What Is the Sword of the Spirit and How Should I Use It? (2022)

The armor of God in the Bible is an outfit of spiritual protection against the schemes of the devil. Christians may notice something interesting: every piece of armor (with the exception of one) is defensive. The defensive pieces help us block the blows of Satan.

We have only one offensivepiece of armor, instead of defensive: the sword of the Spirit, or, the Word of the Lord (the Bible).

All the pieces of the armor come from God, but this piece in particular is God himself, the Holy Spirit. It’s Logos, the same word used to describe God in John 1:1. When we enter battle, we must arm ourselves with the Truth of God, refusing to compromise to the world’s standards.

In this article we’ll dive into the nature of the sword of the Spirit, how to use it, and more.

What Is the Sword of the Spirit in the Bible?

We read about the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-18 (passage below):

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.Ephesians 6:10-18

The sword mentioned in Ephesians belongs to the Holy Spirit. Both offensive and defensive in nature, a sword can protect a soldier against the blows of an enemy. Soldiers have to know how to properly wield a sword for maximum effect.

(Video) What is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)? | GotQuestions.org

In the same way, we can’t misuse the sword of the Spirit, or we’ll put ourselves in danger on the spiritual battlefield. Whenever using the word of God for the offensive (evangelism efforts) or defensive (apologetics), we need to know everything we can about it.

As pointed out in Matthew Henry’s commentary, this sword has the ability to trample any objections to Christianity posed by Satan. A single text can reassure us when the devil assails us with heavy blows.

The Spirit supplies us with this sword through the Word. Like a trainer, he teaches us how to use it properly.

What Is the Sword of the Spirit and How Should I Use It? (1)Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/B-C-Designs

How Do We Use the Sword of the Spirit?

So, how do we use the Bible properly to a) spread the Gospel and b) be prepared for any questions or doubts that may arise regarding Scripture?

1. We Must Read the ‘Sword’ in Context

One of the worst ways to use your sword is to read it out of context, or read into it your own cultural biases (this is known as eisegesis). For instance, say you read Philippians 4:13. You read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If you don’t know the original context of this verse: Paul, suffering in prison, with a thorn (a weakness) that God won’t remove, you might interpret it differently. You might say, “Well, I can do all things, so I’ll win the Olympics.” That’s not what the verse says.

To properly wield this weapon, we must learn all we can about it, including the context of certain passages.

(Video) THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT || The armor of God explained

2. We Must Learn as Much as We Can about the Sword

How do we do this? We study the Sword daily. We read our Bibles and study commentaries and hear sermons preached on the word, so we can gain an understanding of Scripture.

1 Peter 3:15 calls us to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have. But if we don’t have a solid knowledge of Scripture, we may not be able to give a proper explanation.

Atheists and those of other religions will often twist Scripture or point out more difficult passages or problems (such as highlighted in The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel). We must be ready to give an answer to these difficult questions, through engaging with God's Word every day.

We also must be ready to spread the Gospel, through an understanding of it.

An Ethiopian eunuch, in Acts, reads through a portion of Scripture, but doesn’t understand it. Luckily Philip, a follower of Jesus, is in the area and explains the Scripture to him, leading the man to convert to Christianity. We learn Scripture so we can help elucidate its meaning to seekers and those who wish to understand it (Acts 8:26-40).

3. We Must Ask God to Reveal Himself through the Sword

As mentioned before, we won’t always have all the answers. But, when we’ve accepted God as Savior of our lives, his Holy Spirit reveals his character and his plan for our lives through Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:10-15).

(Video) Using the Sword of the Spirit

By spending time with God in his Word every day, we learn more about him, and grow closer in relationship with him.

All in all, we must put on any piece of the armor through prayer and through regularly engaging with Scripture, including the sword of the Spirit.

What Does Jesus Say about the Word of God?

Jesus seems to say a lot about God’s Word. He uses God’s Word as a defense against the devil’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11). He frequently quoted the Old Testament in his sermons, and that God’s words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35, Matthew 5:18). In other words, they’re immutable, unchanging, and timeless.

He says Scripture bears witness about him (John 5:39), and abides by Scripture. He seems to place a rather large importance on it, as Scripture speaks truth (John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:16).

What Is the Sword of the Spirit and How Should I Use It? (2)Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Design Pics

Where Else Is Sword Imagery Used in the Bible?

Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as a two-edged sword. Scripture also describes out of the mouth of God comes a sword, another symbol for the Bible (Revelation 19:15).

Psalm 149:6 describes the praise of God as a double-edged sword.

