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The Sword Of The Spirit

Ephesians 6:10-16 • May 4, 2022 • w1362

Pastor John Miller continues our study in the book of Ephesians with a message through Ephesians 6:17 titled, “The Sword Of The Spirit.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 4, 2022

Sermon Scripture Reference

The end of Ephesians 6:17 Paul says, “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” In our spiritual battle against the devil, we’ve seen, these last five weeks or so, the armor that God has provided for us. Look at verse 13, he says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” so God has given us the armor that we need in our battle with the enemy.

We come tonight to a unique aspect of the armor, which is piece number six, that is, “…the word of God,” which is the Spirit of God working through the Word of God, which actually is the only of the armor that has an offensive aspect to it. If you’re taking notes, you can make note of that, that all the others are purely defensive and that this has a defensive aspect but is primarily an offensive weapon to go on the attack. We can defend ourselves, but we can also go offensively against the enemy, if we take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

What kind of sword did the Roman soldier have or use? There are basically two kinds of swords. One was a long sword that we think of that was about three feet long and could be wielded with great effectiveness in wiping out the enemy. There’s another Greek word that is used for “sword” in the New Testament which is actually a shorter sword, about 8-10 inches to 18 inches. It would be like a large knife and was in a sheath attached to the belt, which in our case is the belt of truth, on the soldier’s hip. It was used for hand-to-hand combat in close quarters. It’s interesting that it’s the same word used for “sword” when Jesus was apprehended in the Garden of Gethsemane and Peter grabs the sword of the Roman soldier and cut off his ear. It’s the same Greek word used for “sword” there. It’s like a large knife or short attack sword. That was the sword that they would use as the Roman soldier.

What does the sword symbolize? We know that each one of these is an element of the Roman soldier’s armor—he has the belt, the breastplate, the sandals that are hobnailed, the shield, the helmet. All of those aspects involve our battle against Satan, but what does the sword symbolize in this passage? Notice again verse 17, it’s “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” so we have two aspects to the sword: It’s the Spirit and it’s the Word. The Spirit of God and the Word of God can never be divorced from one another. You always want to tie those two together in how they work together in harmony. Many times we jump right into the Word of God and we have the sword, which is the Word of God, but we forget the Spirit which is “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” and the aspect of the Holy Spirit working together with this sword.

What is this “word of God” a reference to? It’s interesting that the phrase “the word of God,” is the most frequently used in all of Scripture. In the Pentateuch alone, the first five books of Moses, seven hundred times this phrase appears or also the phrase “God said.” In the entire Old Testament, we have four thousand times the phrase, “the Word of the LORD,” so all through the Scriptures it testifies that it is the “Word of the living God,” “the Word of the LORD,” or “thus saith the LORD.” The Bible is unique in that it’s not just the words of men but actually the Word of God. The answer to the question, what is the “word of God” referring to, in this situation is the Scriptures or the Bible. Let me say a couple of things about that. It is a reference to the Scriptures and the Bible, but not exclusively. When Paul made this statement, he was writing before the New Testament was complete, so we didn’t have all of the New Testament at that time but we had the prophets who were speaking and the apostles who spoke the Word of the LORD and had apostolic authority which would be included in this as well.

The Scriptures were used by Jesus when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Each time the devil came to Him with a specific temptation, and we’re going to get to this in just a moment, Jesus answered him with the Word of God, the Scriptures, the B-i-b-l-e. As a matter of fact, all the references, and I’ll give them to you in just a moment, are from the book of Deuteronomy. Now, a lot of times Christians have never read the book of Deuteronomy, it’s kind of like, “Deut-a-what-omy? What’s Deuteronomy?” Deuteronomy is actually believed to be the favorite book of Jesus. In the gospels, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy more than any other book of the Bible, so the reference to the Word of God would be the Scriptures or the Bible, not exclusively, but primarily, that’s what it would mean. When it speaks here about the “…word of God,” it could actually be referenced as God’s utterance or God’s spoken Word, so it’s the Word of the LORD.

