If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click here)
(Greek words can be viewed with symbol font)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
May 31, 2009
Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 18: The Sword of the Spirit
We come this morning to the sixth and last piece of armor God has given to us so that we might stand firm against Satan’s devices against us. Turn again to Ephesians 6 and follow along as I read starting in verse 10 to set the context.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.] 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil [one.] 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and [pray] on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in [proclaiming] it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
To this point, every piece of equipment either gives greater stability, such as the belt of truth (See: The Belt of Truth: God’s Existence) and having your feet shod with the gospel of peace (See: Feet Shod with the Gospel of Peace), or is directly defensive, such as the breastplate of righteousness (See: The Breastplate of Righteousness), the shield of faith (See: The Shield of Faith) and the helmet of salvation (See: The Helmet of Salvation). The purpose of all of them is to be able to stand firm against our adversary, the devil, and his schemes against us. This morning we come to the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and which is the only piece of equipment that can also be used offensively and well as defensively. What is the nature of this sword mentioned so that we might understand the analogy Paul is making?
Nature of the Sword
The Sword mentioned here is the macairan / maxairon which is the short sword carried by the Roman foot soldier. This is not the large broad sword carried by the heavy cavalry. This typical short sword would range in size from 6-18 inches. It was the principle weapon in hand to hand combat. The user had to develop skill with it or he would not survive. It is a weapon that requires precision in both its defensive and offensive uses. It is used to defensively parry every jab and thrust of the enemy while at the same time offensively used to make thrusts and jabs against the enemy.
The parallel between the short sword and the Bible as a spiritual weapon is striking for the Bible must also be used with precision. Those without skill and those that are not careful with it can easily find themselves out maneuvered by the enemy and struck by his sword. Every lie, slander and deceitful effort of our enemy can be countered with the word of God if we know it and are willing to follow it, but if not, then we will soon be victims of his scheming falsehoods. This is why we must heed the warning in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”
The importance of using the Bible accurately is brought out in the fact that the term translated here as “word” is not the usual one, logoV / logos, which would refer to general statements or messages. The term here is rhma / rhema which refers to individual words or particular statements. The same word is used in Romans 10:17, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word rhma / rhema ) of Christ. As MacArthur has well pointed out, “It is not from just any part of Scripture that men come to faith, but from those parts that declare the gospel. Saving faith does not come from believing just any truth of Scripture, but from believing that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world and trusting in His death to cleanse our own sins.”
You cannot just use any Scripture picked at random to parry the strikes of Satan against you. You must use the verse appropriate to the particular attack being made. If you are tempted toward gluttony, then neither the laws of sacrifice in Leviticus nor Ecclesiastes 5:18 will help you – “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun [during] the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.” You need to use what Jesus quoted in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3). If you struggle with lust, then neither the genealogies of Numbers nor the Song of Solomon is going to help, but what will help is Jesus’ warning that everyone who looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:28). Precision is required in the use of Scriptures.
The same is true in using the Scriptures as an offensive weapon. We are commanded to proclaim the gospel so that people will repent of their sins and turn to Christ. Yet it can be easy to become side tracked onto peripheral issues. Paul instructed Titus to “shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Titus was to” speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Paul told Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season [and] out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). What was the focus of this preaching in relationship to unsaved? Paul states it in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24, “we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” What is the goal for the saved? Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
The sword of the Spirit must be used with precision. It is not a club by which you beat your enemy into submission with the amount of verbiage. It is a sword that is extremely sharp and able to pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit and judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
The Relationship of the Spirit & the Bible
The weapon given to us here is specifically called the “sword of the Spirit,” and so it describes the relationship of the Spirit and the word of God. This phrase refers to the nature or origin of the sword. This could also be correctly translated as the “sword by the Spirit” or even, “the spiritual sword.” There have historically been two extremes that have gotten men into trouble because they do not correctly adhere to the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
The first error is an over emphasis upon the Bible that forgets that the Bible cannot be understood except by the working of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. It is the Spirit from God that is given to us so that we might know the things freely given to us by God to be able to spiritually appraise things properly (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). 1 John 2:27 is specific in telling us that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches us. Without the enlightening ministry of the Holy Spirit described in Ephesians 1:18 you cannot understand the message of God’s word. Without the Spirit you would be like the liberal scholars in secular universities that can categorize every phrase, decline every noun and parse every verb in the Bible, but without gaining life from it. This is dead intellectual academic knowledge of the Scriptures. This is the tragedy of theological liberalism, for it gives the illusion of Biblical expertise, but it leaves the people still lost in their sin and bound for hell. It is also the tragedy of dead orthodox legalistic religious systems that search the scriptures thinking they will find eternal life in them, but they are unwilling to come to Jesus Christ of whom those same scriptures bear witness. That was the problem of the Pharisees (John 5:39). They were caught up in the minutia of Biblical law and missed the message. Jesus rebuked them as hypocrites who focused on tithing even common spices but missed the weightier provision of the law such as justice, mercy and faithfulness. He said they were blind guides who strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (Matthew 23:23-24), neither of which were lawful for them to eat under the Mosaic law (Leviticus 11:4, 42).
