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Read:   Ephesians 6:10-17

   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The one offensive weapon in the armor of God is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Note how Paul clarifies what the “sword” is to his readers; it is God’s word.  Numerous Bible passages compare God’s word to a sword.  When Jesus (somewhat surprisingly) says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mt. 10:34), He is referring to the sharpness of His word/gospel, not a literal sword.  Jesus had no use of literal swords, telling His disciples put away their weapons; that those who live by the sword will perish by the sword (Mt 26:52).  So while the word is powerful, it is not about violence.  In this very passage (v. 15) God’s word is called “the Gospel of peace”. Spiritual warfare is about claiming God’s promises, not violence.

The power and authority of God’s word is sufficient for our need.  In His name, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can claim the word’s authority to bind, rebuke, and cast into utter darkness evil spirits, and claim the space for God.  Contention comes when evil has been invited in, and so has a competing claim.  It is dangerous to play with Ouija boards or similar practices; don’t do it or allow it in your home.

Note the connection between God’s word and the (Holy) Spirit – they are connected; the Holy Spirit helps illumine the message and meaning of the scriptures for us. The “sword of the Spirit” is God’s word, illumined by the Holy Spirit to empower us.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom