The Sword of the Spirit

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17 NKJV

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The Sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare.  The sword is formed by speaking God's word.  When we use the sword properly, God's power and resources are available to us.  In discussing the Sword of the Spirit, it is helpful to first examine the meaning of the Greek words Logos and Rhema, which are often used for the "word" of God.  

Logos - the word of God (Strong's #3056):  Logos is often used to identify the written scriptures in the Bible, which were given to people under the inspiration of God (Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:10-11).  Collectively, the Bible, as God's "word," is the written, divine expression or revelation of God to humanity.  Jesus completed this expression as the literal embodiment of God's word, logos (John 1:1-5,14).  

Rhema - the word of God (Strong's #4487) Rhema is the spoken word of God.  Strong's concordance says that rhema is "that which is or has been uttered by the living voice."  Rhema carries a spiritual connotation that differentiates it from logos.  It also bears application to the specific context of our lives.  For example, we may be wrestling with an issue in our life and during our quiet time we read a verse that "speaks" directly to the situation we are dealing with.  That portion of the scripture becomes a "Rhema word" from God for us regarding our situation.  We can then stand in faith on the Rhema God has given us and confess it whenever the devil tries to attack us. 

Another way of using the Rhema is to apply specific scriptures (logos) to the situations we are facing.  This is perhaps the most common of way of diffusing temptations.  While we may not have a special or emergent Rhema revelation from God regarding a temptation, we will likely have plenty of scriptures that we can speak that apply.

The Sword of the Spirit:  Rhema is the Greek word used in the Sword of the Spirit passage (Ephesians 6:17 - "..the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God").  Therefore, we use the Sword of the Spirit by:

1) Standing in faith on the word God has given us for our particular situation and confessing it in the face of the enemy's attacks

and/or

2) Speaking or singing scriptures (logos) that apply to the situation we are facing

As with the other pieces of the armor of God, the Sword of the Spirit relies on faith for its foundation.  When our faith is based on the promises of God's word, our sword's "spiritual power link" to God is engaged.  Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23 NKJV).  Spoken in faith, the Sword of the Spirit is the truth that sets people free from the lies that hold them captive (John 8:31-32, Psalm 119:160, John 17:17).

From the very beginning, God has spoken words that have powerfully influenced everything that exists.  For example, God created the heavens and earth by speaking them into existence!  The Bible says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the *word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3 NASB, *rhema).  Since God created us in his likeness, we too have the ability to release power through speech.   For example, our words can bring life and death (Proverbs 18:21).  They can build people up or tear them down (James 3).   

Jesus used the Sword of the Spirit in resisting Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4).  Jesus responded to each of the temptations by quoting scripture.  The scripture he chose revealed and destroyed the lies of each temptation.   In the same way, we can use scripture to destroy the lies that tempt us.  (see lies page for examples)

Other Sword of the Spirit examples:

Basic Training:  When using the Sword of the Spirit, we need to ensure that we are using the scripture in the proper context from where it was taken.  In order to understand the context, we'll need to learn the Bible.  Bible study not only familiarizes us with the word, but also builds our faith up (Romans 10:17) and sharpens our discernment skills for spiritual warfare (Hebrews 4:12).  

NavPress offers a great product called the Topical Memory System that is very good for scripture memory.  You can also devise your own system.  For example, I write down verses that I notice during my quiet time readings on 3 X 5 note cards.  On the card I include the reference and the topic.  I review the cards throughout the day as often as possible.  After I have mastered twelve cards, I start a new group.   The key is to keep the scripture in front of you as much as possible each day.  You are basically programming your mind with God's word.  

We've collected and categorized verses to help you get started in using the Sword of the Spirit effectively.  Remember to combine your faith with the words as you speak.  The verse categories are:

Proceed to next page: Pray in the Spirit

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