The second error is the opposite extreme in which the Bible is subjugated to a mystical experience. The Bible is no longer read and understood according to normal meanings of nouns, verbs, phrases, sentences and paragraphs. Instead, the Bible is said to mean whatever the person thinks or feels it means at that moment. It does not matter that this interpretation is in contradiction to the context of the passage, it is becomes authoritative under the guise of a supposed spirit anointed personal revelation. This is one of the great problems in the Charismatic movement since experience is what determines truth throughout much of it. In such a system you can make the Bible say whatever you want and no one can correct or criticize it since it is supposedly sanctioned by the Spirit.
The Bible is the sword of the Spirit and you cannot separate the Bible from Him. We must be diligent to do our part in studying the Scriptures in its grammatical and historical contexts while relying on the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds that we may understand and apply its message to our lives. The Holy Spirit is never the source of a teaching that is contrary to the Bible itself. The Spirit of God and the word of God are always in agreement with each other. Any avocation or opinion that is contrary to the Scriptures is not from the Holy Spirit, but from a different spirit, either an evil one or the foolish imaginations and speculations of the individual making them.
The Claims of Scripture About Itself
Let me briefly give you some of the claims Scripture makes about itself and some of the resources in the Bible.
God is its author: 2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
2 Peter 1:20 – “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
The Bible is not a collection of human wisdom or human religious thought. Evil men could not have written it because it condemns them. Good men could not have written it for they would not have lied about its authorship. God wrote it through men moved, literally “carried along,” by His Spirit.
Inerrant and infallible: Psalm 19:7,8 – “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
Proverbs 30:5 – “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.”
The Bible is true in all it says on any subject to which it speaks including history and science. It will not lead anyone astray to evil.
Authoritative: Isaiah 55:11 – “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding [in the matter] for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 45:23 – “I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear [allegiance.]
It is God’s word, so it is authoritative to accomplish everything that God desires.
Complete: This is reflective of Proverbs 30:5,6 which was just read and Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32. Revelation 22:18 – “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
The Bible is not exhaustive, but it is complete in giving us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness as stated in 2 Peter 1:3. We do not need extra revelation in order to know God well enough to believe and submit to Him or how to live a godly life.
Sufficient: 2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Teaching is how to get on the path of righteousness. Reproof is admonition that you are off the path of righteousness. Correction is how to get back on the path of righteousness. Training is how to stay on the path of righteousness.
Effective: Hebrews 4:12-13 – “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. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
The word of God exposes the soul of even those who reject it.
Determinative: John 8:47 – “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear [them,] because you are not of God.”
A person’s response to the word of God will give determination of their relationship with God. Those who hear and heed know God, those that do not, do not know God.
The Resources & Blessings of Scripture
The word of God is also a resource for us that brings us many blessings. Let me briefly give you some of these.
Source of Truth: John 17:17 – “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.
Many voices cry out that they are source of truth, but only the Word of God is what it claims.
Source of Joy: Proverbs 8:33 – “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect [it.] 34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.”
Luke 11:28 – But He (Jesus) said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.”
The world pursues after happiness which is dependent on circumstances. The word of God brings blessedness which is a joy that is independent of circumstances because it is based in the unchanging nature of God and His promises.
Source of Spiritual Growth: 1 Peter 2:2 – “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
It is through the word of God and its application in your life that you spiritually mature to become more like Jesus Christ in character.
Source of Power: Jeremiah 23:29 – “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”
Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
It is the word of God that changes people, not our clever speech and wisdom. That was Paul’s conclusion in 1 Corinthians 1:17- 2:1 and why he preached as he did, for the foolishness of God is wiser than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).