It’s interesting, in Revelation 19, that when Jesus is described as coming back in His Second Coming, there’s a sword coming out of His mouth; and in that reference, that sword is likened unto the Word of God that goes forth from His mouth. There’s so much that could be said about the subject of the Word of God that we could never exhaust it in one setting here tonight; but for the Christian, the idea is that we’re “…to stand against the wiles of the devil,” that we must use and rightly divide and hang onto and believe and stand on the Word of God, Scriptures. There’s nothing more important than your relationship to the Bible and to the Word of God.

The reason that I say that is because without the Bible we’re like a ship without a rudder or a compass or a sail. Without the Bible we’re in darkness without a light. Any time I meditate on the importance of the Bible, it “blows my mind,” to use an old hippie term, “blows my mind.” It just totally and completely blows my mind when I think about the greatness and the grandeur and the majesty of the Scriptures, the Word of God, inexhaustible as infinite as God Himself. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” We need to have a right relationship to the Bible because the Bible is the primary and the preeminent revelation of God. To know God, to fellowship with God, to understand God, to rightfully pray to God and trust God, you discover Him in the pages of the Scriptures. Without a revelation, God cannot be known. God is transcendent, He’s spiritual, He’s above us, beyond us, past our finding out; but God has condescended to give us His Word and to reveal Himself.

One of the best studies that you can ever undertake, too, is actually a study of the attributes of God—the characteristics that are true of God. You can acquaint yourself with God, you can learn to trust Him with your daily life, and know that you’re safe in His hands. The importance of the Bible cannot be overstated. Now, you must believe the Bible, first of all, to be God’s Word. If you’re taking notes, I’m going to give you five aspects of your relationship to the Bible. First, you must believe that the Bible is the Word of God—a commitment to a high view of Scripture. Write down 2 Timothy 3:16. Again, I think it’s one of those verses you probably get tired of hearing me quote, but it’s that classic passage on inspiration where Paul told Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” he goes on to say, “and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It is the classic passage on the doctrine of inspiration.

What do we mean by inspiration? In the 2 Timothy 3:16 text, it literally means God breathed the Scriptures, the breath of God. The idea of it being the Word of God is fitting that it is God’s breath. The Greek actually indicates it is God breathing out—not just breathing in but breathing out the Word of God. My definition of “inspiration” is that God superintended the human authors so that the very words they wrote were the words of God. He used the historical situation; He used their own personalities. It wasn’t dictation—they weren’t passive instruments in God’s hands. Paul wasn’t sitting in a jail in Rome and all of the sudden his hand started moving and he said, “Wow! Silas, check it out! My hand’s moving! Wow! Look! It picked up a pen. This is amazing! Get a piece of paper. I think God wants to say something. Whoa! I’m writing to the Philippians. That’s amazing!” There was historical situation, he knew them as friends and wrote them a letter, all the time it’s natural but supernatural. The Bible has both those elements—it’s natural but it’s supernatural. I have people sometimes come up, “Oh, the Bible is just written by men.” Yes, yes, yes, it is written by men—who God breathed on, superintended their writing, so the very words that they wrote were the words of God.

Granted, for you tech scholars out there, the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture pertains to the original autographs, but what we have is translations that are very accurate, almost 99.9% accurate, to the originals because of the multitude of manuscripts that we have has great evidence that we have a very close relationship to the originals. But the Scriptures are really breathed out by God. We could go on a little study right now about the archeological evidence of the inspiration of Scripture, about fulfilled prophecy that confirms the inspiration of Scripture, about its influence on culture and society, and how people’s lives have been changed by reading the Bible. I even had a dear friend years ago that was in prison for several years and someone got him a Bible. He opened the Bible, read it, got saved, his life was changed, and he went on to live an amazing Christian life. You know, no other book has that power. You know in your own life that you probably got ahold of the Bible or you heard the Bible or you heard a word about Jesus preach from the Scriptures, and you trusted Christ and your life was changed, so the influence of the Bible is also a great indication.

