TCH MINI-STUDY: 34
THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD
To the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the
faithful in Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put
on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
places. 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. Stand therefore, having your loins [lower abdominal and hip area] girt [encircling the hip and lower abdomen] about with truth,
and having on the breastplate [the chest area] of righteousness; And your feet [the feet] shod [to put on sandals] with the preparation
of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield [protects the entire front of the body] of faith, wherewith ye shall be able
to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet [protects the head] of salvation, and the sword [primary instrument
of warfare and death held in the hand] of the Spirit [the spirit or soul of man, and not the Holy Spirit], which is the word [rhema:
i.e, the movement and operation of the Holy Spirit upon the spirit of man] of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Within these verses, Paul
refers to the seven major areas or parts of the human being that are pertinent to conducting warfare: the hip area, the chest area,
the feet, the entire trunk area of the body [especially the front], the head area, the hand area, and the spirit [spiritual] part
of the individual.
Paul also implies the function of each area: the lower gut and hip area concern digestion, waste elimination,
mobility, and reproduction, the chest area concerns the heart [blood] and lungs [air] essential for life, the feet which concern how
we stand and our walk in life, the frontal trunk and chest area concerns all major organs for functioning, health, and life, the head
concerns the brain which is associated with thinking and emotions, the hand concerns what we touch and hold, and the spirit or soul
concerns the determination of our temporal and eternal spiritual relationships with God and man.
Lastly, Paul mentions the specific
instrument of warfare concerning each area of our life: truth protects our strength and vital life functions, righteousness protects
our major life support systems essential for life, the gospel of peace protects and determines our walk in life, faith protects and
preserves our whole being, salvation protects and determines our thinking and emotions, and the moving and operation of the Holy Spirit,
conducts spiritual warfare within and for our own spirit and life.
Many misinterpret verse 17 for two reasons: one, because the
word Spirit is capitalized, Spirit is usually interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit. We know, though, that this word Spirit could
not be a reference to the Holy Spirit since Paul is talking about the parts of the human body of the believer. To interpret the word
"Spirit" as the Holy Spirit, as the text suggests, rather than "spirit" as consistent interpretation would suggest, is to suddently
change the flow of Paul's point. If we change Spirit to spirit, meaning the spirit of man, the interpretation remains consistent and
makes sense. It is the Holy Spirit that conducts warfare for and with our human spirit [with a small s].
Two, the word word is
often incorrectly believed as referring to the bible; but in this verse, word is poorly translated from the Greek word rhema, which,
in new testament biblical context, refers to the movement and operation of the Holy Spirit, and not the bible, or "word." It is not
the "word", or bible, that interacts with the "spirit" of man, but the powerful speaking, movement and actions of the Holy Spirit
The word sword is translated from the Greek word machaira, which refers to the major implement of fighting, battle, or
warfare. Verse 17 can be interpreted to mean that the sword, the major implement for the conducting of spiritual warfare within our
own human spirit, is the powerful and life changing operation of the Holy Spirit, not the bible. The implement of spiritual warfare,
the sword of man's spirit, is in fact the Holy Spirit, who gives believers in Christ victory in the spiritual realm.
on the interpretation of the Greek word rhema, read THE CHISTIAN HERALD article entitled Faith Cometh By Hearing.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time
to plant, and a
time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build
up; A time to weep, and a time to
laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones
together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain
from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time
cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a
time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time
of war, and a
time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold,
waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath
long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter
rain" (James 5:7).
on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thineheart:
wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalms 27:14).