Source of Guidance: Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.”
We would be left to stumble in the dark without the word of God.
Source of Comfort: Psalm 119:50 – “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me”
Romans 15:4 – “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Because the word of God reveals God’s love, mercy, face and faithfulness to His people it brings hope and comfort.
Source of Perfection: Psalm 19:7-11 – “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.”
The word of God changes us warning us of error and blessing us for righteousness. It produces maturity in us.
Source of Protection: Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping [it] according to Thy word. 10 With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. 11 Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee.
It warns and convicts that I might avoid sin.
Source of Victory as a defensive and an offensive weapon as seen in Jesus’ use of the word of God throughout His ministry. He used it to defend against temptations and attacks, to bring conviction and condemnation upon His enemies, and to bring eternal life to His followers.
The Sword as a Defensive Weapon
In Matthew 4 Satan come to tempt the Lord Jesus Christ. Please turn to that passage to see how Jesus defended Himself with the word of God which is the example of how we are to also use it as a defensive weapon.
Verse 1 begins, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” The first thing we note is it is the Spirit of God that led Jesus into the wilderness for the specific purpose of being tempted by the devil. God is sovereign in the matter. This is not something happening by chance, fate or bad luck. This not something the devil arranged. God the Spirit leads God the Son into the wilderness to face the Adversary.
Next, we note that the devil is real. He is not some guy with a red suit with a long pointed tail carrying a pitchfork. He is a fallen angel that seeks to usurp God’s glory and honor and take it for himself. Throughout this text we see Jesus addressing the devil as a real personal being. This is why we must have our armor on and why we must have in our hand, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.
Third, we note that the temptations Jesus will face here are real. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was “tempted in all points as we are, yet with out sin.” That means that He felt the full force of every temptation because He never gave in. By way of analogy to explain this point, a tree that is blown over in a hurricane only felt the force of that storm’s wind until it was blown over. It is the tree that remains standing after the hurricane has past that has felt the full force of the storm.
The nature of Satan’s attack is according to the name used in this passage for him. He is diaboloV / diabolos which means “slanderer.” We will see that is exactly what he does in his temptations. He slanders what God has said in an effort to tempt Jesus to do things his way instead of God’s.
Verse 2, “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.” Jesus had been forty days out in the Judean wilderness. Mark 1:13 describes this as being “with the wild beasts.” It is a dry harsh environment with little vegetation and steep hills, but because of this it also becomes a good place for solitude, thinking and praying. If you have ever been out in the desert alone you know that you can become engulfed in its immensity. There is relatively little to see and little to hear except the wind. Jesus was out in the wilderness fasting for 40 days. You can imagine that He is now extremely hungry. It is at this point the devil now comes to Him.
Verse 3, “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’” The devil challenges Jesus to prove His claim to be the son of God by appealing to Jesus’ to satisfy the cravings of his physical flesh by making the stones into bread. Please understand the slander against God the Father that is behind this challenge. The devil is calling into question why Jesus would be out in the wilderness hungry if He was indeed the Son of God for the Father should have provided for His needs. Isaiah 33:16 says of the righteous that “His bread will be given him; his water will be sure.” In essence, the devil is saying that God has not provided for you, Jesus, even though you are His son, so take charge and provide for yourself. The temptation is for Jesus to satisfy the desires of his body though his own means and methods rather than relying upon God to provide.
Jesus responds in verse 4 by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, “But He answered and said, it is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” Jesus came to do the Father’s will even saying in John 4:34 that “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” Jesus subjects Himself to God and waits for His provision.
Next, Satan attacks in the area of pride tempting Jesus to perform a great sign and miracle. 5 Then the devil *took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge concerning you’; (Psalm 91:11) and ‘on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone'” (Ps 91:12). Notice the craftiness of the devil. He even quotes portions of Psalm 91:11 & 12 to try and back up his point. The devil is the master of Scripture twisting. The slander is that God had not brought the honor and glory to Jesus that He deserved as the Son of God, but Jesus could satisfy the demands of the Scribes and Pharisees for a sign and prove that He was the Son of God by putting the truth of God’s Word to the test. The temptation is for Jesus to prove He is the Son of God and gain the following of the people by His own means and methods.
Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:16 saying in verse 7, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Jesus subjects His pride to God and will wait for God to do things in His way and timing. He knows that to put God to the test only demonstrates a lack of trust in God and that is sin.
