The Sword, In The Wrong Hands, Is Deadly
By: Brian A. Yeager
The word of God is Scripturally called the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). The word of God, coming from one’s mouth, is likened to a sword coming out of a person’s mouth (Isaiah 49:1-2, Revelation 1:16, Revelation 2:16, and Revelation 19:13-15). The inspired penman of the book of Hebrews makes it clear that the word of God is very sharp and powerful: “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).
When one understands that God says that His word is sharp and powerful, they should be able to make some logical conclusions. For example, when we tell our children that a steak knife is sharp and cuts easily we are asking them to be cautious. We do not want our children to take our words of caution and start playing Cowboys and Indians while using steak knives. We want our children to realize the usefulness of a steak knife as a tool, while being extremely cautious not to abuse it. Aside from dangerous misuses of a steak knife, there are also those who use a steak knife to knowingly harm or even kill others.
The word of God is similar to a steak knife in that it can be misused accidentally or even maliciously (II Peter 3:15-18). Some people are blind to this fact. They think that if someone is using a Bible then whatever they’re using it for is good. In our study we’re going to show that the word of God can be very harmful when it is misused. Before we do that, we are going to start with some of the good things that the word of God should be used to accomplish.
The Word Of God Is A Powerful Tool For Good To Be Accomplished
Notice a few Scriptures that prove the point: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple… Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word… For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek… Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls… Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (Psalms 19:7, Psalms 119:9, Romans 1:16, James 1:21, and I Peter 1:23).
I can’t think of much more one could point out about the power of the word of God than what we have just seen in salvation coming from the word of our Lord. I know there are other Scriptures that discuss what the powerful word of God can do. The inspired pen of Jeremiah said the word of God is like a fire and a hammer that can break rocks in pieces (Jeremiah 23:29). Yet, the fact that the sword of the Spirit does not just destroy, but also can save is a rather impressive truth. Such is why we see the significance of preaching the word of God (I Corinthians 1:18-21). Without people being able to hear the word of God they lose the opportunity for salvation (Romans 10:14-17).
Also, the word of God is our source for things such as edification (Acts 20:32). During difficult times, we can find comfort in the word of God (Romans 15:4 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18). The word of God is our source for spiritual life (Luke 4:4 and John 6:63). We know that great things are accomplished through the word of God.
Sadly, the workers of darkness know the power the word of God has for salvation as well. This is why they try to cause it to cease from being preached (Acts 5:27-42 and I Thessalonians 2:14-16). Yet, those who try to prevent the truth from being preached always fail (Acts 8:1-4). When they wrongly imprisoned the Apostle Paul he said: “Where in I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). When the workers of evil cannot prevent the word of God from being preached, they then decide to use it themselves. This is when the word of God becomes a powerful sword in dangerous hands.
The Word Of God Is Also A Powerful Tool For Evil To Be Accomplished
Notice what happened in the area of Galatia in the first century: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7). In Galatia, like many places today, the word of God was being preached. However, there was a TWIST that was made to it. The workers of darkness DO use the word of God to teach error. They teach the word of God, but do not handle it aright as they wrongly divide it (cf. II Timothy 2:15).
Those that seek to use the sword of the Spirit for the power of darkness take Scriptures and use them to cut people for their hurt (II Timothy 2:18). Some people seem not to understand that false teachers do use Scriptures. They twist Scriptures to promote false doctrines like salvation by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). With the power the word of God has, people read the twisted Scriptures and believe them. They do not search to find that you cannot be saved by faith only (James 2:14-26). They do not see the reason to look for those Scriptures.
It is not just false teachers that use the word of God incorrectly. There are people who study the Scriptures. They want to be saved. However, like a young child unskilled in using a sharp knife, these people end up cutting themselves with the word of God (Acts 18:24-28). We do not want to end up cutting ourselves, in the wrong way, with the sharp and powerful word of God. We have to be very cautious in how we handle the Scriptures.
We all have to appreciate how the word of God is sharp and dangerous. It can be used to accomplish much good or much harm. When we stand before Jesus Christ to be judged, we want to be sure we can say that we’ve not handled the word of God deceitfully (II Corinthians 4:2). Therefore, we want to make sure that we search things out very thoroughly before we take a stand for or against something (Acts 17:10-11). We also want to make sure that we spend the time necessary to grow to a point of spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14) so that mistakes will not be made by any one of us. Make sure that when the sword is in your hands that you’re handling it aright.
Volume 11 – Issue 32 - May 1st, 2011