Helmet and Sword

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

As we continue to look at the Soldier’s Attire I want to focus today on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. These two essential parts of the Soldier’s attire are often misunderstood because of lack of knowledge regarding what is included in the covenant that we have with God through Jesus.

God said in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,….”

It is of utmost importance that you get into God’s word and find out for yourself what belongs to you as a child of God. The covenant that Jesus died to give us is a “better covenant, which was established on better promises” according to Hebrews 8:6.

The Roman soldier’s helmet had a chinstrap and a visor, and came down to cover the back and sides of the neck. It was designed so that it covered the head and neck from attacks from all angles. Officers’ helmets had a ridge on top on which was mounted some sort of plumage depending on the rank.

The helmet of salvation is the part of the armor of God that protects our minds. Many times when we think of salvation, we think of forgiveness of sin, which, of course, is included in salvation. But salvation includes so much more than just having our sins forgiven. Let’s look at the actual definition of the Greek words for salvation:

Salvation: Soteria, soterion and soterios. All three have similar definitions which define salvation as being an all-inclusive word signifying forgiveness, healing, prosperity, deliverance, safety, rescue, liberation, and restoration. Christ’s salvation is total in scope of the total man: spirit, soul, and body.

When we renew our minds to the truth of God’s word regarding salvation we come to understand that to be saved is to be forgiven, healed, cured, preserved, kept safe and sound, rescued from danger or destruction and delivered. To save, the Greek word is sozo, means that we are saved from physical death by healing and from spiritual death by forgiveness of sin and it’s effects. Sozo, or saved, in primitive cultures is translated simply, “to give new life” and “to cause to have a new heart”.

Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Abundantly – perissos – Superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.

Jesus died that we might have a covenant with God that is superabundant, excessive, overflowing, more than enough and more than sufficient. Salvation is all-inclusive; whatever you need is supplied through the covenant that you have with God through the blood of Jesus!

By looking at the helmet of salvation and understanding the broad definition of salvation, we see that it simply means to be saved from whatever danger you are in. To a person who doesn’t know Jesus as Savior, salvation would mean forgiveness of sin. That would be the gospel or “good news” to him; that Jesus came to save him from his sins and when he receives the personal revelation of that and believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confesses him as Lord, he becomes “saved”. To the person who is struggling with an illness, salvation would mean physical healing. To the person that needs provision in their finances that salvation would mean deliverance from debt and the ability to meet their financial obligations with an abundance for every good work. For the person who is oppressed that salvation would mean deliverance from mental and emotional distresses.

When we place the helmet of salvation on our heads we are covering our minds with the truth of God’s total work of redemption; spirit, soul and body. Then when the enemy comes with tormenting thoughts of fear that we’re going to die and be eternally separated from God we can say, “oh no, devil, my salvation was purchased by the blood of Jesus and I am in Him and He is in me.” Or when he comes with his dirty baggage of sickness we can assuredly say, “No, no, I’ll not receive that package. I was healed by the stripes of Jesus. He is my Healer.” Or when the bank account is running short we can safely say that “My God supplies all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” We counter the devil’s attacks with the truth of God’s word. It may be a fact that you have a certain illness, but truth supersedes facts. We don’t deny the fact, but we simply state the truth of what God says about our situation so that we can in time see the manifestation of it. God never asks us to deny what we are currently experiencing, He just asks us to believe Him for the provision for it and speak the answer and not the problem.

Now, to look at the second part of Ephesians 6:17 “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

Sword – An offensive weapon worn at the side, and used by hand either for thrusting or cutting.  (Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.)

The sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon of the believer’s armor. It is said of Jesus when He comes again in Revelation 19:13-16:

 

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

The word of God when spoken out of our mouths becomes a sharp sword that pierces the enemy. Our words are containers of power either of life or death.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

When we fill our mouths with the word of God it becomes as a sharp sword filled with living power. Our speech needs to reflect what God says about our situations, not what we think, feel or see.

There are two different Greek words to define “the word of God”.

Word – logos – A transmission of thought, communication, a word of explanation, an utterance, discourse, divine revelation, talk, statement, instruction, an oracle, divine promise, divine doctrine, divine declaration. Jesus is the living logos, the Bible is the written logos; and the Holy Spirit utters the spoken logos.

Word – rhema – That which is said or spoken, an utterance, in contrast to the logs, which is the expression of a thought; a message, a discourse.

Logos is the message; rhema is the communication of the message. In reference to the Bible, logos is the Bible in its entirety; rhema is a verse from the Bible.