In addition to symbolizing God’s Word, the sword appears to represent punishment from God. God will sometimes lift his sword against Israel’s enemies or Israel itself when they fall prey to sin.

(Video) A Prayer to Begin Using the Sword of the Spirit to Our Advantage

However, most Christians will associate the sword with the Bible. God has the ability to penetrate even the most stubborn of people through his Word. He cuts right to the heart and changes lives entirely.

A Prayer for You to Use the Sword of the Spirit

Heavenly Father, equip me with the sword of the Spirit today. May I be ready to give a reason for the hope that I have within me. Whenever the devil launches doubts or twists Scripture, help remind me about what your Word really, truly says. As I study your Word today, help me to bear in mind the original context of the passage, so as not to distort the meaning through my own cultural biases. Reveal to me the meaning of your Word and how it applies to my life today. Whether I fight an offensive or defensive battle today, don’t let me leave without the sword of the Spirit, which is your Word. Amen.

God only gives us one offensive weapon in the spiritual armor: the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word. But this doesn’t leave us vulnerable on the battlefield.

In fact, he could not have given us a better offensive and defensive weapon. The Word of the Lord has the ability to penetrate stubborn human hearts, to open their eyes to the truth of God, and to give them an opportunity to accept the gift of salvation from Jesus.

The Word of the Lord also helps us when the devil launches defenses against Christianity. He may ask us difficult questions or cause us to have doubts, but if we regularly engage with the Word of the Lord, we can remind ourselves of who God really is.

However, if we want to wield this weapon well, we have to train properly.

We need to ensure we truly understand the original context of passages and not take portions of Scripture out of context, simply to back up cultural biases we may have.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Tomertu

(Video) The MIGHTY Sword Of The Spirit - Most People Do Not Know About This

Hope Bolingeris an acquisitions editor at End Game Press, and the author 21+ books. More than 1400 of her works have been featured in various publications. Check out her books at hopebolinger.comfor clean books in most genres, great for adults and kids.

This article is part of our series on the Armor of God. To learn more about the meaning, context, and purpose of each piece of armor in the spiritual life of the believer, visit the articles below.

Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit
Breastplate of Righteousness
Belt of Truth
Gospel of Peace

FAQs

What does it mean to be slain with the sword of the spirit? ›

Slain in the Spirit or slaying in the Spirit are terms used by Pentecostal and charismatic Christians to describe a form of prostration in which an individual falls to the floor while experiencing religious ecstasy. Believers attribute this behavior to the power of the Holy Spirit.

What does a sword symbolize in the Bible? ›

A sword in Christianity also quite often symbolizes the power and might of the Lord. It also (symbolically!) separates good from evil.

What does God say about the sword in the Bible? ›

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. We're told in Hebrews 4:12 that this sword is alive, active, and sharper than any sword you can imagine. This sword divides soul and spirit and it can judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

What is the purpose of a sword? ›

A sword is an edged, bladed weapon intended for manual cutting or thrusting. Its blade, longer than a knife or dagger, is attached to a hilt and can be straight or curved. A thrusting sword tends to have a straighter blade with a pointed tip.

What does it mean when a prophet blows on you? ›

In religious and magical practice, insufflation and exsufflation are ritual acts of blowing, breathing, hissing, or puffing that signify variously expulsion or renunciation of evil or of the devil (the Evil One), or infilling or blessing with good (especially, in religious use, with the Spirit or grace of God).

What Angel uses a sword? ›

The archangel Michael, holding a flaming sword and the scales of justice; in heaven the angels kneel before Christ; representing the Day of Judgement.

What is the powerful weapon in the Bible? ›

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Sounds like a pretty powerful weapon, doesn't it? We, as believers, need to utilize this amazing weapon we have been given.

What angel is depicted with a sword? ›

In most depictions Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield, in the style of a Byzantine officer, which is typically found even in Western depictions, though some late-medieval ones have him in contemporary knightly armour.

What is the sword of heaven? ›

Tentetsutou ("Sword of Heaven") is a katana created by Japanese master swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshiwara. Any well-crafted katana, or traditional Japanese sword, is a blade of beauty, but the Sword of Heaven is extraordinary due to its materials.

What did Jesus mean when he said if you live by the sword? ›

The saying is sometimes interpreted to mean "those who live by violence will die by violence", which some have interpreted as a call for Christian pacifism or even complete nonviolence, including in self-defense.

