Blogging For Life
The Sword of the Spirit
“And take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:17
The sword of the spirit is specifically identified as the word of God. This is an offensive weapon that allows us to explicitly fight back against spiritual attack rather than simply ward off those fiery darts. Jesus regularly quoted from the Old Testament when dealing with attacks on his character and actions.
Hebrews 4:12 gives another usage for this sword, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This weapon enables a believer to discern the difference between something that is of God and something that is of human concoction. The fact that it is double edged means that no movement is wasted. I find that Scripture I have committed to memory is a major part of my arsenal to fight the temptations that can assail me.
For a discussion of the shield of faith, I would refer you to the message I gave at Living Hope on March 25th, 2012 –
Remember that the war is on whether you are ready for it or not. The enemy is the spiritual powers of darkness, not any human being. You are completely safe when you are armed and ready.
The Shoes of the Gospel
“Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” Eph. 6:15
There are two major ways people look at the footwear in the spiritual armor arsenal. The first is that the shoes are the gospel itself, the message that provides a foundation for the Christian. The other is that this refers to the calling of Christians to spread the message of Christ.
I find the use of the words “peace” and “preparation” instructive. Peace as a weapon in warfare? Biblical peace is not an absence of conflict but the security that comes with an absolute confidence that victory is assured and God is in control. This is not only the message that we preach to our own souls that brings peace within but the hope we bring to others in a world that is sorely lacking peace.
To be prepared with the gospel reminds me of the lessons Paul writes about earlier in Ephesians that we should live carefully or circumspectly. Being fully armed is one thing; being alert and prepared for engaging the enemy is another.
The Belt of Truth
"Having girded your loins with truth." Eph. 6:14a
The Bible never actually names the next piece of armor, what is often referred to as the belt of truth, but it is implied in the Greek phrase, "perizosamenoi ten osphyn", which translates "having girded about the loins". That phrase means "to prepare oneself for something requiring strength and endurance; ready oneself for action."
It is notable that arming ourselves with truth protects an area that was thought to be the seat of a person's physical strength – the core of their being. Later we will see that "truth" comes up again associated with the sword of the spirit, an offensive weapon, but in this case, being mindful of how God defines truth keeps the center of our being shielded from devastating attack.
The garments that were worn during this period were typically long flowing robes. They provided comfort in the often hot environment but were unwieldy if one needed freedom of movement to fight or flee. Girding the robe with a belt got the excess cloth out of the way and put you in a better position to fight unencumbered. When fiery darts of doubt and sin-based thinking assail us, we can get be tripped up if we have not girded ourselves with truth, reminding ourselves of the essential reality of the gospel of Jesus.
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