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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD OF GOD

Samuel A CainIn all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:16 – 17 ESV)

In Christianity, the sword often symbolizes, righteousness, justice, truth and purity. The Apostle Paul’s famous list of the pieces of the armor of God is found in Ephesians 6. The sixth piece of armor Paul mentions is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God! It is God’s statement, the Bible. As long as we speak and preach in harmony with the Bible, we have the sword of the Spirit. If we stray apart from His Word, we lose the power of this spiritual sword. As long as we stay connected to God’s Word, the sword or word of God will be “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV) Continue reading

The Sword of the Spirit

If you want fruit, it is not only necessary to have good seed, but good ground. If the tree is made good, the fruit shall be good. A corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit. Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) writes:

Ezekiel was commanded to prophesy over the dry bones in the valley of vision. Thus ministers are now sent to call upon those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to awake and arise from the dead, but none will obey their voice, unless a divine power accompanies their words. Men, it is true, are rational and accountable agents, and are therefore proper subjects of commands and exhortations; yet are they destitute of spiritual life, and no power but that of God as we have seen can communicate life. When the Spirit operates by the word, the soul before dead in sin is rendered susceptible of impressions from divine truth. The entrance of the truth under this divine influence gives light, and excites holy affections, which prompt to good purposes, and as a matter of course, the external actions are in obedience to the law of God.

The man becomes a new creature. His wicked life is reformed. Actions before materially good are now performed from love to God and with a view to his glory. That the word of God is indeed the instrument or means of producing this change is evident from many plain testimonies of Scripture; such as the following, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” “The testimonies of the Lord are sure making wise the simple.” “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” “Being born again not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” Therefore the word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit,” and is said to be “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner to the thoughts and intents of the heart.” So in the exposition of the parable of the sower, our Lord says, “The seed is the word of God.” And this seed, when sown on good ground bringeth forth fruit manifold. “For these are they which hear the word and receive it and bring forth fruit.” The most precious seed never vegetates nor brings forth fruit, until it receives a vivifying influence from without; so the word of God, unaccompanied by the influences of the Holy Spirit, remains unfruitful, however often it may be heard or read; or however it may be treasured in the memory or theoretically understood.

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