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And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Note 17 at Eph 6:17: The helmet was a piece of armor that protected the Roman soldier against deadly blows to the head. What the helmet was to the Roman soldier, salvation is to the Christian soldier. There can be no victory unless the mind is protected with God's Word. Ro 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." As Christians, the battlefield is in the area of our minds (see note 9 at 2Co 10:5). We must be careful to protect our minds from wrong thinking and be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Ro 12:2). Every thought can be brought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2Co 10:4-5).
Note 18 at Eph 6:17: The "sword of the Spirit" is our only offensive weapon. In battle, defense is a great asset to any warrior. If a warrior has only a good defense and no offense, though, he might protect himself from being badly hurt, but he could not win the battle. This piece of armor known as the "sword of the Spirit" is the only piece of armor that has the ability to cut, wound, and hurt our Enemy, the devil.
Several Greek words are used for the "word" of God. The Greek word used here is "RHEMA," and it literally means a spoken word--specifically, a spoken word appropriate for your situation. It's not the Bible lying on your coffee table that makes the Enemy flee; it is the Word of God hidden in your heart, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and spoken in an appropriate situation. It's similar to what Jesus said in Joh 6:63--"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Eph 6:17 is not speaking of a book, but it's speaking of a book as a RHEMA; i.e., the words we speak that come from the written Word of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Word by itself doesn't make us free. It is the Word we know and speak that will deliver us (Joh 8:32).
Why is the Word so effective? It's because it is the Word of God. It has authority, because it is indeed the Word of God. God's Word supersedes all authority of the church, of reason, of intellect, and even of Satan himself. That's why it is so effective.
Note 19 at Eph 6:17: The Word of God in this verse is also referred to as "the sword of the Spirit." Notice that it is the Holy Spirit that wields this Word as it is spoken in faith. Speaking God's Word in faith brings the Holy Spirit into action. In Lu 4, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was "the sword of the Spirit," the Word of God, that Jesus used to defeat the Enemy during His temptation (see note 5 at Lu 4:4). Jesus constantly met His temptation by quoting from God's Word as He repeatedly stated the phrase, "It is written." Likewise, Christian soldiers must avail themselves of God's Word by placing it in their hearts so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory.
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