The Sword of the Spirit
Ephesians 6:17b – Part IV
Last week, we did a cross-section on what it means to study the word of God as well as what it means to hear the word of God. It is important that we have the ears to hear the word of God before we approach it in order for it to have a saving effect on the soul.
As was mentioned last week, everyone doesn’t have the ears to hear. Apathetic attention and lazy listeners is another reason why people who call themselves Christians cannot tap into the true power of being one. This is the reason why the Lord kept repeating the phrase, “He who has ears to hear, let them hear.” One of the signs of an unbeliever is that they will not hear the word of God which is the opposite for the child of God (Luke 8:21, John 8:43).
Hearing the word of God is not simply hearing the words and having an intellectual understanding of what they mean. It is not simply understanding the sentence and its meaning in the sentence. It is understanding it in relation to God as truth. So how does one acquire the ears to hear? Without going too far into it theologically, the ears to hear are a gift from God (John 10:27, John 6:44). If we have a desire to want to know God, all we need do is ask.
True belief includes obedience to God’s word. This is what often gets lost in translation when we tell people to “believe”. When the New Testament uses the word “believe”, it is not just talking about a mere mental assent or agreement. It is talking about placing confidence in or trusting and putting your reliance upon. It has behind it the force of obedience. So it’s not just to believe in the mind but to believe with the life. It is easy for someone to give a head nod to something but it is quite another to order your life to reflect that belief (James 2:17).
If you come to the table with a heart that’s ready to listen and hear in order to obey, that is the time where it’s going to actually do you some good (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Knowledge without application is just information and information without implementation is noise and useless.
You cannot say you love God and incessantly commit adultery. You cannot say you love God and be a perpetual drunkard. These are things that those who continue in them and practice them will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). Yet there are people who try to convince themselves that they love God and continue in these kinds of behaviors without any remorse nor prick of conscience. This is what is happening with the whole homosexual movement. It is to accept them as they are because God made them that way. It is a sinister kind of blasphemy when they blame God for their aberrant, depraved, evil behavior. It is not the God of the universe that they need to address but it is the god of this world who is the god that accepts them (1 John 5:19). This goes for adulterers and drunkards as well.
We’re living in an age of biblical ineptness. The Bible is available in more mediums and media than at any other time in history and yet it is being read less and less. The excuses given are inexcusable excuses. People say that they don’t like to read which is something that they need to get over if they want their souls to be in working condition in the battle they have to fight every day.
This excuse is one rooted in ungratefulness. The Lord Jesus Christ died to save our souls and we can’t open a book, or listen to an audio tape, or put ourselves in the place where we can be alone with the word of God for a half an hour out of our day? We give the excuse of what we like and what we don’t like? That is just sensual and worldly (James 3:15).
On top of that, the practical reasons for reading are many: it’s mentally stimulating, it reduces stress, it increases your knowledge, expands your vocabulary, improves your memory, gives you stronger analytical thinking skills, improves your focus and concentration, makes you a better writer, and simply makes you smarter. It also may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. God knows what He’s doing and he wants us to read His word because it is good for us all around. Mentally, spiritually, and physically since all of those are tied together (Proverbs 4:20-22, John 6:63).
These are the same people who can’t function in everyday living because the flesh runs their lives and not the spirit of God. They don’t put on the armor of God and they don’t pick up the sword of the Spirit because their flesh rules. These are the same people whose lives are always going up and down, up and down, with some kind of drama. The way to get around that and to begin to live victorious lives in Christ is to be in the word of God with an attitude to obey it. Once that is set, you will be on the road to a strong walk with the Lord.
Going back to the sword of the Spirit, we’re going to continue looking at the four facets we have mentioned the last couple of weeks: reading, studying, memorizing, and meditation, focusing on studying which we introduced last week.
Join us at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612. Our tune in right here (https://www.facebook.com/david.washington.9083) for the live stream beginning between 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teaching independence in dependence on God.by