Ephesians 6:17; The sword of the Spirit – its uses.

Tuesday June 14, 2022


Eph 6:17

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


“word” – rema = that which is spoken in speech or writing. The gospel or the individual scripture which the HS brings to our remembrance.


Paul does not use the Greek word logos, which in distinction from rema, would, in this context, refer to all the Scriptures. “In the beginning was the logos” (Joh 1:1).


The significance of rema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," Eph 6:17; here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture. (Vine's Expository Dictionary)


Putting rema together with the sword of the Spirit and we gain insight into this weapon.


Sword of the Spirit: Gospel, defense, testimony, teaching, reproof, and correction properly used under the will of the HS.


How does God see us wearing and using our armor? This is the question we should be asking ourselves and not our own vision of it.


Of all the six pieces of armor or weaponry listed, the sword is the only one that can be used offensively as well as defensively. In Revelation it is seen issuing from the mouth of Christ. This may well include the words of defense and testimony which Jesus promised the HS would put into his followers’ lips when they were dragged before the magistrates.


The expression “the word of God” has a much broader meaning than whatever a saint uses in a given situation. It is the entirety of the Scripture inspired by the HS. Still, the word of God is the Lord’s sword. In every age, and indeed every day, He uses it to cut through people’s defenses, to prick their consciences and to stab them spiritually awake. Yet he also puts his sword into our hands, so that we may use it both in resisting temptation (Jesus did by quoting Scripture), exhorting and encouraging others, and in evangelism. Every Christian evangelist, whether preacher or personal witness, knows that God’s word has cutting power, being sharper than any two-edged sword. We must never therefore be ashamed to use it, or to acknowledge our confidence that the Bible is the sword of the Spirit.


The word of God can be used for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. Reproving is not putting down or bullying, but in fact it is lifting up when we understand. The gospel is not a judge’s gavel, but a call of hope and peace. Defense is for ourselves and others and is solely protection over the soul and not the destruction of the enemy. Testimony is not arrogant or prideful. Teaching is not snobbish pride but servanthood. To wield this weapon with a firm grasp we must have a firm grasp on the truth, which is to treasure God’s word in our hearts, longing to know more of it.


Sword of the Spirit: Gospel – used for judgment (Rev 19:15) but peace (Eph 6:15).


With the rest of the armor and our inner strength from God, we will be always ready with the gospel of peace, and all the lies about salvation, lies about God and His love and grace, lies that no kingdom of heaven exists but only this dark world is reality, we will repel and cut through with the truth which will shine through our righteousness. The belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness are behind a powerful gospel where words of promise are also shown in character of life.


We are not to use the gospel as judgment upon others. God alone is the one who judges (Rev 19:15).


Rev 19:11-16

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."


Isa 11:4

But with righteousness He will judge the poor,

And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;

And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,

And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.


We will return to this passage later and see that the ministry of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord during His first advent produces the same characteristics in us when we submit to Him. However, the judgment for which the Lord uses His sword is not a function of the sword given to us. At times there are matters that concern us with discipline of members of the church from within, but these are rare. We have nothing to do with judging unbelievers, and in most instances, believers.


2Th 2:8

And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;


But now the sword is used not to smite the earth or slay the wicked, but to repel the spiritual foes of the people of God. Remember, the main theme of our passage, and therefor the main reason for the armor of God given graciously to us, is to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.






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