The Bible was written over a period of about 1500 years by about 15 different authors, and it’s dealing with the subject of God, yet there’s unity on all their Scriptures. There’s unity in all the books they wrote when it comes to the very nature and character of God. We also, as I said, have fulfilled prophecy which is an indication that the Bible is indeed the very Word of God.

The second verse to write down for your knowledge of the Bible is 2 Peter 1:21 where Peter says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man,” this is talking about the Word of God and referring to it as prophecy. It wasn’t just man writing his own will or his own words, “but holy men of God spake as they were,” here’s the statement, “moved by,” or moved along by, “the Holy Ghost,” there again you see the reference to the Holy Spirit and the Bible. First of all the Bible is God breathed. Secondly, the men who wrote the Bible were carried along by the Holy Spirit, and there’s a word picture in this phrase used of a boat on the sea with a sail and the wind fills the sail carrying the boat along. If you’ve ever been in a sailboat, especially on a smaller sailboat or catamaran, you know what a rush you can get going over the water when the wind fills the sail and you feel that power of the wind just carrying you over the water. That’s the imagery there—the Holy Spirit picked them up, carried them along, and God’s breath breathed upon them as they wrote Scripture.

As believers, I think to be orthodox in our view of Scripture, we believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. To be even more precise, I believe in what’s called the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture. By that, I mean the words, verbal, and the word “plenary” means all of them, so this is why when we preach, teach, or study the Bible we actually pay attention to individual words because every word was given by inspiration of God. I believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible, and it’s the only source of authority for the believer today. The authority doesn’t lie in the church, the authority doesn’t lie in the Pope, the authority doesn’t lie in the minister or the priest, it lies in the Bible, the Word of God. It doesn’t lie in our denomination, it doesn’t lie in our organization, it doesn’t lie in our intellect, it doesn’t lie in our experience. The authority for what is true and what is false lies in the Scripture. You must have a Christian world view, which is looking at the world through the lenses of the Bible. Everything that you think, every place you look, all your belief system must be filtered through the Scriptures, the Word of God.

Charles Spurgeon used to say that we should feed on the Scriptures until our very blood is bibling. I like that. This isn’t Charles Spurgeon, this is just kind of a John Miller thing, I guess, it’s that you feed on the Word until you’re burping Scriptures. We’re going to cover the importance of knowing the Bible, if we’re going to take up the sword of the Spirit. It starts with an appreciation for what the Bible is. I believe every Christian should do his own homework and study to be convinced this Book is the Word of God and then resolve not only to know it and to live by it but to submit to its authority.

As I said, notice in verse 17, it’s “the sword of the Spirit.” Some Greek scholars say this would actually be phrased, “the sword of the Spirit which is supplied by the Spirit,” or “the Word of God which is supplied by the Spirit of God.” This is the doctrine of inspiration, and we as believers should hold to the Bible’s inspiration, we should hold to its clarity, to its authority, and make sure that we are submitted to it in our own personal lives. When we read the Bible, God is speaking—it’s the Word of God itself.

In the Scriptures, we can use it to detect, to defeat the devil’s lies. Now, remember Satan is called a liar and the father of lies; and God’s Word is truth, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” One of the best ways to not be duped or deceived by the world’s philosophies and ideologies and the lies of the devil is to have your mind, Romans 12, renewed by the Word of God, “And be not conformed to this world,” don’t let the world press you into its mold, “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How do you do that? You have a mind that is changed and controlled by the very Word of God.

