HANDLING THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

HANDLING THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

J.C. Philpot

“The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God!” [Eph 6:17]

There is only one weapon whereby we can fight Satan to any purpose, and that is the Word of God. But observe, that it must not be merely the LETTER of the Word. It must be the “sword of THE SPIRIT,” and therefore a spiritual sword, which can only be taken in hand when the word of God is applied with a divine power to your heart, and you have a living faith in it as made “life and spirit” to your soul.

It is of no use my bringing forward a text to resist a temptation of Satan, unless I can make that text my own; in other words, unless I can handle that sword as one who knows how to wield it. To take up a text and not know the sweetness and power of it, would be like a child taking up a warrior’s sword without having the warrior’s hand. He might play with the sword, but what is the sword of a giant in the hand of a child?

The sword of Scanderbeg, a famous Albanian warrior against the Turks, used to be shown at Vienna. A man who once looked at and handled it said, “Is this the sword which won so many victories? I see nothing in it; it is but a common sword.” The answer was, “You should have seen the arm that wielded it.” So it is not merely taking a text, adopting scripture language, and quoting passages, which will beat back the fiery assaults of Satan. This is having Scanderbeg’s sword without having Scanderbeg’s arm. But it is having the Word of truth brought into our heart by the power of God, faith raised up to believe that God himself speaks it to our heart, being thus enabled to wield it in the strength of the Spirit and by the power of faith in living exercise, to resist every hellish thrust.

In this battle we must not give way. To flee is to be conquered, for, as Bunyan well says, there is no armor for the back. Thus even if in this conflict you should slip and fall, lie not still as a conquered captive, but get up again and fight. “Resist Satan, and he will flee from you.” He is a conquered enemy; he cannot destroy you if you are the Lord’s.

The Word of truth, therefore, is full of most gracious promises, and sweet encouragements “to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,” and never in heart or hand submit to be conquered by sin or Satan. 

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT – THE WORD OF GOD!

Sword of the Spirit 66

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT – THE WORD OF GOD!

C.H. Spurgeon

“The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!” [Eph 6:17]

The Word of God which is to be our one weapon is of noble origin; for IT IS “THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.” It has the properties of a sword, and those were given it by the Spirit of God.

Here we note that the Holy Spirit has a sword. He is quiet as the dew, tender as the anointing oil, soft as the zephyr of eventide, and peaceful as a dove; and yet, under another aspect, He wields a deadly weapon. He is the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning, and He beareth not the sword in vain. Of Him it may be said, “The Lord is a man of war: Jehovah is His name.” [Ex 15:3]

The Holy Spirit wields no sword but the Word of God! This wonderful Book, which contains the utterances of God’s mouth, is the one weapon which the Holy Ghost elects to use for His warlike purposes. It is a spiritual weapon, and so is suitable to the Holy Spirit. The weapons of His warfare are not carnal: He never uses either persecution or patronage, force or bribery, glitter of grandeur, or terror of power. He works upon men by the Word, which is suitable to His own spiritual nature, and to the spiritual work which is to be accomplished. While it is spiritual, this weapon is “mighty through God.” A cut from the Word of God will cleave a man’s spirit from head to foot; so sharp is this sword. Though by long practice in sin a man may have coated himself as with armor impenetrable, yet the Word of the Lord will divide the northern iron and the steel.

The Word, we say, is the only sword which the Spirit uses. I know the Holy Ghost uses gracious sermons; but it is only in proportion as they have the Word of God in them. I know the Holy Ghost uses religious books; but only so far as they are the Word of God told out in other language. Conviction, conversion, and consolation still are wrought, and only by the Word of God!

Learn, then, the wisdom of using the Word of God for holy purposes. The Spirit has abundant ability to speak of His own self, apart from the written Word. The Holy Ghost is God, and therefore He is the greatest Spirit in the universe. All wisdom dwells in Him. He thought out the laws which govern nature and direct providence. The Holy Spirit is the great teacher of human spirits: He taught Bezaleel and the artificers in the wilderness how to make the fine linen, and the gold and carved work for the tabernacle.

All arts and sciences are perfectly known to Him, and infinitely more than men can ever discover. Yet He will not use these things in this holy controversy. In the quarrel of His covenant He neither uses philosophy, nor science, nor rhetoric. In contending against the powers of darkness, “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.” “It is written” is His master-stroke. Words which God has spoken by holy men of old, and has caused to be recorded on the sacred page-these are the battle-axe and weapons of war of His Spirit. This Book contains the Word of God, and is the Word of God; and this it is which the Holy Ghost judges to be so effectual a weapon against evil that He uses this, and this only, as His sword in the great conflict with the powers of darkness.

The ministers of the gospel may preach God’s Word in all sincerity and purity, and yet, if the Spirit of God be not present, we might as well have preached mere moral essays, for no good can come of our testimony.

THE HOLY GHOST RIDES IN THE CHARIOT OF SCRIPTURE, AND NOT IN THE WAGGON OF MODERN THOUGHT.

Scripture is that Ark of the covenant which contains the golden pot of manna, and also bears above it the divine light of God’s shining. The Spirit of God worketh in, by, and through, and with the Word; and if we keep to that Word, we may rest assured that the Holy Ghost will keep with us, and make our testimony to be a thing of power. Let us pray the blessed Spirit to put an edge on our preaching, lest we say much and accomplish little. Hear us in this thing, O blessed One! Amen!

LEARNING TO HANDLE THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

Sword of the Spirit

LEARNING TO HANDLE THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

J.C. Philpot

“The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God!” [Eph 6:17]

There is only one weapon whereby we can fight Satan to any purpose, and that is the Word of God. But observe, that it must not be merely the LETTER of the Word. It must be the “sword of THE SPIRIT,” and therefore a spiritual sword, which can only be taken in hand when the word of God is applied with a divine power to your heart, and you have a living faith in it as made “life and spirit” to your soul.

It is of no use my bringing forward a text to resist a temptation of Satan, unless I can make that text my own; in other words, unless I can handle that sword as one who knows how to wield it. To take up a text and not know the sweetness and power of it, would be like a child taking up a warrior’s sword without having the warrior’s hand. He might play with the sword, but what is the sword of a giant in the hand of a child?

The sword of Scanderbeg, a famous Albanian warrior against the Turks, used to be shown at Vienna. A man who once looked at and handled it said, “Is this the sword which won so many victories? I see nothing in it; it is but a common sword.” The answer was, “You should have seen the arm that wielded it.” So it is not merely taking a text, adopting scripture language, and quoting passages, which will beat back the fiery assaults of Satan. This is having Scanderbeg’s sword without having Scanderbeg’s arm. But it is having the Word of truth brought into our heart by the power of God, faith raised up to believe that God himself speaks it to our heart, being thus enabled to wield it in the strength of the Spirit and by the power of faith in living exercise, to resist every hellish thrust.

In this battle we must not give way. To flee is to be conquered, for, as Bunyan well says, there is no armor for the back. Thus even if in this conflict you should slip and fall, lie not still as a conquered captive, but get up again and fight. “Resist Satan, and he will flee from you.” He is a conquered enemy; he cannot destroy you if you are the Lord’s.

The Word of truth, therefore, is full of most gracious promises, and sweet encouragements “to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,” and never in heart or hand submit to be conquered by sin or Satan.