And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Sword of the Word
The Word of God is often spoken of as a sword, and the Greek word used for the sword in Ephesians 6:17 is “machaira,” which is really not the long sword we typically think of but literally a very small sword or large knife that was used for close, hand-to-hand combat where a large, cumbersome sword would be nearly useless. It has a small curve in it for ease of use and a large cutting surface, but that’s what the author of Hebrews calls the Word of God: a two-edged sword (same Greek word, “machaira”) that is active, alive or living; cuts both ways; cuts down to the bone and marrow; and can even discern our thoughts and intents (Heb. 4:12). Doesn’t that perfectly describe what the Word of God is like? It cuts us to the quick, it convicts us, it is sharp and cuts in order to heal. But Paul has another idea in mind when he tells the church at Ephesus to take up the sword of the Spirit.
The Sword of the Spirit
God the Holy Spirit moved men to write the Word of God (2 Pet. 1:21), so perhaps Paul calls the Word of God the sword of the Spirit because God the Holy Spirit is the Originator of the Word. Notice that the word “Spirit” is capitalized, which means it’s a proper noun or person, and that person is God the Holy Spirit, Who is the real Author of all Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Just like the keyboard on my computer is inputting the words into this devotional but is not the author–I am. In a similar manner, God’s Spirit moved men to write the Word, so the sword of the Spirit is the sword from the Spirit, and we’ll need it every single day to help us change our lives for the better.
Carrying the Sword
We probably cannot take our Bible with us everywhere we go, so we should memorize Scripture in order that wherever we go, we’ll have the sword of the Spirit with us. The psalmist hid or memorized God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin (Psalm 119:11); at least, he wouldn’t sin as easily as if he didn’t have it with him. If we read, memorize, and even meditate on God’s Word before we leave our home for the day, then we’ll have that sword with us everywhere we go, and we can be ready to resist temptation in order to avoid sin.
A Closing Prayer
God, once again, I thank You for equipping me with all that I need to change my life every day. Nothing changes my life or the lives of others more than Your Word and, of course, Your Spirit, so I thank You, God, for giving me the help I so desperately need. In Jesus’ precious name I pray.
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