The Sword of The Spirit
A Sermon on Ephesians 6:17
17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
How do Christians use the “sword of the Spirit”? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:17 titled “The Sword of the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that the sword of the Spirit differs from the other pieces in three ways: it does not protect any part of the body, it is a defensive weapon, and it is also an offensive weapon. The devil can terrorize people into hopelessness but the sword is the antidote. It is possible to resist the devil and cause him to flee. The Spirit is not the sword but provides the sword—the biblical Scriptures—and enables the Christian to use it correctly. A general attack upon the truth is a strategy of the enemy to shake God’s people from the truth. This is done in many ways, including philosophy (humanity can encompass truth and find God out of their own ability and intellect) and knowledge (any knowledge that humanity has, but science in particular). The more one understands Scripture, the better they can identify the errors lobbed at them. If one doubts the truth and authority of the Bible, it is like having a broken sword in hand and they are already defeated by the enemy. Knowing Scripture in a detailed manner and being soaked in the whole of it is necessary to effectively reply to someone who calls truth into question.
- The passage under consideration is Ephesians 6:17 - "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
- The sword of the Spirit refers to the Bible, the Word of God. It is not referring to words that come to us or messages we receive.
- The Bible is the sword provided by the Spirit. The Spirit inspired the writers and guided them in recording the revelation without error.
- The Spirit enables us to understand, interpret, and properly use the Bible. We cannot do any of this on our own without the Spirit.
- This shows the close relationship between the Spirit and the Word. We must keep them together. If we separate them, we will encounter problems.
- Jesus used Scripture to resist temptation by the devil, showing us the example to follow. We are to use the Bible to stand against error and false teaching.
- Philosophy, knowledge, and science are used by the enemy to attack the truth. The only way to withstand these attacks is by using the sword of the Spirit, the Bible.
- The Bible was key to the Reformation and key Protestant doctrines. The Roman Catholic church had kept the Bible from people for centuries but now encourages reading it because Protestants have undermined confidence in it through criticism.
- We must know the Bible in detail, not just general truths. We must know specific Scriptures to apply in specific situations, as Jesus did when tempted.
- We must read and study the whole Bible to be steeped in knowledge of the truth so we have an answer ready in any situation. The Spirit will bring the right Scripture to mind as needed.
- God uses the humble and uneducated who know the Bible. Knowledge and learning are not required. The Spirit enables any believer to know and use the Bible.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.