The second relationship we should have to the Bible is not only that we believe it’s God’s Word, but we must know God’s Word. Let me give you some practical tips on how to know it. Start with reading the Bible, duh. If you don’t read the Bible, you can’t know the Bible. One of the things I pray that when you come to Bible study here at Revival that it would actually whet your appetite to do your own study. This is an appetizer; this isn’t your main meal. I pray that when I teach the Bible, that I’m also giving you a model and a pattern for how to interpret the Bible, how to rightly divide the Scriptures, and how to apply the Scriptures. Every single one of us as believers, if you are going to grow in your walk with the Lord, if you’re going to detect the devil’s lies and stand against the wiles of the devil and not become a casualty of the enemy, you must know your Bible. You get to know your Bible by reading the Word of God.

Secondly, meditating on the Word of God. I think of Psalm 1, “Blessed is the man,” or the woman, “that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his,” or her, “delight is in the law of the LORD,” there’s another reference to Scripture, “and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” The psalmist goes on to describe him being “like a tree planted by the rivers of water…his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper,” so if you want a blessed life, a prosperous life…and Psalm 1, by the way, is the gateway to all the Psalms. It starts with the word “blessed,” which means, oh how happy. It’s the steps to a happy life. You build your life on the Word of God, you’re guaranteed a happy life. What a blessing that is! And you’ll “…be like a tree planted…his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever,” everything you do, “shall prosper.” By the way, “meditate” means that you bring it into your mind over and over and over and over again. You meditate by repeating Scripture, reading Scripture in your mind.

Thirdly, memorize it. Every one of us should, whether it just comes naturally as you read, but the more you read, the more you can memorize. I had the privilege of growing up in church and learning Scripture in Sunday school as a young boy and learning Scripture in the hymns that I heard and so forth as well. But when I got saved, I was a senior in high school. I just learned to read by getting saved and reading my Bible. I just started feeding on the Word of God, and all of the sudden I started realizing all these verses that I heard as a boy started just coming back to me. When I first got saved it seemed like all these verses just lodged in my brain and they’ve stuck with me these many years. If you hear me quote Scripture, I learned these Scriptures over 40 years ago when I got saved. I’m thinking of that psalm that says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart,” so you want to meditate on His Word by memorizing it. Take a passage, read it over and over and over every day, print it out on a piece of paper and put it on the mirror in the bathroom or the dashboard of your car (keep your eye on the road though when you’re driving). You get into an accident, “What happened?” “My pastor said to read the Scripture when I drive, so it’s his fault.” Really, you should learn to memorize the Scriptures.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil and He quoted from Deuteronomy, He didn’t have it to read, it was hidden in His heart. He was able to pull that up at a moment of temptation and give a specific word to a specific issue of temptation, so we need to do that as we meditate and we memorize.

Fourthly, rightly divide it. That means interpret it properly, by that it means that you take it literally. You don’t impose your own ideas on the text. You don’t do an eisegesis, which is to put in your meaning you pull out of the text. I don’t have time to go into whole methods of Bible study, but in 2 Timothy 2:15, it says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Those words “rightly dividing,” literally means cutting straight. It was used of a farmer plowing a field making a straight furrow in the field. It was used of a mason when he was laying brick, that he would actually have a straight line. It was used of those who made tents, like Paul made tents, and they would cut out the pattern for the tents out of skins and cut it straight so that everything fit together. When you read the Bible, you want to rightfully interpret the Bible. Don’t take it out of context. That’s one of the most important principles of Bible interpretation. Satan doesn’t care if you know Scripture, he doesn’t care if you quote Scripture, as long as you don’t understand Scripture and use it properly. He’s happy with you taking it out of context or twisting it to mean what you want. So many times I hear other preachers using verses in their sermons misinterpreting them, taking them out of context, and misapplying them. Sadly, they’re not faithful to the primary meaning of the Word.

