I. THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.
A. The sword as a defensive weapon.
1. As a defensive weapon it helps keep the enemy at a distance from you.
2. As long as you are swinging your sword he cannot get too close.
3. We see how that Word of God is used as a defensive weapon against sin.
a. David said, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee."
B. The enemy usually attacks in three different areas.
1. The lust of the flesh.
2. The lust of the eye.
3. The pride of life.
4. Sometimes in one area, sometimes in all three.
5. With Eve in the Garden, she saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to the eye, and desired to make one wise.
a. The taste was exciting to the senses, the lust of the flesh.
b. It looked delicious. The lust of the eye.
c. It would make her as God. The pride of life.
6. In the case of the temptation of Jesus again it was in all three.
a. Knowing that Jesus was hungry, he suggested that he turn stones into bread. The lust of the flesh.
b. He showed him all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. The lust of the eye.
c. He suggested that he leap from the pinnacle of the Temple so that when He landed safely, all the people would exalt Him because of His feat. The pride of life.
C. Note the defense of Jesus against every attack was the Word of God.
1. "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
2. "It is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."
3. "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
D. Satan tore down Eves defense with a challenge of the word of God.
1. "Hath God said?" questioning the Word of God.
2. "You will not surely die." Contradicting the Word of God.
3. Today there are many who are not sure of the Word of God, thus they are defenseless against the attacks of the enemy.
4. This tells me that I must have confidence in my sword.
E. When Satan would tempt me to lust after the flesh, the scripture comes to mind, "Flee youthful lusts."
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
a. What a classic example Joseph is in this battle against the flesh.
And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
For the lips of a strange woman drop [as] an honeycomb, and her mouth [is] smoother than oil:
But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, [that] thou canst not know [them].
Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:
Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours [be] in the house of a stranger;
And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life:
To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
For by means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
[Men] do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
But [if] he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
[But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
Say unto wisdom, Thou [art] my sister; and call understanding [thy] kinswoman:
That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words.
For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
And, behold, there met him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
(She [is] loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
Now [is she] without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
So she caught him, and kissed him, [and] with an impudent face said unto him,
[I have] peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved [works], with fine linen of Egypt.
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
For the goodman [is] not at home, he is gone a long journey:
He hath taken a bag of money with him, [and] will come home at the day appointed.
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it [is] for his life.
F. Should Satan tempt you in looking at pornography, the scripture comes.
a. Be not deceived, God is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap, and if we sow to the flesh, then of the flesh we will reap corruption.
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
b. "Keep thine heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life."
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
G. Should Satan tempt you with the pride of life.
These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour [is] humility.
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
II. THE SWORD IS THE FIRST PART OF THE ARMAMENT THAT CAN BE USED IN OFFENSE.
A. With the Word of God I can now go on the attack against the enemy. In football they often say, "The best defense is a good offense."
1. I am no longer just defending myself, I now move against the enemy.
2. In the book of Revelation we read of that group that are on the earth during the great tribulation and it declares that they overcame Satan with the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
3. John wrote, "I have written unto you young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one."
a. The secret of their strength in overcoming the wicked one was the fact that the Word of God was abiding in them.
B. The Word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit.
1. This is because the Holy Spirit is the author of the scripture.
The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
For the word of God [is] alive, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
[Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?
C. What does all this say to us?
1. If we want to defeat the enemy and his attacks against us, we need to fortify ourselves with the Word.