Next, let us think about relationship between the Spirit and the word. What are some reasons the word of God is called the “sword of the Spirit”? The Holy Spirit is the author of the word. He spoke through the human writers (2 Samuel 23:2; Mark 12:36). He guided the human writers to accomplish his intended goal (2 Pt 1:20-21). The Spirit did this so that what they wrote would be the word of God. When we engage in spiritual battle, we are to take with us the word of the Almighty Holy Spirit of God. As we strike with it, he is very able to accomplish his purpose (Isaiah 55:11).
The Holy Spirit enables people to understand the word (1 Corinthians 2:10b-14). Every human heart by nature is unable to understand the truth of the Scriptures. Yes, people can comprehend what we say, but it does not convince them, it does not change their outlook. For example, someone might say, “I just don’t get it; how can the death of Jesus save anyone?” But the Spirit is given to Christ’s followers, so that we do understand (1 Corinthians 2:12). Then we accept the word and it effectively works in us. When we take the sword of the Spirit, we must rely on Christ’s power to work through the Spirit to achieve results. Don’t just post a Bible verse; pray for spiritual application. The Holy Spirit uses the word to produce spiritual results. For this reason, we must avoid overemphasizing one truth at the expense of another. Don’t rely on the Spirit without the word of God. Don’t rely on the word of God without the Spirit.
God’s word is very useful to us in our spiritual warfare. The word of God is essential in practical sanctification or Christian growth. The classic example of this is Christ’s use of the Scripture in resisting the temptations of the evil one (Matthew 4:1-11). In every situation Jesus rightly applied the word to his way of life. He lived out the word. Every Christian needs to have a large supply of ammunition from God’s word against every temptation to violate God’s commands, whether the temptations are to commit what God forbids or temptations to fail to do what God commands. A good section to put to heart is Ephesians 4:17-6:9, or in a more concise form Colossians 3:1-4:6. Read either passage many, many times and think through them until you know them well. However, the Lord intends that his entire word has a wider use in our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12). The Spirit says that the word can work comprehensive changes in us, down to our thoughts and attitudes. We must see change at this inner level to realize outward change. For example, if you want to speak godly counsel, his word needs to be operating in your heart or inner person (Matthew 12:34). You must be convinced in your heart before you will truly change. This is why we must read and study and think about God’s word. In this whole study, we have been urged to put on the full armor of God. That is the goal, but if we will begin to put on one part, it might cause tremendous changes in our lives and in the churches we attend!
The word of God is essential in evangelism. The word of God is the spiritual seed used by the Holy Spirit in producing regeneration (or the new birth from above). As the Spirit works in us with the word, a change of mind and faith are given, and we turn from our rebellion against God to rely on Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Has this happened to you?
Grace and peace, David