Why did Jesus tell them to buy a sword? ›

Formerly, when the Disciples had gone out, on mission, they had not lacked anything. Now they would need a purse, a bag and even a sword. The saying is heavily ironical, for Jesus knew that now He would have to face universal opposition and be put to death.

What are the rules of a sword? ›

The 3 Rules of Sword Fighting: GLECA
  • Rule 1. Don't get hit. Void, block or choke your opponent's attack and whatever you do, don't get hit. ...
  • Rule 2. Hit your target. Let's face it, hitting your target is what you're trying to do. ...
  • Rule 3. Look damn good doing it! Firstly, because it looks cool.
28 Oct 2015

What are the 3 types of swords? ›

Classification by blade type
  • Double-edge and straight swords.
  • Edgeless and thrusting swords.
  • Single-edge and curved swords.

Can you still learn to use a sword? ›

What is this? Learning how to fight with a sword is definitely possible, even for a complete beginner. Generally, sword fighting is taught in a physical class, but it can be learned through the internet.

What are the spiritual gifts of a prophet? ›

"Prophetic" gifts include any gift involving teaching, encouraging, or rebuking others. "Priestly" gifts include showing mercy and care for the needy or involve intercession before God. "Kingly" gifts are those involving church administration or government.

What is a watchman in the Spirit? ›

Watchmen over the souls of men implies that they are prone to neglect them, or to be in|attentive to their souls. When one is set to in|spect, or watch over another, it supposes some kind of incapacity that he is under to take care of himself.

What is a gift from God called? ›

The Bible calls it a manifestation. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

What was Lucifer's sword? ›

The Flaming Sword is a phenomenally powerful divine weapon. God split the sword into three pieces during Lucifer Morningstar's rebellion. The Flaming Sword is the most powerful weapon in the Universe.

What is the name of Satan's sword? ›

Satan's Sword (Japanese: 大菩薩峠, Hepburn: Daibosatsu Tōge, "Great Buddha Pass" or "Daibosatsu Pass, Part I") is a 1960 Japanese samurai film directed by Kenji Misumi, written by Teinosuke Kinugasa, and produced by Masaichi Nagata.

Who is the angel that protects? ›

Michael the Archangel, whom the faithful have long looked to for protection in times of peril. The patron of the military and police forces, St. Michael is a fierce warrior and defender of the children of God.

What is a spiritual weapon? ›

You create a floating, spectral weapon within range that lasts for the Duration or until you cast this spell again. When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell Attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon.

What was Jesus's weapon? ›

Jesus didn't carry a weapon. And he famously taught, "Blessed are the peacemakers." He didn't mean peacemakers who were packing. Jesus tells us not to repay evil for evil, but to bless our enemies and turn the other cheek.

What weapon is called the hand of God? ›

Battlefield Vegas nicknamed their M61 20mm Vulcan Cannon “The Hand of God” because it can lay great vengeance and furious anger upon its target.

Who is God's powerful angel? ›

Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism, Islam, and by most Christians. Some Protestants consider Michael to be the only archangel. Raphael—mentioned in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit—is also recognized as a chief angel in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

What weapon does an angel use? ›

Angel Blades are weapons carried by most angels. They are long, silver, triple-edged daggers (cross section of the blade would be a triangle) that can be used to kill angels, nephilim, hellhounds, demons, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. However angel blades can only harm but not kill an archangel.

What were swords originally made for? ›

During the Middle Ages in Europe, the sword was the preferred weapon of the knight in armor. The medieval sword was made of steel, and so sharp and heavy that it could easily cut a man in half. The quality of the sword depended to a great extent on the quality of the metal.

What were swords good for? ›

Swords and Lances

According to DeVries, “The single most important weapon in the Middle Ages was the sword.” A fast-moving weapon that could stab as well as slice, the sword delivered the most damage for least effort.

What are the advantages of swords? ›

The traditional European arming sword or the later side sword have the advantage of being flexible. They're good for both cutting and thrusting. They're also easy to carry around. You can also use them with shields, bucklers, or daggers for greater protection.

Why use a sword instead of an axe? ›

Swords are better because if you are all geared up and deciding which tool is the best, an enchanted Netherite Axe or Sword, Swords do more knockback. You might think that would give an advantage for the Axe to strike, but the Sword can get Fire Aspect, and the Axe can't, so overall the Sword is a better weapon.

Videos

1. The Sword of the Spirit Works | Devotional by Tony Evans
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2. What Is The Sword Of The Spirit? (With Greg Laurie)
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4. What Is the Sword of the Spirit in the Armor of God? | Havilah Cunnington
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