When you read a passage of Scripture, you are reading something that has a historical setting so you ask yourself: Who’s writing to whom? Why are they writing? What’s the background? What’s going on? What you want to look for in the meaning of the text is the author’s meaning and intention. It’s called authorial intent. The Bible doesn’t mean what you want it to mean, it means what Paul, or Moses, meant it to mean. It means what the author intended it to mean. You need to get to that meaning, so do a little research on how to properly divide the Word of God. Again, Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” so in order to defeat, detect, and stand against the lies of the enemy, know God’s Word.

Thirdly, we must be doers of God’s Word. It doesn’t do any good to know the Bible, to have the sword in your hand, if you don’t use it. You can’t stand in battle and say, “This is a sword, watch out! It’s sharp; it’ll get ya!” but you don’t just start wielding it. You don’t have to talk about your sword, just use your sword. When you go out to battle, being filled with the Spirit and the Scriptures, you just need to start quoting or using them when the enemy comes or when you’re trying to evangelize others. We must be doers.

Write down Psalm 119:9. It says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word,” God’s Word. That’s the doing part, and the classic passage is James 1:22 where James says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,” and they use that really cool little illustration, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man,” looking into the mirror and sees his real condition but then turns, walks away, and forgets what he just saw in the mirror. He doesn’t do anything about it. Being a doer of the Word means that we look deeply into God’s Word and let God’s Word come deeply into us. We not only want to dig into God’s Word, we want God’s Word to dig into us. We want God’s Word to expose our sins, our needs, comfort us when we’re needing comfort, guide us when we need guidance, and then we want to respond in obedience to that Word of God.

How can we be doers of the Word? This is where the Spirit comes in, “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” by the Spirit of God, using the Word of God, to transform the child of God, into the image of the Son of God. The Bible was given by inspiration; the Bible is understood by the Spirit’s illumination. You can only understand the Scriptures as the Spirit gives us understanding, illumination, and He’s the teacher, but the Bible is also lived out by the Spirit’s transformation. If you’re taking notes, write those three words: inspiration, illumination, transformation. The Bible isn’t just to give us an enlightened intellect, it’s to give us a transformed character.

The sword of the Spirit is also to be used with all the other aspects of armor. What good is the sword of the Spirit if you don’t have the belt of truth? What good is the sword of the Spirit if you don’t have the breastplate of righteousness? What good is the sword of the Spirit if you don’t have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace? What good is the sword of the Spirit if you don’t have the helmet of salvation? It all has to work together. Can you imagine a soldier out there in his underwear in battle and he hasn’t gotten anything on? No shield to protect him, all he’s got is a little sword? I mean he would be so vulnerable. We must put on all the armor of God that we’d be able to stand in the evil day. We defeat the devil by living obediently to God’s Word. The devil doesn’t care if you study the Bible, know the Bible, memorize the Bible, as long as you don’t live the Bible, as long as you don’t put it in shoe leather and practice the Word of God.

Here’s the fourth. We must use God’s Word in times of temptation. This is perhaps the most important of all these points. We must use God’s Word to resist the devil when he attacks.

There are two Greek words used in the New Testament for the word “word.” You have “word of the LORD,” we have “Word of God,” and those two different Greek words that are translated “word” are the words logos and rhema. We have logos most frequently. It appears in John 1:1, we’re familiar with that, “In the beginning was the Word,” the logos, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That is a reference to Jesus. The word logos has the idea of God speaking and revealing who He is, the idea of revelation. It’s kind of a broad word that’s borrowed from the Greek philosophers in the New Testament, but it has the idea of that God speaks to let us know who He is.

Have you ever been around somebody that’s real quiet, doesn’t talk a lot, and you kind of wonder what they’re thinking, Do they like you? Do they not like you? Are they happy? Are they not happy? You just want them to say something. We use words to convey our feelings and our thoughts and who we are. If you want to get to know somebody, what do you want them to do? Talk and you listen. How do we get to know God? He speaks. “In the beginning was the Word,” the logos, it’s Jesus; so Jesus is the living Word of God, and Jesus is God speaking to us. Hebrews 1 says, “…in divers manners, “ different times and different ways, God spoke “…unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” that’s the concept of Jesus being the Word of God and that God who cannot be seen, cannot be known, is speaking to us in Jesus. If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus. If you want to hear God, listen to Jesus. He’s the logos. I said all that to say, that’s not the word used here in Ephesians 6:17. Sorry about that, I just got on a little bit of a roll.

