Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ephesians 6:17-18 comments: the sword of the Spirit

17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

If you remember, Isaiah refers to the “helmet of salvation.”

Isaiah 59:17a  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head…..

We are saved, not because of any works which we have done, but because of God’s mercy.

Titus 3:5a  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…

We have this assurance of our salvation based on our belief and God’s response to our belief.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

There is no question. You aren’t saved from everlasting destruction and agony because you feel saved. You are saved because of what the Bible says about it. You aren’t saved because of a ritual you perform, a posture in which you pray, or the intercession of a dead relative. You are saved because of your belief and God’s response to that belief. You aren’t saved one day and unsaved the next, weaving in and out of being destined for Heaven in the morning and destined for Hell in the afternoon. You are sealed until the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Salvation is said to be a helmet. Let your thoughts and your mind be protected by the knowledge that, through no effort of your own outside of a simple, childlike belief and faith and trust in Christ, you have salvation.

The only word of God that is accessible to us is our Bible. It is forever settled.

Psalm 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

God regards it as very important.

Psalm 138:2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

The question of what constitutes the Bible is very important, therefore. As it is a sword with which you will fight your flesh, the Devil, and the world system it is important for you to know if you are equipped with a sword from God….

Hebrews 4:12  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.

…or a plastic butter knife with no spiritual power in it at all…

2Corinthians 2:17  For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

This is not the place to review how the role of the translator changed hundreds of years ago from being a faithful messenger of God’s word to being a critic, pretending to know more than God. This is not the place to review the foolishness of taking trash in a garbage dump in Egypt and regarding it as the key by which God’s word should be translated and understood.

This is not the place to review the foolishness of Fundamentalism, of limiting God’s involvement in the Bible to a single event at one time in the distant past, of denying that the God you think can direct the events of your daily life can also preserve His word through faithful copyists and translators.

This is not the place to point out the fact that all modern Bible translations give authority to two Bible manuscripts that were rejected by the mass of Christians for a millennia and a half before their exaltation as the wrench thrown in the gears of faith. Nor is it the time to talk about verses that were quoted or alluded to in every century of Christianity being ripped from modern Bibles, even leaving gaps in their verse numbering, based on the fact that those verses weren’t in those two phony, manufactured manuscripts.

This is not the time to question the motives of translators seeking a copyright to sell their drivel calling Jesus Christ and Satan both the “morning star,” referring to Jesus as a new age avatar called “the Coming One,” reducing Him to a “begotten God,” or denying the uniqueness of God’s appearance as a man in the flesh and the result of our salvation by calling Jesus God’s “only Son.”

The word of God, the Bible, is the only offensive weapon in the arsenal God has assigned to the Christian. It is to be used with much prayer as you humbly ask the Holy Spirit to teach you it’s simple to understand commands and its deepest doctrine. You, as they did in Antioch where the disciples (Luke 14:26, 27, 33) were first called Christians  (Acts 11:26), are to take the Bible literally unless the passage you are reading simply cannot be taken literally. For instance, Genesis 1:1 is clearly a literal statement while Job 11:12 is a simile and Psalm 119:105 is a metaphor while Galatians 4:22-26 is an allegory. Bible literalism is not new, like skeptics insist, but is as old as the Bible itself.

Deuteronomy 8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Matthew 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Proverbs 30:5  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Psalm 119:160  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

It has already been shown from verses how we are to be in a state of constant prayerfulness and this is even more important when we are trying to understand God’s words in His Book. Prayer can effectively consist of four parts using the acronym, ACTS. A is for adoration as we praise God, C is for confession as we bring our sins to Him, T is for Thanksgiving as we express our humble gratitude, and S is for supplication as we make the requests of Him that burden our hearts.

Prayer here is listed synonymously with supplication. We intercede for others as we pray for understanding. We pray that God would change us through His word and that others would fall in love with that word as we have done, making every effort to help people draw close to God through His word.

Reading the Bible, hearing the Bible read, and hearing the Bible faithfully preached are essential to growing in the Lord if you are not under terrible persecution. Our faith grows in only two ways, when it is watered and fed by the written word of God or our own blood.

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