February 24 I Sunday
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” —Ephesians 6:17
While most pieces of the armour of God are defensive in nature, the Word of God is the weapon we are to employ against the devil and his evil forces. The application of the Word is crucial in taking a firm stance against the dark powers and authorities of this world.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…”. The reason the Bible is a double-edged sword is firstly because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The NIV translates 2 Timothy 3:16 as, “All Scripture is God-breathed,” while other translations say, “All Scripture was given by inspiration of God.” That is, Scripture originates in the breath of God and is God speaking. Nearly a thousand times we read phrases like “The word of the Lord came to me”, or “God says”, or “The word of God” or “The Lord says”. The Bible is God’s uncompromising, authoritative declaration to us, and it does not change.
The second reason the Word of God is a double-edged sword is that it needs the interpretation of the Holy Spirit. Paul writes clearly about this. “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12). Simply put, we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to recognize and understand the truths of Scripture. The natural mind is not capable. Paul tells us, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Spiritual life is the presence of God within a person. Without the Holy Spirit, we are operating only in the human realm, whereas with the Spirit, His Word illuminates and reveals His divine activity within us—what God does in us, for us and through us, and what we do in response. If we treat the Bible merely from a human perspective, we may still enjoy its inspiring stories or teachings, but we will render it powerless.
In the wilderness, Jesus drew on the “Sword of the Spirit” three times against the devil’s temptations. In the same way, our Bibles need to be indispensable to us. It is alive, powerful and compelling in its revelation of Jesus Christ. Then in battle, when faced with temptation and conflict, as we all will be, we are equipped with a double-edged sword we can be confident in—the Word of God, the offensive weapon we are to use in disarming the forces of evil in this world.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I would be lost without the Bible. Thank You for the invaluable teachings You give us and for arming us with Your Word against the dark powers of this world.