The Greek word for “word” used in Ephesians 6:17 is rhema, the spoken word of God. This is a portion of the Bible that the Holy Spirit speaks to you to give you the sword that you need to use to defeat the enemy in the attack that he is bringing against you. It needs to be spoken out of your mouth. Jesus spoke to the devil when he was attacked in the wilderness with “it is written” and then He followed it with the portion of Scripture that applied to the specific attack that He was under. (Matthew 4:1-10) The Holy Spirit will speak just the right scripture to you, making it a rhema word which is the sword that you can use to defeat the enemy right then. It becomes the sword of the Spirit to you! You speak it and continue to speak it until the attack ends. It is important that you have a good working knowledge of the Bible before the attack comes so you can have the word inside of you for the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance when it is needed. Many people are unprepared when the attack comes because they have not put the word into their hearts so they have nothing for the Holy Spirit to bring back to their remembrance.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He brings back out of our hearts the word that we have feasted on at just the right time; when we need it to counter an attack from the enemy. With His help we are sure to win if we follow His directions and obey what He tells us to do!

Father, I thank You for the salvation that You have so freely bestowed upon us. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for purchasing our salvation with Your very life. I know that no one took it from You, Lord, but You laid it down for us. Thank You for dying that we might live! Father, I also thank You for Your word that becomes a sword for us when the Holy Spirit brings it back to our remembrance when we are in a fight with the enemy. Thank You for empowering us to win! Father, help us to feast on Your word so we can be ready when the enemy comes with an attack. Thank You for giving us the victory in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Still Standing?

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

There are two parts to spiritual warfare. One is the prayer of intercession that we talked about yesterday where we stand in the gap before God on behalf of our loved ones, friends and nation. We talked about the importance of prayer. This morning I want to talk with you about the other part of spiritual warfare, which is standing against the enemy on behalf of yourself, a loved one, a friend, a ministry or a country.

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

In this portion of scripture we see a perfect example of the other part of spiritual warfare. When we look at how Jesus handles the devil we see five main principles that we can follow to defeat the enemy in our own lives or the lives of another.

The first thing we notice is that Jesus was totally committed to the Father. He had fasted and prayed for forty days and nights. His will was to do the Father’s will. He was totally in tune with the Holy Spirit. The Word says in 1 John 3:8 that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.

The second thing that we see is that He coupled fasting with his prayers. Fasting while praying builds you up and strengthens you for the battle. We gain the power and anointing to win our battles and victories for Him through prayer and fasting. However, fasting by itself doesn’t do anything but waste your time. You must couple the two together to get the desired results. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18 “when you fast”. He didn’t say “if”, He said “when” so fasting is a normal part of a disciple’s life.

The third thing we see in the example of Jesus is that He persevered until He saw the manifestation of the victory. He didn’t give up before the enemy was defeated. Sometimes when we are in the heat of the battle against the devil we get tired and quit before we win the fight. Jesus gives us the perfect example of fighting to the end! 1 Timothy 6:12 says to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and if we are going to experience all that Jesus died to give us, we will have to fight when the enemy comes trying to steal, kill or destroy our lives and the lives of those around us.

The next thing that we see is that Jesus had an intimate knowledge of the Word of God and He used it as the Sword of the Spirit. He spoke not what He saw, felt or thought, but what God’s Word said. He used the Word to defeat the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces and divides and is a powerful weapon to use against the enemy. Ephesians 6:17 refers to the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit; that which the Holy Spirit has spoken to us to use in fighting against the enemy.

The last thing that we see in this example is that He spoke directly to the devil. He didn’t beat around the bush, He addressed Satan with the Word of God. He didn’t carry on a conversation with the devil but He spoke the Word that was a Rhema Word from the Holy Spirit to address the problem He was encountering. James 4:7 says that when we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil that He will flee from us.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Jesus showed us several of the weapons that God has given us to defeat the devil and tear down strongholds in our lives. A stronghold is a fortified thought process that Satan erects in a person’s life that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It is a battle in the mind. Satan will speak to a person’s mind things that are totally against God’s word and have a person convinced that nothing will ever change even though God’s word tells us that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus applied the Word of God to His situation and won the battle. We can petition the Father on our behalf or on behalf of someone else, but we must also fight the good fight of faith to defeat the enemy. Both are necessary parts of spiritual warfare. Many times we beg God to do something for us when we need to be standing strong in the power of His might to overcome the devil and enforce the victory of the covenant that Jesus purchased for us. He defeated the devil on the cross, but it is our job as the Church to enforce that victory. We do that through spiritual warfare.

Father, I thank You for showing us how to properly fight and win the victory over the devil. Thank You for the example, Lord Jesus, that you gave us! Father, help us to seek you for just the right plan that will give us the victory. I pray, Father, that we will seek Your face and ask You for the scriptures that we need to pray and speak to the devil to defeat him. Father, help us to guard our hearts and minds and to keep our focus on You, Lord. Show us the plan that You have for every battle that we encounter. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit and for speaking clearly to us what we need to do to overcome. To You be the glory, Father! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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