You will go in vain to the metaphysician or to the logician; for neither of these knows how to handle a spiritual weapon. In other arts they may be masters; but in the sacred use of diving theology they are mere fools. In the things of the Word we are dunces till we enter the school of the Holy Ghost. He must take of the things of Christ, and show them unto us. He must teach us how to grip this sword by faith, and how to hold it by watchfulness, so as to parry the adversary's thrust, and carry the war into the foeman's territory.
He is well taught who can swing this great two-handed sword to and fro, and mow a lane through the midst of his opponents, and come out a conqueror at the end.
It may take a long time to learn this art; but we have a right skillful Teacher. Those of us who have been in this warfare thirty or forty years feel that we have not yet reached the full use of this sword; nay, I know for one, that I need daily to be taught how to use this mysterious weapon, which is capable of so much more than I have yet supposed.
It is the sword of the Spirit, adapted for the use of an Almighty arm, and therefore equal to the doing of far more than we think. Holy Spirit, teach us now feats of arms by this thy sword! But, chiefly, it is the sword of the Spirit, because he is the great Master in the use of it. Oh, that he would come and show us this morning how he can thrust and cleave with it! In this house of prayer we have often seen him at his work. Here the slain of the Lord have been many. We have seen this sword take off the head of many a Goliath doubt, and slay a horde of cares and unbeliefs.
We have seen the Spirit pile up heaps on heaps of the slain when the Word of conviction has gone forth, and men have seen sin to be sin, and fallen down as dead before the Lord and his law. We also know what the use of the sword by the Spirit of God means, for within our own being he has left marks of his prowess. He has killed our doubts and fears, and left no more mistrusts to worry us. There was a man of God who was frequently subject to doubts, even doubts upon the fundamentals of religion. He hated this state of mind; but still he could not get rid of the habit of evil questioning.
In answer to prayer, the Spirit came, and convinced him of the pride of his intellect, and of the wickedness of setting up his judgment against the Word of the Lord; and from that day forward he was never the subject of another fit of unbelief. He saw things clearly in the light of the Holy Spirit; and that is to see them indeed. The great giant of doubt is sorely wounded by the sword of the Spirit-yea, he is slain outright; for the Spirit works in the believer such a conviction of the truth that assurance banishes suspicion.
When the Holy Spirit deals with the lusts of the flesh, and the lusts of the eye and the pride of life, these also lie at his feet, trophies to the power of his mighty weapon, even the Word of God! The Holy Spirit is glorious in the use of this sword. He finds that this weapon suits his hand, and he seeks no other. Let us use it also, and be glad to do so. Though it is the sword of the Spirit, yet our feebler hand may grasp it; yea, and find in the grasping that somewhat of the divine power comes unto our arm. Dear brethren, is it not a very high honor put upon you, as soldiers of the cross, that you should be allowed, nay, commanded to take the sword of the Spirit?
The raw recruit is not trusted with the general's sword; but here are you armed with the weapon of God the Holy Ghost, and called upon to bear that sacred sword which is so gloriously wielded by the Lord God himself. This we are to bear, and no other. Does the timid heart enquire, "Wherewithal, my Master, shall I meet my adversaries"?
This is my own sword; I have done great marvels with it; take it, and nothing shall stand against you. That Word of God which could convert you, can convert anybody; if it could kill your despair, it can remove another man's despondency; if it has conquered your pride and self-will, it can subdue the like in your children and your neighbors.
Having done what it has certainly done for you, you may have a full persuasion that, before its power, no case is hopeless. Wherefore, see to it, that you use from this day forth no other weapon than the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This fairly lands me in the second portion of my discourse. Here I must begin again, and go over much the same ground.
We shall need a sword. Our warfare is not child's play: We have to deal with fierce foes, who are only to be met with keen weapons. Buffets will not suffice in this contest; we must come to sword-cuts. You may be of a very quiet spirit, but your adversaries are not so. If you attempt to play at Christian warfare, they will not. To meet the powers of darkness is no sham battle. Nothing but your eternal damnation will satisfy the fiendish hearts of Satan and his crew. You must take not so much a flag to unfurl, or a drum to beat, as a sword to use, and a specially sharp sword too.
