Christians, believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, are engaged in spiritual warfare, intense battles of the soul and mind from the forces of wickedness. We are not defenseless but we must be aware of and take up and use our spiritual weapons.
Bible Insights with Wayne Conrad
Our Spiritual Weapons
In any war or battle it is very important to use our weapons and that we use them rightly. Failure to employ one’s weapons amid a battle insures defeat.
The Bible tells Christians that they are locked into combat with the spiritual hosts of wickedness. Not only so, but the devil has two allies that are in close proximity to a believer – the world system, its philosophy and way of acting without reference to God, and the flesh principle, or the old man, the sinful nature, of fallen humans.
So vividly does the Bible present this truth of spiritual warfare! “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith” (1Pet. 5:8-9).
“…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil ln the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12).
The Christian is a member of God’s colony of heaven amid this dark world. Satan and his host are relentless in their attack upon us. We engage in real spiritual battles. But you can’t fight a spiritual battle with material weapons. Spiritual foes can only suffer defeat from our use of spiritual weapons. So the real battle is in the minds and soul-spirits of people. 3 For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:3-5 HCS
Paul describes our spiritual weapons in the Corinthian correspondence this way: We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5, NLT).
What are some of these spiritual weapons? One weapon is the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. In the New Testament we read that the name of Jesus is in connection with salvation. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) To Mary the angel said, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Later to Joseph the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
The name “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew, “Yeshua” whih is a verbal derivative meaning “deliverer” or “savior.” The Hebrew “Yeshua” and the Greek “Jesus” mean “Yah saves” or “Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation.”
As recorded in the Proverbs we read, The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected. Proverbs 18:10
Prayer in Jesus’ Name
Moreover, the name of Jesus paves the way in effective prayer. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
Referring to the day of his glorification which happened at his resurrection and ascension into heaven, Jesus said,
In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16:23
Healing and exorcism are by this glorious Name.
After the healing of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful at the Temple, the Apostle Peter told the crowd that gathered, By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. Acts 3:16 NIV
Listen to the prayer of the first church in Jerusalem after Peter and John had been released from jail.
29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29f
It is in remembrance of Jesus’ promise that they shall lay hands on the sick and they will recover that we read the command in James 5:14f
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Now “Jesus’ name” is not a mere slogan nor a magical formula. The name of a person in the Bible signified a person’s personality or power or attributes. This truth is powerfully demonstrated in the incident of the sons of Sceva recorded in Acts 19.:13-16:
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus that Paul preaches!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 The evil spirit answered them, “I know Jesus, and I recognize Paul—but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded.
We invoke the name of Jesus as his representative – as we do so, Jesus in His glorious presence comes to minister, to fight, and to bring deliverance. This holy and blessed Name of the incarnate Son is a powerful weapon to be used with reverence and faith by his followers.
Another weapon is mentioned as a piece of the spiritual armor of believers. They are told to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This spiritual sword is useful both for defense and for offensive attacks on the enemy.
Is this not the weapon the Lord Jesus used in his wilderness temptations? With every enticement from Satan Jesus responded- It is written,followed by an answering scripture in context.
God’s Word is alive and active. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Acts 4:12
Paul exhorts us In all circumstances to take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
This sword of the Spirit is the saying of God from His written revelation, applied to a particular place. The Holy Spirit who caused the Word to be written is the one who illumines our minds and anoints a particular saying that can defeat the enemy at a point of attack or resistance. Under the anointing of the Spirit the sayings of God strike home like arrows to the heart.
It is this use of God’s Word to which Martin Luther refers to in his great hymn A Mighty Fortress:
“And let the prince of ill,
Look grim as e’er he will,
He harms us not a whit,.
For why? His doom is writ;
A word shall quickly slay him.”
With these two great weapons of the Name of our LORD (Yahweh, Jesus) and the Word of God we shall be victorious in battle.
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