The word that’s used is the Greek word rhema, and it’s used here in Ephesians 6:17. It specifically is referring to the Word of God that is spoken and specifically applied to a specific situation. It has to do with you quoting Scripture about an issue or a problem or situation, or someone speaking a word to you that you hear about your problem or issue or situation. It’s a specific word from God for a specific issue or situation. It’s illustrated perfectly by Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness. When Jesus quoted Deuteronomy, He was actually using the rhema word, the spoken Word.

Unfortunately, and I probably don’t even have to mention this, I shouldn’t mention it but I’m going to mention it, there’s kind of a whole group of Christians that have gotten off into a doctrine called the Word Faith doctrine. They make a big deal about the rhema word and that you as a believer have power when you speak the Word of God to create your own reality. They have what’s called the doctrine of positive confession, “Don’t ever say anything negative. If you don’t feel good, don’t say it. Say, ‘I feel good,’ even though you don’t feel good,” which I think is basically lying, but I don’t understand it, and that you can speak prosperity, healing, and if you have enough faith, and you only say it, whatever you say; but they misinterpret passages, kind of concoct their own concepts and ideas which isn’t really Christian. It has some Christian overtones, but it’s not biblical doctrine. Only God has the ability to speak and create things. It’s called fiat. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and He created the earth by speaking it before it even existed. We are not little gods. We’re not divine. We don’t have that ability. There is such a thing as hiding God’s Word in your heart and then being able to bring it back and quote it or believe it or apply it to a specific circumstance or situation that you’re dealing with at that very time. It’s marvelous how the Scriptures cover so many areas of our lives that we can relate to. If you’re discouraged or down, you read the psalms and God just speaks to you.

Have you ever been maybe sad or discouraged or depressed. You open the Bible and the first thing you read right out of the psalms is just as though God just spoke right to your own heart. This is just what I needed to hear. Maybe you even heard a message on a Sunday or Wednesday and you say, “How could he have known that I needed to hear that verse!” That’s kind of a rhema word, the spoken Word from God that is just what you need for a specific situation.

When Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness, there were three temptations that covered three areas that we have to deal with when the devil tempts us: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is the description of the world which is of the devil. So, the devil came first of all and said, “Since You’re the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” This is recorded in Matthew 4 and in Luke 4, the temptation of Jesus. The first temptation was, “Since You’re the Son of God, do You see those stones right there? Just turn those stones into bread.” Jesus had just been baptized. The heavens had just opened up and God the Father just spoke audibly, “Thou art My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” What’s the first thing the devil says? “Since You are the Son of God, then just take that power and use it for Your own benefit. Turn these stones into bread.”

Jesus was hungry. He had fasted for 40 days, so ‘use Your miraculous power to feed Your own flesh outside of the will of God.’ What did Jesus say to the devil? He said, “You’re not very nice. That’s not fair, you know I’m hungry.” No. He just quoted Scripture. You know, the devil has to flee when you quote Scripture. If you just kind of yell at the devil, he laughs; but you quote Scripture and he turns tail and runs, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” How do you resist him? With the Word of God, a specific Scripture. You quote and He says, Deuteronomy 8:3, “…man doth not live by bread only, but by every word,” rhema, “…of the LORD.” That’s the word He used, rhema, the Word of God. He was defeating the devil with the Scriptures.

The second temptation, the lust of the eyes, the devil took Jesus into a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “They’re mine, and I can give them to You. No big deal, all You gotta do is fall down and worship me.” What did Jesus do? He quoted Deuteronomy 6:13, “Thou shalt fear,” worship, “the LORD thy God, and serve him,” only. He answered the devil with the Scriptures.

