2 Timothy 3:15b-16 (Scripture is) able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul explains the armor of protection one needs to be wearing in the midst of this battle in life. He encourages to wear the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. Then, he reminds us to take up the only offensive weapon we need, the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17b). It's a Word that tells us of God's love, His care, His concern for people just like us.
A sword, however, is absolutely useless if left in the scabbard. You have to take it out and use it. A Bible left on the coffee table or on a bookshelf is useless too, unless you pick it up and read it. But even more, in this Word, the Sword of the Spirit, there is a word of hope over hopelessness; peace over strife; forgiveness over guilt; and life in spite of death!
Martin Luther understood the importance of this sword when he said, "The Bible is alive. It speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me." From scholar to child, the Bible conveys its message of truth for winning the battle. As we trust in this Sword of the Spirit, it can break hardened hearts of stone and turn them into living, breathing hearts of faith. When we share the Word, the Holy Spirit moves in people's hearts, slaying sin-dominated natures and enlivening hearers with the simple message of grace and peace in Christ alone.
John 3:16 says it clearly. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." God totally understands the battle you and I are fighting. He knows, as the Bible warns us, that Satan "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8b). But the very Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, gives us strength in our struggles against the enemy. God reminds us: "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world" (1 Peter 5:9). The very Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, gives hope in all circumstances. The apostle John says, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8b). And even more incredibly, Jesus Himself promises, " If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free " (John 8:31b).
That's power, that's freedom, that's strength, that's the Word—the Sword of the Spirit for you!
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You provide for our protection and give us strength for the battles we face. Empower us as we handle Your Word of truth. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "Know This Word—Your Life Depends on It!" a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Do you take any special measures to protect yourself in public?
2. What does it mean when Scripture is said to be "breathed out by God"?
3. How do you equip yourself for spiritual battle?
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