Battle Ready: Why is it called “the sword”?


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

Ephesians 6:17


It is to be used as a weapon against the enemy.  As Paul finishes the listing of the armor, he refers to the sword of the Spirit. He tells us explicitly that he refers to the Word of God.  This is the only offensive weapon mentioned.  All the other pieces mentioned are only defensive in nature.  The fact that the sword is mentioned lets us know that we are not just on defense.  Being in this battle means that we are on the offense.  We put on our Gospel shoes and we advance toward the enemy with the Word of God.

It is the believers only weapon.  The Word of God is far more powerful than any weapon that Satan can bring against us.  Satan deals in lies.  When we know the Word of God and apply it to our lives we deal in truth.  Like the Roman soldier learned how to wield his sword, we must study to who ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, by rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Hebrews 4:12 gives some more indication of why the Word of God is like a sword.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, 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 4:12

We learn a few things here:

  • The Word of God is alive.  How?  The author is still alive.  The truth hasn’t changed.  It still impacts.  It still works.  The author lives in those who have been made alive by believing its truth.
  • The Word of God discerns between the material and immaterial realms.
  • The Word of God discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  In a sense the Bible is the only book that reads you back. It gives insight into who we are and why we do what we do.


If we do not know, understand, apply and obey the Word of God, then we are like a soldier at battle without a weapon.  It’s not enough to have protection alone.  We are on a mission, and we have the ultimate weapon to accomplish the mission that we have been sent on.  What is our mission?  To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that God’s Word says. 


Convince and convict my heart with Your word today, and help me get it to others.