 (NIV)
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

        When I asked last week how many had swords many of you rose your hands.  The only sword that I have is one I cut out for a Pirate birthday for Josh when he was 4 / 5 years old – at least I saw it the last time we moved.  At that time I did some research on swords so I could cut out something close to a pirate sword.  Here is what I learned:

A Pirates sword was curved in nature (bottom left) – but Pirates today use guns.

Some middle-east swords like those found in movies about the crusades or like the movie “The Wind and the Lion” were longer and mostly a double edged blade.  They were shaped like a cross. (top right)

The Three Musketeers had long slender fencing swords that were pointed on the end (bottom right)

The Civil War Generals carried a sword that would be similar to the English sword that Robin Hood would have carried (top left)

The Roman Sword was shorter double edged sword; probably about 2 feet long (middle).  They were for battling their enemy up close.

 

The sword was the Roman soldiers’ enforcer.  The sword was always with him.  It was designed to be used in close hand to hand combat for both defensive and offensive purposes. 

It had be easily accessible and ready to be used.  The soldier was proficient in using the sword.

 

The sword was the only weapon that was designed to be used in close quarters and they practiced for hours daily.  They used either hand working on their dexterity so they could switch hands.

 

Their lives depended on their diligence in keeping their skills honed and ready for battle at any moment.

The similarity between the sword and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God is amazing.

 

We need to be proficient / knowledgeable in the Word of God and in the use of the Word.

 

We need to be quick and ready to use the Word

The strength of the Word depends on the amount of time we spend in the Word.

I think we are in trouble with this weapon because the western church especially does not take the Word of God seriously. We tend to argue with the Word because we don’t necessarily like what it says. 

Theologians and philosopher debate the validity of the Scripture and question the social application of the Word.  Examples:

Sin is a sin – it’s not primarily sociological or psychological phenomena.

 

Sexual immorality is a sin. But then we want to have a debate about what is meant by sexual immorality.  It is simple, sexual immorality is anything that goes beyond or replaces God’s creation of marriage of one man and one woman.  Anything outside the confines of marriage between a man and a woman is sexual immorality:

Adultery

Homosexuality

Don’t be so quick to point your finger because Jesus covers the rest of us when he talks about looking at a person of the opposite sex with lust is committing adultery.

Sin is a sin – is lying a sin – yes every type of lying is a sin.

Borrowing without any intention of returning is stealing.  They will never miss it.

 

Let’s quit compromising on God’s Word.

The Word of God tells us to do things we don’t want to; it commands us to love people who are unlovely and it calls sin a sin.

 

For most Christian the sword remains in the sheath in its case because then it won’t cause any problems that way.  And therefore many Christians only open the book when absolutely necessary.  Listen to what David had to say about the Word:

 

 Psalm 19:7-11
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. 10They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

 
Let us understand a few things from the psalm I just read: 

 

The Word of God does the same thing.  The best example comes from Christ when Satan tempted him after His 40 day fast.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The major objection is that many people say I don’t understand what I read and many us are uncomfortable with its demands.

Mark Twain noted, "Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand."

I would encourage you to study the Word for yourself and to engage in a Bible Study. The more that you read and study the Word of God the better we are in the spiritual battle that we each face.

Ross Snyder a well-known Christian educator, once described in-depth Bible Study as peeling the layers of an onion.  The closer you get to the center, the more you are personally involved.  In fact, you end up in tears.

Before we close – I would like to leave you with a challenge: How important is the Word of God to you?   I know individuals in this town who would like to have their own Bibles – do you know someone that would like to have their own Bible as a church let us provide those folks with the Word of God and the opportunity to study the Word.  We could 20 Bibles for $65 - $130.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.