Sword of the spirit
Last week we talked about whether you were a thermometer or a thermostat how many of you this week had the opportunity to notice that about yourself or others?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Everything so far has been defensive in nature but now Paul talks about the sword of the Spirit. There were several types of swords in the Roman cache. One was a two-handed broad sword designed mainly for practice but if used in battle, mainly wounded the enemy rather than kill. There was a long sword that was used mainly as a weapon to cut at arms and legs. Neither of those are the sword described here by Paul.
This sword was 12” – 18” in length it was meant for close battles. It is an offensive weapon to be used in tight situations.
It was extremely sharp and could be maneuvered easily and appropriately to overcome any enemy
Paul compares the word of God to that sword and how it can work in keeping our relationships strong is amazing.
I need to mention this God’s Word is true
1) It makes things clear
2) It purifies
3) It guides
How does it make things clear
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Often in our relationships, there are times when things getting a little confusing we don’t understand why someone is saying something or doing something. We can understand why someone is treating us the way that they are.
His word pierces right to the core of things
It cuts through self-deception
It shows up against hypocrisy
When we know and live God’s word it reveals our hearts
1 John 4:20
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Titus 3: 1,2
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Just these three verses alone can cut through any hypocrisy and self-absorption leaving 31,099 verses to work on other areas of your life.
What would these three verses alone do to enhance, heal and bring life to every relationship
2) God’s Word purifies
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.
Sanctify (Purify) them in the truth; your word is truth.
There are so many things that can pollute our minds and our hearts so much on television, on the internet, in conversations at work. The anger, hatred, bitterness, greed, fear that can easily pollute you so can stand firm against if you will allow God’s word to do the work.
Here is a positive challenge of how the Word purifies
My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,
Wisdom will keep your heart and attitude strong, focused and clear. The Word of God is a book filled with wisdom
Think about it if we use wisdom and keep our heart attitudes pure in every relationship we will solve all kinds of conflicts
When we don’t know where to go or what to do….
4) It guides
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
So many of our relationship become confusing when we don’t know how to treat one another we offend or we get offended.
We are working on a relationship and don’t know how to get there from here
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Hebrews 10: 24,25
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
If we need guidance as to how to handle any relationship these words alone should help us accomplish amazing things with each other.
Laying down our lives for each other gets pride and rejection out of the way, listening to each other taking on each others burdens to help us carrying them helps draw us to unity not division, and challenging each other to love and get to church always helps us grow.
How do we allow this word to make the difference in us so we can make a difference in all of our relationships
1) Learn it
It can’t really change you until you know it Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”
2) Love it
We embrace so many concepts in our daily lives to excel at work and in family but God wants us to embrace His word to excel at life and all of our relationships
Psalm 1: 1,2
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.
3) Live it
We have got to allow God’s word to be live to us to allow it to go out through our hands and touch the lives of others
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
I hope you can see today how God’s word can keep every relationship strong and healthy