The Armor of God

Part Eight of Ten: The Sword of the Spirit

Our sixth and final physical piece of armor is the Sword of the Spirit. The Romans had five swords that they had at their disposal. Because of the constraint of space we’ll only look at two of them: the gladius and the machaira sword [1]. Paul spoke of the machaira sword in Ephesians 6:17.

The gladius sword was extremely heavy and long, and took two hands to wield it against the enemy. Some even called it a two-handed sword. The Gladius only had one sharp edge, while the remaining edge was dull and blunt. However, this sword was beautiful and ornate.

After the Carthaginians defeated the Romans they abandoned these large swords and adopted swords similar to ones that the Carthaginians used to defeat them. After creating three other swords, 17-19 inches in length, they opted for the sword of verse 17 of Ephesians six.

v17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [Ephesians 6:17 KJV]

In verse 17 the Greek word for sword is machaira. This was a brutal weapon 19 inches in length and curved at the tip. Both sides were razor sharp. More times than not, the Roman soldier could rip the innards right out of a man by pulling and twisting out quickly. Paul refers to the machaira as the sword of the Spirit. He goes on to say, “…which is the Word of God.”

Wait a minute though; didn’t we say earlier that the loin belt was the belt of truth, which is the word of God? This statement is true. Here’s the difference; the loin belt represents the logos, which is the truth of the written Word of God. The logos (the written Word), of God is for everybody, whereas the sword of the Spirit in verse 17 is the rhema Word of God. Rhema is a specific Word, for a specific person, for a specific time, for a specific issue.

The machaira hung on a clip attached to the left side of the loin belt. Like the Roman machaira, the rhema word attaches to the written Word of God. In otherword, the rhema originates from the logos.

The machaira (sword of the Spirit) is located in many places of the Bible. For example, in Hebrews 4:12, Paul uses the same word machaira as he did in Ephesians 6:17, when he wrote,

v12 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. [Hebrews 4:12 KJV]

The word twoedged translates from the Greek word distomos. It is a compound word, where di means two and stomos means mouth. Together, the new word means two-mouths. In contrast to the single edge gladius, the machaira is the two-edged sword of God. What this is saying is, when we act in concert with the logos or the written Word of God, with our rhema word from Him, those become the two-edge (two-mouth) sword spoken of in the Hebrews passage. If we are to live in victory, we can see why it is so important to know and meditate on God’s written (logos) Word. I pray for a victorious life through Christ Jesus for you all. Amen.

Has anyone out there ever had an empowering verse come out of nowhere at the precise time you needed the word? (Nowhere???? LOL.) It would encourage us all to hear about your experience. GBY’all

[1] For further instruction on the other swords and the armor of God, check out Rick Renners “Dressed to Kill.” Rick is a Greek and Bible scholar and is a tremendous teacher.

Next week: The lance of prayer

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