In New Testament times swords were not for digging, shaving, or whittling. They were for killing. The only reason Peter cut off Malchus’s ear was that he missed (John 18:10). But Herod didn’t miss: “He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2).
Many saints have felt the full force of the sword: “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:37). So it was and will be: “If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain” (Revelation 13:10).
That’s what swords are for.
So when Paul calls the word of God the “sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17, he is serious—something must be put to death. And it is not people. Christians don’t kill people to spread our faith; we die to spread our faith.
The link in Paul’s mind is given in Romans 8:13. If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Sword is for putting to death. And by the Spirit we put to death our sinful deeds. So I conclude that the way we kill our sins is with the Spirit’s sword, the word of God.
All temptations to sin have power by lying. The are “deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22). They tell us that the pleasure of the sin is worth it. The killing blow against these lies is the power of God’s truth. Hence the sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is the weapon to use.
As John Owen said, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”
As much as I absolutely love what John Piper has to say and as true as I believe that it is--I find myself somewhat frustrated. I have known many Christians (and I am a Christian) and I can tell you that they (we) do not know the Word. We spend little time in it and the time we spend is mostly obligatory or selective. We are kidding ourselves. We want Christ and salvation, but we do not want the written Word. We do not hunger for it; we do not value it as we should; we do not read it for what it truly is. And we wonder why we have no victory over sin. We wonder why we have no real joy. We all just go through life, pretty much like the rest of the world.
All of what John said, is true. But it only works if we are actually in the Word and know the Word and love the Word. The Sword first kills us and then we are actually armed with it. Has the Sword killed you yet? If so, are you now armed with it? It can do neither if we are not in it; if we do not know it. We are all pathetic in this generation and kid ourselves if we think that we know the Word of God. We have no real excuse except that we are victims of our society and all the distractions that the world has to offer our flesh.
I hear so many using theological terminology and discussing doctrine. However, many of them know more about the writings of men then the written word of God and they deceive themselves into thinking that they are spending their time pursuing God and the things of God.
Please forgive me, tonight. I am very sad, convicted and perhaps just venting.