• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Samuel A CainIn all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:16 – 17 ESV)

In Christianity, the sword often symbolizes, righteousness, justice, truth and purity. The Apostle Paul’s famous list of the pieces of the armor of God is found in Ephesians 6. The sixth piece of armor Paul mentions is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God! It is God’s statement, the Bible. As long as we speak and preach in harmony with the Bible, we have the sword of the Spirit. If we stray apart from His Word, we lose the power of this spiritual sword. As long as we stay connected to God’s Word, the sword or word of God will be “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)

If we teach and preach that God is all love and mercy and we never bring up the subject of justice or punishment – are we not straying from the entire Word of God? If we freely speak of heaven and never mention hell – are we not straying from the Bible?

Pastors and teachers must communicate the truth directly to the hearts of men. They must speak of sin and the threat of God’s punishment because we are a sinful people. They must preach and teach the Bible. They must speak, with love, about tough things and the good news. They must love people enough to explain the gospel to them in order that they know the true condition of their souls.

I believe there are many people walking into our churches on Sunday morning who do not know Jesus Christ. They are spiritually dead and will walk out in the same condition to go home, if the Word of God has not been faithfully shared. Some of these are church members as well as non-members. Some have attended faithfully while others are like gophers who pop up now and then. None of these will ever wield the sword of the Spirit if they do not hear the Word of God accurately preached and taught.

Let us pray for pastors and teachers to receive a holy boldness in their fidelity to God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. Bless their sermons and anoint their preaching in order that unbelievers will not go home in the same spiritual state as they were when they entered the church. Bless those who are saved to continue to grow in Christ that they may employ the sword of the Spirit confidently to the benefit of those who are in need.

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