Sword of the Spirit, Word of God

Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is both a powerful offensive and defensive weapon for warriors of Christ.

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Ephesians 6:13-16 (NLT) Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor [breastplate] of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God.”

Notice that this weapon is called the “sword of the Spirit“. The believer’s body is the temple of God indwelled by the Holy Spirit, a unique Person in the Trinity, received through faith and belief in Christ as Savior and Lord, and as a gift from God. So, with this part of the armor of God, we are once again putting on Christ!

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT) “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”

Romans 8:9-11 (NAS) “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

What is the “word of God” mentioned by Paul? In Scripture, it is both the logos and the rhema. Logos in Greek is translated as “word, speech, principle or thought”. The book of John identifies Jesus as the Living Logos. Scripture is considered to be the written Word inspired by God. In the Ephesians passage above, “word” refers to rhema which is a spoken word or an utterance – literally, collectively or specifically. How does rhema come to us today? Through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit in us Who instructs us by giving us understanding of the written word and Who speaks to us personally, and through others to whom the Holy Spirit gives a specific word for us.

John 17:17 (NLT) Jesus in His High Priestly prayer to Abba Father said, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word [logos], which is truth.”

2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT) “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.”

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT) “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. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”

1 Corinthians 12:7-8 (NKJ) “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word (logos) of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word (logos) of knowledge through the same Spirit”

Jesus is called the Word. This Word is part of the Trinity – 3 co-eternal persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit operating in unity as 1 Divine Being – that created this world. In creation, God spoke, the Spirit acted, and it was all for and through Jesus. This living Word was an exact representation of the Father here on earth. He is eternal, living and active, our righteousness, our salvation, our High Priest constantly interceding on our behalf along with the Holy Spirit, our Savior and Lord, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and so many other beautiful blessings for us and to us!

John 1:1-5, 14 (NLT) “In the beginning the Word [Logos] already existed. The Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word [Logos] gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it… So the Word [Logos] became human and made his home among us…”

Genesis 1:1-2 (NLT) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we cannot see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”

The Word [Logos] is the head of the church who reconciles to God all men who believe in Him, confess Him as Savior and Lord, and repent of their sins. In Acts, after Jesus has returned to His throne in Heaven and the Holy Spirit has been sent to indwell all believers in power as Christ in us, we see believers following Jesus’ example of water baptism [for us, a transaction in Heaven of joining with Him in His death and rising as a new creation in a new birth] and receiving the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:18-20 (NLT) “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So, he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Ephesians 5:23-27 (NAS) “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He himself being the Savior of the body [church]. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought be to the husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [rhema], that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.”

Mark 16:16 (NLT) Jesus commissioned His disciples before returning to Heaven… “He who has believed and has been baptized [same Greek word used here as when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River as recorded in Matthew 3:16] shall be saved; but anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”

Acts 2:37-39 (NLT) “Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus emphasizes the importance of rhema:

Matthew 4:4 (NLT) “But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that comes from the mouth of God.'”

John 6:63 (NLT) “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words [rhema] I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

What comes from the mouth of God are the very words that Christ spoke and the words that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us:

John 14:10 (NLT) “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words (rhema) I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.”

Mark 13:11 (NLT) “But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

John 16:13 (NLT) “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me [Jesus]. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'”

Warrior, as you pursue relationship with the Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and the application of the logos (the written word, the spoken word, the principle or thought), to draw you in deeper relationship with the Logos (Jesus, the Living Word), and speak (rhema) to you constantly through the Bible, through your relationship with Him, and through other believers. Wield your mighty sword offensively and defensively, Warrior of Christ!

Luke 24:25 (NAS) “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”

Isaiah 8:20 (NLT) “Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.”

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