The third temptation against Jesus is in the area of the lust of the eyes in seeing something that He would want for Himself. Satan, who is the “prince of this world” (John 16:11) and the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) tries a third time. Verse 8, “Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain, and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” The devil slanders God again suggesting the Father has not given the Son what should be His, but if Jesus would do what Satan says, then Satan will give Him the Kingdoms of the world. It is also a slander against the Father’s method for Jesus to receive the kingdoms through the cross. If Jesus would pay homage to Satan then He could avoid the pain and agony He knew would come with the cross. The temptation is for Jesus to gain the world through His own means and methods instead of the Father’s plan for the cross.
This time Jesus not only quotes another Scripture, but also rebukes Satan. Verse 10, “Then Jesus *said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only'” (Deuteronomy 6:13). Jesus subjected Himself to the Father’s will, even knowing that it would mean crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.
The result is recorded in verse 11, “Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” The Father did provide for Him in His own timing and method.
One thing I want to make sure that you understand here is the use of sword of the Spirit by Jesus. Jesus did not defeat Satan by quoting Scriptures. Scripture cannot be used like some magical incantation. Jesus defeated Satan by knowing the Word of God and being obedient to it. A fancy sword will do you no good if you do not know how to use it. In the same way the memorization of Scripture will do you no good if you do not apply them it to your own life. You need to both know and apply the Word of God.
Do you know the word of God well enough that you can counter the deceptions that are thrust against you? Take note that this requires study because a general knowledge will not be enough. This is a short sword, not a broad sword. You have to be able to counter every jab with the precise counter movement. You will have to counter every lie, every slander, every deception with the precise Scripture that lays out the truth. Are you controlled by the truth enough that you will be obedient to the Bible even when your emotions are in confusion? Again, the Bible will not do you any good if you do not apply it.
The Sword as an offensive weapon
As I noted earlier, this is the only piece of armor that has an offensive aspect to it. We are not to just passively wait for Satan’s attack. We are to be out busy in ministry, which by its nature is against Satan’s realm. We are in that respect on the offensive against him. It is the word of God that the Spirit uses to convict people of sin, righteousness and judgment for it goes to the heart. Look again at Hebrews 4:12-13, “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. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
The core of every ministry must be the Scriptures. Nothing we do as Christians can be done effectively apart from the Bible. Even the proper use of the gift of helps or giving requires the right motives as explained by the Scriptures. Cups of cold water are to be given in Jesus’ name. Why? Because our good works are to bring Him glory. How do I know that? The Bible tells me so (Matthew 10:42). We are to let our light so shine that people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The Scriptures are also offensive in nature because when we live according to them then we are in submission to God and the devil will flee just as James 4:7 says. Matthew 22 records a series of questions different groups proposed to Jesus to test Him in the effort to entrap and discredit Him. Jesus answers each of them by bringing them back to the Scriptures themselves and challenging them with its truth. For example, in Matthew 22:23-28 the Sadducees challenged Jesus concerning the resurrection of the dead and Jesus in turn took them back to Exodus 3:6 to prove the resurrection because God is the God of living, not the dead. The result was not just a defense against their challenge, but a rebuke that silenced the Sadducees and taught the truth to all that heard. In Matthew 22:24-36 the Pharisees question Jesus about which is the great commandment. Jesus answers from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 in a response that not only answered their challenge, but also forced them to the personal application of it. Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind is the great and foremost commandment which leads immediately to the second great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. It is upon those two commandments that the whole law and prophets depend. Jesus then went further and asked them a question from Psalm 110:1 which they could not answer, and so as verse 46 says, “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” Jesus used the word of God offensively and it reduced them to silence.
The Sword of the Spirit is the word of God. How well can you handle it? If you answer anything less than “well,” then you need to get serious about studying it. There is no excuse for a believer to not know and understand the Bible. Every true Christian has the Holy Spirit within them. Every true Christian is called to obedience and one of the things a believer is to do is study the Scriptures that they might live according to it. No believer can plead ignorance or inability, for it is not a matter of intellect such as might be needed to earn a college degree in Bible, but rather of diligence to know it well enough to live by it, and it is the Holy Spirit that aides you to do that. Disinterest and neglect are overcome by commitment and diligence . If you need help getting started on a regular Bible study routine, talk with any of our church leaders and we can help you get started on a regular study of the Scriptures today if you are not doing so already. There is also some helpful material in the literature rack and on the back table.