In this combat you will have to use a sword such as even evil spirits can feel, capable of dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. If you are to live through this fight, and come off victorious, no form of conflict will suffice less sharp and cutting than sword-work.
Depend upon it that in this struggle you will be forced to come to close quarters. The foe aims at your heart, and pushes home. A spear will not do, nor bow and arrow; the enemy is too near for anything but hand-to-hand fighting. Brethren, our foes are not only of our house, but of our heart. I find an enemy within which is always near, and I cannot get away from him.
I find that my antagonist will get his hand on my throat if he can.
Series 3 - The Great Teachings of the Bible and What They Mean for You: The Armor of God
If our foes were far away, and we could play upon them with artillery which would kill at six or seven miles' distance, we might lead a pretty easy life. But no; they are here! Yea, within us; nearer than hands and feet. Now for the short sword: No sling and stone will avail us here, but we must take the sword. You have to slay your foe, or your foe will slay you.
It is with us Christians as it was with the Highlanders in battle, when their leader called out to them, "Lads, there they are!
What is the sword of the Spirit?
If you dinna kill them they will kill you. The use of the sword is needful for attack. I have reminded you several times already that it will not suffice for the Christian to guard against sin, and ward off temptation from himself; he has to assail the powers of evil. In our case, the best method of defense is an attack. I have heard of one who would bring an action in law to gain his ends, for he thought this better than being the defendant.
That may be matter of question; but in war it is often safer to assail than defend. Carry the warfare into the enemy's territory. Be trying to win from the adversary, and he will not win so much from you. Do not merely be sober yourselves, but attack drunkenness. Do not be content with being from superstition yourself, but expose it wherever it appears.
Do not merely be devout when you feel obliged to be so, but pray for the growth of the kingdom; pray always. Do not merely say, "I will keep Satan out of my family by bringing up my children aright", but go to the Sunday-school, and teach other children, and so carry the war over the border. God forbid that we should ever go to war as a nation! But if we were at war with some nation on the Continent, I should certainly say, "Let the continentals have the battles on their own ground: If we had fought the devil more in the world, he might never have been able to invade the church so terribly as he has done.
Attack with the sword, for it is your calling, and thus will you best defend yourself. We need the sword for real fighting. Do you think that you can dream yourselves into heaven? Or fly on the wings of brass music? You make a great mistake if you so imagine. A real war is raging, your opponents are in deadly earnest, and you must take your sword. And, further, we need this sword: We say with David, "There is none like that; give it me. No other will match the enemy's weapon.
C. H. Spurgeon :: The Sword of the Spirit
If we fight the devil with human reason, the first time our wooden sword comes in contact with a Satanic temptation it will be cut in pieces. If you do not wield a true Jerusalem blade you are in grave peril; your weapon will break off at the hilt, and where will you be? Standing defenceless, with nothing but the handle of a broken sword in your hand, you will be the object of your adversary's ridicule. You must have this sword, for no other will penetrate the foe, and no other will last out the battle. After twenty years, what has become of the pious resolutions of your youth?
What is the staying power of your consecration made in the hour of enthusiasm? Alas, how little trust can be placed in it! What would become of us after thirty years of fighting, if we had not the Word of God to rely upon? The Word of the Lord endureth for ever; but nothing else does. We may do well in early days, but we shall fail in old age if we have not eternal verities to fall back upon. I can commend this sword to you all, my brethren, although you are so varied in character. This sword suits every hand. Youth or age may alike use this weapon.
These dear girls from the Orphanage, and yonder lads from the Bible-class, may fight the battle of their youth with the Word of God; for Holy Scripture may impress and guide our freshest life. You that have grown grey, you that have passed seventy or eighty, you will value the Bible more than ever, and you will find that this sword is the best for veteran warriors. Young men and young women, here is a sword suited for all of you, and well does it become the hand of the feeblest and the gentlest. The Holy Ghost has in the sacred Word prepared an implement of warfare suited for great minds and small, for the cultured and the uneducated.
