Ephesians 6:17; The Word and the Spirit – experiencing God in time.
Tuesday May 17, 2022
The equipment of Christ’s soldier is complete; and he is arrayed in the full armor of light. He needs now to take the sword.
I start in 5:7 because it describes our walk as we wear the full armor.
Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn [proving] what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you."
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Vs. 15 = “Look carefully” or look having traced the course of things accurately.
We walk in a manner worthy of our calling. We walk as children of light which consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth. We walk as wise and not fools which is to understand the will of the Lord. Instead of being filled with wine we choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit; the One to whom our sword belongs. In this study we will attempt to discover what that means.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We are fully dressed with the truth, righteousness, the readiness of the gospel of peace, holding the shield of faith, taking the helmet of salvation, and it only remains that we take the sword of the Spirit so that, being strong in the Lord, we stand firm.
The purpose of the sword of the Spirit is going to be in accordance with the rest of the armor – to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. This reveals to us that the sword cuts through lies, deceit, temptations, and persecutions. Swords are also defensive weapons, and so the word of God, coupled with the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit, protects our souls from these same things, which are incredible dangerous and destructive to the spiritual life so as to make the spiritual life in a believer totally ineffective and dormant. But before we look at the word of God and the Holy Spirit in the offensive and defensive role of the sword, I think it will do all of us a great deal of good to look at the marvelous gifts of the word of God and the Holy Spirit to believers.
Today, we will only cover some introductory principles that will help us to grasp the finer principles that will make our spiritual lives rich with the goodness of God to the point of overflowing.
Sinners, fully deserving the wrath of God for their sin and evil, are given the highest blessing of communion with God Himself, and establishing that relationship in the reality of every-day-life, God gave us His Spirit and His word.
Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God – faith in the word and Spirit to bring truth to life within us.
By truth we also mean God’s person as revealed in the word of God and who will be experienced in life by all who seek Him. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s word, but since all believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and not every believer knows God’s word, there must be a cooperation with the Spirit by the believer that makes the living word manifest in reality to our conscious minds and experience.
God has revealed Himself and He has given us everything we need to see Him and behold Him (word and Spirit) by devotion in faith.
There is no precise formula. We are told to believe the word and live by the word and that G/HS will reveal the word.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
No human person can confirm to you that you are a child of God. God the Holy Spirit confirms this, and with it, everything that accompanies the inheritance of the saints. Confirmation and affirmation grow with time if we continue to seek the Spirit’s ministries in us.
This brings out an important point that will be developed.
When Thou didst say, "Seek My face," my heart said to Thee,
"Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek."
The gifts of God, as certainly in the word and Holy Spirit, must be cultivated by each one of us. We must therefore desire to see them flourish in us. They flourish when we exercise them, or participate in them. Christians who possess strength and virtue in truth and in the Spirit, as the true worshippers of God (Joh 4:23), have exercised their spiritual lives consistently for years.
The Holy Spirit is not an irresistible force that comes upon us like a seizure. He must be recognized and His ministerial gifts of teaching and leading and empowering and showing must be cultivated by daily dependence, faith, trust, and expectation if we are to realize the purpose for which He was given to indwell us.
But it may seem to many Christians that this process is too slow and maybe too common. Enough Christians desire the fast-track to the spiritual life. Religion offers this because it is filled with rituals. Rituals are usually simple, fast, and every one has a definite end. A quick ritual prayer or devotion is faster and easier than days, weeks, months, and years of seeking with all our hearts for the knowledge of the holy God who indwells us and lives all around us. The Scripture abounds with passages telling us to walk, seek, put off, put on, knock, grope, make every effort, be diligent, look carefully, increase, attain, grow up, do not sin, imitate God, make the most of your time, be filled, always give thanks, be subject to one another, obey, honor, love, be strong, stand firm, pray without ceasing… that’s just from looking through Eph 4-6.
The use of God’s gifts may be increased by exercise or they may sit dormant by neglect.
We must not forget that seeking to know God, wear His armor, wield His sword is a life-long cultivation and exercise in which we tangibly experience God’s power, truth, righteousness, peace, love, joy, etc., day-by-day.