Part 7 of 10
The “Weapons” of Our Warfare
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Above Paul describes the purpose of “the weapons of our warfare”; and below, “the whole armour of God” in Ephesians. Actually, after listing our “armour” in v 17 (below), Paul mentions only this one item as a “weapon,” referring “sword of the spirit, which is the WORD of GOD.”
Ephesians 6:11-17 Put on (enduo, be clothed in) THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, that ye may be able to STAND against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES. 13 Wherefore TAKE UNTO YOU THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 STAND therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is THE WORD OF GOD:
In the phrase “the WORD of God” in v17 above, the word “Word” is the Greek, rhema, meaning the living word. In Hebrews we read “the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged SWORD…” (Hebrews 4:12a). This same verse goes onto say; “… 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. (Hebrews 4:12b).
Who is this living Word? We can see that the Word is a person, “Him” in verses 2 and 4. This speaks of Jesus Christ – “IN HIM WAS LIFE…” (V4)
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
The resurrected “Spirit of Christ,” who indwells the believer’s human spirit, is “one spirit” (1Cor 6:17) with the believer. Christ alive as the Word within us is our “weapon.”
We each enjoy the inner speaking of the “Spirit of Christ” within our spirit as the living “Word.” He speaks sometimes to expose our self to us, to see our vile soulish “imaginations” for what they are. His speaking within us divides the truth in our “spirit” from our soulish mind’s “vain imaginations,” He knows our “thoughts and intents.” Thus believers have a built-in living Savior, which is Christ in their spirit, alerting them as He leads and guides them in their daily walk.
Christ as “the Word” is the only divine and limitless life in the universe, and He is hid within our “spirit,” just as the “marrow” is hidden within the “bones” of “the joints” (Heb 4:12 above) Consider we know medically that “marrow” within the “bone” is the life-source of our blood, producing white and red blood cells, without which we would die. Thus the marrow is the life-source and the joints that we enjoy for healthy free movement. Christ’s life is to energize all our “movements,” and “doings.” Our joint movement represents our decisions concerning our activities that should not be independent of our life source (marrow) – which is Christ within our spirit.
Christ within us is the LIVING Word. Jesus said His “WORDS… are SPIRIT and they are LIFE” (John 6:63). Christ, the living Word, is in us as the living and empowering “Spirit of life.” He is able to expose or “divide” or separate out our soulish sinful thoughts, so we can identify and recognize them as temptation. Christ clearly speaks within our spirit to warn us by the inner sense we have of His life; we spontaneously see and “know all things” which are “truth.” 1 John 2:20 paraphrased says “we know all things by the anointing of Him who abides within us.” As Christ guides us from within our spirit, He exposes and pre-empts our vain “imaginations” that would lead us to act upon the temptation at hand. He alerts us, inwardly saying NO! As we agree to yield to His regulating Word within us He empowers us to turn away from the temptation at hand. Turning away from our vain “imaginations” is a good healthy movement that is directed by His life.
Every piece of the “armor of God” listed in our key text and seen below is defensive.
· The “belt of the truth” of God’s word is Christ as “the Spirit of Truth” in us.
· The “breastplate of righteousness” we have is of Christ, making us counted as righteous in God’s eyes, by faith.
· The shoes of the “Gospel of peace” move and direct our life as we present that fact that Gospel of Christ’s cross by which He has made peace between God and man (Col 1:20).
· The “shield of faith” is our trust in God’s revealed word and in His Sovereign love expressed in the cross of Christ.
· The “helmet of salvation,” knowing we are eternally safe and secure, is what helps us to keep our head in the midst of all of life’s difficult circumstances and even in view of our failures.
Our faith and trust is in Christ’s cross-work and His life within us. Yet we may learn so much detail from the written “the word of truth” concerning “the gospel of our salvation.” Our faith, being established based upon Paul’s “mystery” gospel (Rom 16:25), brings us not only peace with God but also we have the inner peace of Christ Himself, peace that no money can buy.
Ephesians 6:15 (AMP) And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
Our “Gospel Shoes” protect our feet and our walk in Christ. The unshakable facts and fixed truths of “the Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) give us a solid foundation to stand upon, protecting us and keeping us in our daily walk with the Lord. One such fact of Paul’s gospel is that we have peace with God because Christ has made all things right between us and God on our behalf. The grace gospel constrains our heart with bands of His love. We cannot help but be thankful as we dwell on “so great a salvation.” Being thankful to the Lord, we are then ever mindful of the lost, thirsty, and dying souls in the world around us. We cannot slumber – this knowledge of the Gospel and mankind’s eternal fate should keep us alert and going. There are many more souls that need to be added to “the body of Christ” before the “times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Rom 11:25b) at the time the rapture occurs.
Our thankfulness and our faith and trust in the Lord’s cross-work and His ongoing work in our lives keeps us going with rest and peace in our hearts. Just like a shield or buckler, our knowledge of and faith in these truths repels arrows, spears, and sword thrusts. Our faith shields us from the Devil’s fiery darts that tempt us with worldly lusts or condemnation. Faith in the gospel truths for “the body of Christ” is our shield.
Concerning the accusations of the Devil and the thoughts he projects to us, consider this metaphor. We may not be able to keep birds from flying over our head but we can keep them from making a nest in our hair. The parallel spiritual truth is that we may not be able to prevent the “fiery darts” of the Devil from coming at us but we can shield ourselves from giving them a home in our mind.
Our weapons are; faith in the indwelling Word, “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” and the truth of the Bible, and prayer as ongoing communion with the Lord. All these operate by the power of indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a). Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: for it is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation to every one that believeth…
Without the “helmet of salvation” none of the other armor can be obtained. “Salvation” is what united us with Christ who now indwells us as our new life. He is alive and active in our lives; and from Him comes all our protective armor. Christ is called the “head” of “the body.” Thus His “mind” is freely given to us as we walk in Him. As we live and walk under our helmet of salvation “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). In this we will learn dependency upon Him. We never graduate from dependency upon Christ.
So believers do have weapons in their fight against the “strongholds” in their minds. These “strongholds” often are the residual habits that were formerly attached to “the flesh” and the mindset of our now deceased “Old Man” (Rom 6:6 who “IS crucified with Him.”
We have to learn, know, understand, and trust the elements of “the gospel of our salvation” by which we gain the “whole armour of God.” We then will enjoy the riches supply of the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” within us as our new life.
Colossians 1:9b-11 (Paul prayed) … (so) that ye might be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of his will in all wisdom and spiritual UNDERSTANDING; 10(so) that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD; 11Strengthened with all might, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;