A wonderful sword this is, which, in the hand of faith, reveals an adaptation marvellous to the last degree. Whatever others may say, it is sufficient for us that this is the regulation sword. A soldier is not left to choose his own equipment; he must carry such arms as his sovereign appoints. This is the regulation sword in Christ's army.
The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is what you are bidden to take; and if you in wilfulness resolve to exchange it for another, you commit an act of rebellion, and you make the change at your own risk and peril. Come, then, let us each one take the Word of God, and carry it nearer our hearts than ever; for such is the word of command, "Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Now, see what we are told to do. We need a sword; we need this sword; we are to take this sword.
Note that we are not told that we may lay it down: There is a time, of course, when the soldier of her Majesty may remove his sword from his side, and put off his regimentals; there is never such a time with a Christian. One might have thought, from what we have seen of late, that orders had come from headquarters that the soldiers were to lay down the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and take to lighter weapons. Entertainments, amusements, farces, and sing-song are now used to do what the gospel has failed to achieve!
Is it not sadly so? Well, if any will try these silly toys, I can only say that they have no command from their Lord to warrant them in their proceedings. Take all these things, and see what they will do; but you make the trial at your own risk, and on your own heads the result of failure will fall. The standing-orders are to take the sword of the Spirit, and no new regulation has ever been issued by the great Captain of salvation.
From the days of Paul till now, the word stands, "Take the sword of the Spirit. Certain people have a handsomely-bound Bible to lie upon the table of the best room; and a fine ornament it is. A Family Bible is a treasure. But I pray you do not let your love of the Bible end there. With a soldier in war, a sword is not meant to be hung up in the tent, nor even to be flourished in the air; but it is issued to be used. Nor are we to push this sword into a sheath, as many do who take the Bible, and add so much of criticism, or of their own opinion to it, that its edge is not felt.
Many men use their low opinion of inspiration as a scabbard into which they push the Bible down. Their vast knowledge makes a beautiful scabbard, and they push down the sword, saying, "Keep still there! O sword of the Lord, rest and he quiet! They hold down the Word all the week with a firm hand, for fear its edge or point should wound them. It is the scabbard of culture, or philosophy, or of progress, and in this they shut up the living Word of God as in a coffin.
We are not to bury the Word under other matters; but we are to take it as a sword: Believe every portion of it; believe it with a true and real faith, not with a mere credal faith, which says, "This is the orthodox thing. And when you have believed it, then study it. Oh, for a closer study of the Word of God! Are there not some of you who have never even heard or read all that the Lord has said? Are there not passages of the Bible which have never been read by you?
It is a melancholy fact that there should be even a line of the sacred Scriptures which has never once come under your eye. Do read the Bible right through, from beginning to end. Never let it be suspected by you that God has recorded truths in his Word which you have never even once read. Study the Word, and work out its meaning. Go deep into the spirit of inspiration. He gets most gold who digs the deepest in this mine. They used to say of certain mines in Cornwall that the deeper you went the richer was the ore; assuredly is it so with the mines of inspired Scripture.
The deeper you go under the Spirit's guidance the larger is the reward for your toil. Take the sword with the grip of sincere faith; hold it fast by a fuller knowledge, and then exercise yourself daily in its use. The sword is to be taken for earnest fight. You will not be long before occasion arises in such a world as this.
- The Sword of God.
- Bible Living.
- Select a book of the Bible.
You will have to parry with it, to pierce with it, to cut with it, and to kill with it. Begin at home, and, for many a day, you will have your hands full. When you have slain all the rebels at home, and long before that, you may take a turn at those around you in the world, and in the professing church.
Lesson 7: The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God
Inside your own heart you will find a band of bandits which should be exterminated. There will always be need to keep the sword going within your own territory. End this civil war before you go into foreign parts. When the war within the city of Mansoul has been victoriously carried through, besiege the heart of your friend, your child, your neighbor. Behold, the world lieth in the wicked one! Errors abound, and colossal systems of falsehood still stand aloft.