The third temptation, the devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and showed Him that He could throw Himself down. Now, he gets real subtle in this third temptation, pride of life. If you look at the passage either in Matthew or Luke, he quotes from Psalm 91:11-12. Now, I’m getting a little more into it than I should, but the devil knows the Bible. Isn’t that a scary thought? He knows it better than you do, but he uses it out of context where he pulls out of it and omits parts of it or he twists it or adds words to it. You can bet, when the devil’s quoting Scripture, which he does quite often on Saturdays you’ll hear your doorbell ring. You open the door and quite often they have white shirts with little skinny ties and bicycles and little badges that say, “Elder” on it; and the devil starts to speak quoting Scripture, but it’s not properly handled or interpreted, so you’d better know your Bible or you can be deceived.

The devil quotes the Scripture to Jesus, and Jesus realized that he left a little portion out of that passage. He omitted the idea of that the angels will keep you, the devil said, “in all your ways lest you dash your foot against a stone, so go ahead. Throw Yourself off this pinnacle,” omitting a little portion of it. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, so the devil left Him for a season, not permanently, he would be back, but He had overcome the devil with the Word of God. This is why we hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against Him.

Write down 1 John 2:14. John says, “…young men, because ye are strong…and ye have overcome the wicked one,” because “…the word of God abideth in you.” It is said that John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress had written in the flyleaf of his Bible, “This Book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book.” Sin can keep us from God’s Word, but God’s Word can also keep us in a time of need against sin.

Here’s the last, the fifth, write it down. We must share God’s Word with others. Remember I told you that it’s also offensive as well as defensive. It’s not enough to do all this with the Bible, you have to also tell others the Bible—preach to others the Bible, share the Bible. Let me break the two areas down. You share the Bible with other Christians to help them, to disciple them, to strengthen their faith; and you share the Bible with unbelievers to evangelize them. We should be telling other believers what we learn in the Bible. You know one of the best ways to solidify and strengthen what you learn in the Word of God is to pass it on to someone else, is to tell someone else what you discovered, what you learned; so find a Bible study buddy or partner, or after you have been at church and you’ve learned something exciting, tell somebody the next day what you learned at church that night and pass it on. It will lodge it in your heart and in your mind, but we should be sharing God’s Word. After church is over, service is over tonight, we should be lingering and speaking the Word of God to one another and building up each other with the Scriptures and then going out to the world and telling them the gospel, sharing with them the Scriptures.

In 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word,” Paul tells Timothy, and in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” This is just barely scratching the surface when it comes to “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” but when it comes to the subject of the Spirit filing the believer, I’m absolutely convinced that you cannot be a Spirit-filled Christian without the Bible. In order to be a Spirit-filled believer, you must have God’s Word hidden, lodged, in your heart and mind. You must hide God’s Word in your heart.

There’s a couple passages that are important. Ephesians 5:18-19, Paul says, “…be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” In Colossians 3:16 Paul says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” The same results of being Spirit-filled are the same results of being Word-filled. When he says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” it means let God’s Word have its home in your heart, be at home in your heart, which means let it have its way in you, let it do whatever it wants to do to change your life. You can be saturated with the Word of God and never change if you don’t surrender your heart and life to the Scripture’s authority. It’s not just about learning the Bible, it’s about letting the Bible change you and transform your life.

So, we put on the belt of truth, verse 14; we put on the breastplate of righteousness, verse 14; we wear our sandals of peace, all of these are connected to the Word of God; we have the shield of faith, verse 16; the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, verse 17, which is the Word of God. Next Wednesday night we’re going to look at verse 18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Amen?

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our study in the book of Ephesians with a message through Ephesians 6:17 titled, “The Sword Of The Spirit.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 4, 2022