Armor of God // Part 7
Each of you is a conqueror because of your adoption as children of God. You’ve got the blood of the conqueror flowing through your veins! You are also a conqueror because you have been equipped to be one. Jesus, your Sovereign Savior has given you the same armor to wear in the battles of life that He wore when He defeated the enemy during His days on the earth!
Over the last few weeks, we have been studying the armor: what it is and how to use it. Today, we will finish this series with a study of the last piece of the armor of God. The final piece is the sword of the Spirit.
Here is a picture depicting a group of Roman legionnaires. Three things stand out:
- Their ranks
- Their armor
- Their sword
The Roman legionnaire used his shield as both defensive and offensive. Using his shield as an offensive weapon had a lot to do with what type of sword he used and how he used it.
The sword of Roman legionnaire was not like the huge, ornate sword used by Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn’s sword would have been so heavy that it would have taken a lot of time to swing it and a lot of strength to fight with it. It was a pretty movie prop but would have been very unwieldy in battle. The heaviest sword of the Roman legion was called Gladius Hispaniensis. It was 30 to 33 inches in length, 2 inches in width and weighed no more than 2.5 pounds. Its blade would have a “leaf” shape in that it would be wider toward the end of the sword with a very sharp point. The Roman legionnaire usually didn’t swing his sword but thrust with it. That’s why he kept it low – so that he could maximum thrust and also so that the enemy had the dilemma of trying to watch two points at once: the shield and the sword. Romans soldiers were trained extensively in the use of their sword. They were trained to make swift, deep thrusts with their sword. The goal of the training was to teach the legionnaire to be able to strike the enemy three to four times in the space of one second!
Now, think of this spiritually. The sword we have been equipped with is not a gladius but the sword of the Spirit. It’s practical name is the Word of God. The Word of God has been given to us by the Spirit of God. When we encounter the enemy, we strike him with the logos or the written Word of God. This is how Jesus fought in hand to hand combat with the enemy. Matthew 4 tells us of one encounter. As the Son of God, Satan could not do whatever he wanted with Jesus so he attacked him with temptations like greed and selfishness: command these stones be made bread. He attacked him with desperation, suicide, and doubt: jump off the Temple roof. He attacked him with pride and a lust for power: bow down and worship me and you shall rule. In each instance, Jesus responded with the same weapon: It is written! He attacked the enemy with the Word of God! This is an example of how we should attack the enemy. We use the Word of God to hit the enemy with the truth. Just like the Gladius of the Roman legionnaire, our sword is designed for hand to hand combat. It is designed for repeated strikes against the enemy. It is designed to inflict the most damage with the smallest effort by the soldier of the Lord. How do you use the sword of the Spirit?
If the enemy attacks you with threat of lack, you respond with “my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory”. If the enemy threatens you or those you love with harm, you respond with “Here I am and the children that God has given me” (Hebrews 2:13). If the enemy threatens your future, you remind him of his: “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where he will be tormented day and night forever and ever”. If the enemy says you are alone, you respond with: “never will He leave me, never will He forsake me” (Heb. 13:5). Then, as you march forward in the Lord, let your cadence be one of praise! The enemy will have to leave just like he had to leave Jesus when He fought Satan in the wilderness!!!
Are you dressed for victory?
- Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
- Hebrews 2:13, 13:5
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