The Sword of the Spirit

Feb 10, 2018
William Gurnall

(From “The Christian in Complete Armour”)
“…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17)
The sword was always esteemed a most necessary part of the soldier’s equipment, and therefore has obtained a more general use in all ages, and among all nations, than any other weapon. Most nations have some particular weapons or arms proper to themselves; but few or none come into the field without a sword. A pilot without his chart, a scholar without his book, and a soldier without his sword, are alike ridiculous. But, above all these, it is absurd for one to think of being a Christian, without knowledge of the Word of God and some skill to use this weapon…
It is a weapon that is both defensive and offensive. Such is the sword. All the rest in the apostle’s armoury are set out by defensive arms: girdle, breastplate, shield, and helmet-such as are of use to defend and save the soldier from his enemy’s stroke. But the sword both defends him and serves to wound his enemy also…

It is for defense. Easily might the soldier be disarmed of all his other equipment, however so glistering and glorious, had he not a sword in his hand to lift up against his enemies’ assaults. And with as little ado would the Christian be stripped of all his graces, had he not this sword to defend them and himself.

It is for offense. The sword, as it defends the soldier, so it offends his enemy. Thus the Word of God is, as a keeping, so a killing sword. It not only keeps and restrains him from yielding to the force of temptations without, but also by it he kills and mortifies his lusts within, and this makes the victory complete.

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