Men are still dragged down by the arch-deceiver. Surely, we feel our swords flying out of their sheaths when we think of the millions who are being ruined by sin and error. Oh, for a mighty onslaught upon the powers of darkness! Once more, we are to take this sword with a purpose. We are to use it that we may be able to stand and to withstand.
If you want to stand, draw the sword, and smite your doubts. How fiercely unbelief assails! Here comes a doubt as to your election. Pierce it through with the Word. Anon comes a doubt as to the precious blood. Cleave it from head to foot with the assurance of the Word that the blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin. Here comes another doubt, and yet another. As quick as arm can move, drive texts of Scripture through every new fallacy, every new denial of truth, and spit the whole of them upon the rapier of the Word.
It will be for your good to kill these doubts outright. Do not play with them, but fight them in real earnest. You will find that temptations also will come in hordes. Meet them with the precepts of sacred Writ, and slay even the desire of evil by the Spirit's application of the Holy Word. The washing of water by the Word is a glorious cleanser. Discouragements will arise like mists of the morning.
Oh, that God's Word may shine them away with the beams of the promises! Your afflictions multiply, and you will never be able to overcome impatience and distrust except by the infallible Word of God. You can bear trial, and bear it patiently, if you use this weapon to kill anxiety. You will "stand fast in the evil day", and having done all, you will still stand, if this sword be in your hand. You have not only to stand fast yourselves, but you have to win souls for Christ.
Do not try to conquer sin in others, or capture a heart for Jesus, except with the sword of the Spirit. How the devil laughs when we try to make converts apart from Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit! He laughs, I say; for he derides our folly. What can you do, you children, playing with your little wooden swords-what can you do against men covered from head to foot with the steel mail of the habit of sin? Sunday-school teachers, teach your children more and more the pure Word of God; and preachers, do not try to be original, but be content to take of the things of Christ, and show them to the people; for that is what the Holy Ghost himself does; and you will be wise to use his method and his sword.
No sinner around you will be saved except by the knowledge of the great truths contained in the Word of God. No man will ever be brought to repentance, to faith, and to life in Christ, apart from the constant application of the truth through the Spirit. I hear great shouting, great noises everywhere, about great things that are going to be done: The whole world is going to be embraced within the church; so they say. I fear the world will not be much the better for inclusion in such a church.
- The Two Edges of the Sword of God’s Word.
- Falcons of Narabedla.
- Featured Verse Topics.
- Deaths Doorstep: Prayer and a Miracle.
- Design Models for Hierarchical Organizations: Computation, Information, and Decentralization.
Big boasters should heed the word of the wise man, "Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. Defeat awaits that man who forsakes the Word of the Lord. I have done when I have asked you to remember that the text is in the present tense: Take unto you the sword of the Spirit even now.
What varieties of people there are here this morning! Believers have come hither in all sorts of perils; let them each one take the sword of the Spirit, and they will overcome every foe. Here, too, are seekers who wish to be Christians; but they cannot compass it. What is the matter this morning? Find a text of Scripture that will cleave your sin down to the chine, or stab it to the heart. Satan tempts me horribly," cries one; "I have been lately assailed in many ways.
You are not the first. Our divine Lord in the wilderness was tempted of the devil. He might have fought Satan with a thousand weapons; but he chose to defeat him with this one only. He said, "It is written; it is written; it is written. Follow your Lord's example. I am not so sure that they are not often maligned. You like the dose, and that is why you take it.
Try the Word of God for lowness of spirits, and you will have found a sure remedy. Should we then make mirth? It despises the scepter of My son, As it does all wood. Terrors including the sword will be against My people; Therefore strike your thigh. The third time let the sword do double damage. It is the sword that slays, The sword that slays the great men, That enters their private chambers. It is made bright; It is grasped for slaughter: Thrust left— Wherever your [ d ] edge is ordered!
Make a sign; put it at the head of the road to the city. Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted. I will judge you In the place where you were created, In the land of your [ g ] nativity. You shall not be remembered, For I the Lord have spoken. You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy.
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