The next sermon in this series is: Spiritual Warfare, Part 19: The Priority of Prayer
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times the word of God is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about the importance of the word of God in your life.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How is the Bible similar to a sword? What is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Bible? What are the two major errors that result from not properly understanding and applying this relationship? What does the Scripture claim about itself in terms of its author, accuracy, authority, completeness, sufficiency, effectiveness and what it determines? What resource and blessing do the Scriptures brings in relationship to truth, joy, spiritual growth, power, guidance, comfort, perfection, protection and victory. How did Jesus use the word of God as a defensive weapon? How did He use it as an offensive weapon? How well do you use it? What needs to improve?
Sermon Notes – 5/24/2009
Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 18: The Sword of the Spirit – Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the Spirit
Sword is macairan / maxairon – the __________ sword of the Roman foot soldier
A weapon that requires _____________ in both its defensive and offensive uses
rhma / rhema refers to ______________ words or particular statements
You must use the verse ______________to the particular attack being made.
The Relationship of the Spirit & the Bible – The Sword of the Spirit = The word of God
First error – emphasis on the Bible to the neglect of the ____________ role
The _________ teaches & enlightens the believer – 1 Cor. 2:12-16; 1 John 2:27; Eph. 1:18
Without the _________, Bible study is just academic & religion become legalistic
Second error – emphasis on the Spirit to the neglect of the ____________
Mystical interpretation results in conclusions ____________ to the Bible
The Holy Spirit is never the ___________ of a teaching contrary to the Bible
The Spirit of God and the word of God are always in _____________ with each other
The Claims of Scripture About Itself
_______ is its author: 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20
It is ______________ and infallible: Psalm 19:7,8; Proverbs 30:5
It is ____________: Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 45:23
It is Complete: Proverbs 30:5-6; Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Revelation 22:18
It is _____________: 2 Timothy 3:16
It is Effective: Hebrews 4:12-13
It is _______________ John 8:47
The Resources & Blessings of Scripture
Source of ___________ : John 17:17
Source of Joy: Proverbs 8:33; Luke 11:28
Source of Spiritual Growth: 1 Peter 2:2
Source of ___________ : Psalm 19:7-11
Source of ____________: Psalm 119:9-11
Source of Victory
The Sword as a Defensive Weapon
The Spirit of God leads Jesus into wilderness for the specific purpose of being ______by the devil – vs. 1
The devil is ________– Jesus addresses him as a real personal being.
The _____________ Jesus faced were real – Hebrews 4:15.
Satan is diaboloV / diabolos – the “______________”
The First Temptation – Matthew 4:1-4
Satan challenges Jesus to prove He is the Son of God by commanding the _________to become bread
The Slander: Calling into question God’s care and ____________ for Jesus
The Temptation: To satisfy His physical desires through His ________ means instead of relying on God.
The Defense: Deuteronomy ________
The Second Temptation – Matthew 4:5-7
Satan challenges Jesus to prove He is the Son of God by having the _________perform a public miracle
Satan is the master at ____________ scripture – he quotes parts of Psalm 91:11-12
The Slander: God had _______ brought Jesus the honor and glory the Son of God deserves
The Temptation: Prove He is the Son of God & gain honor by __________ method instead of God’s
The Defense: Deuteronomy ________
The Third Temptation – Matthew 4:8-10
The Slander: The Father has ____________ to the Son what He deserves & requires too much.
The Temptation: To gain the world by __________ method instead of God’s
The Defense: Deuteronomy ________
The Result: The __________ came and ministered to Jesus at God’s direction
Jesus did not defeat Satan by quoting Scriptures, but by knowing the Word of God and ___________it
The Sword as an offensive weapon
The Spirit uses the _____of God to convict people of sin, righteousness and judgment (Hebrews 4:12-13)
Living according to the Scriptures is submission to God & resistance to the devil, so he flees (James 4:6-7)
Matthew 22:23-28, the Sadducees challenge Jesus about the _____________.
Jesus cites _____________ to prove them wrong, rebuke and silence them
Matthew 22:24-36, the Pharisees challenge Jesus about the ____________ commandment
Jesus cites Deuteronomy _____ & Leviticus _______ answering their challenge and applying it to them
Jesus cites ___________ and reduced them to silence
If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office