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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 010514
The Sword of the Spirit. Part 2.

 

 

The sword the Romans used was called the machaira which was the type of sword that they used to defeat all of their enemies. The Barbarians were very tall and yet, they were still defeated even though the average Roman soldier was less than 6 feet tall. Yet the Romans actually beat them every time because they  used their physical ability with the machaira sword rather than the sword of the Barbarians which was called the romphaia, a long broad sword. Mat 4 is a passage which reveals how the Lord Jesus Christ used the machaira or the sword of the Spirit when he began His earthly ministry.

The Lord Jesus Christ had to rely entirely upon the Holy Spirit and the sword of the Spirit to sustain His humanity during His incarnation in order to execute the plan of God, how much more dependent are you and I on the same Spirit.

 

Our Lord used the equipment God made available to Him for His conflict with Satan. Think of our Lord’s use of the sword of the Spirit in the wilderness (MAT 4:1-10).

 

MAT 4:1, Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

 

Notice the word tempted, it is the Greek word peirazo which means to make proof of or to test. If you do not believe a conflict exists why was an inferior creature allowed to put our Lord through a test?

 

MAT 4:2-3, And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter or the one allowed to test came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

 

Now remember that he is testing Him at this time!

And we have noted in the past that Satan was trying to persuade TLJC to exercise His deity contrary to the Father's plan. All Satan wanted TLJC to do was to use His deity independently of the father's plan to show that in His humanity our Lord could not depend on the father's provision. And although we would never be tempted with temptations like these we are tempted in a similar way.
The believer is constantly tempted to rely upon his OSN rather than the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We are tempted to substitute human good for divine good.

 

We do not face the temptation the way Christ did, He could rely upon His omnipotence. However, we are tempted to rely on our own power which is human good and independently from the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. So, all Satan wanted TLJC to do was to use His deity independently of the Father's plan to show that in His humanity our Lord could not depend on the Father's provision.

 

After all, Satan did not depend upon the provisions of God the Father in eternity past, as great as they were, and now Satan is trying to prove why. Now a couple of principles concerning this temptation before we go on.

  1. The lord jesus Christ is hungry and to turn stones into bread would be very simple for the son of God.

However, it was not a part of the Father's plan and that's why Satan is trying to get the Lord to do it.

 

  1. To turn stones into bread would mean depending upon His own power rather than the power of God. And by the power of God I mean the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

 

  1. The Lord Jesus Christ is being tempted as to the sufficiency of the grace of the Father for daily needs.

Can the Father provide the needs of Jesus Christ or must Jesus Christ operate on His own.

 

We face the same issue today.

Can the Father provide your needs or do you have to do it yourself?

Do it yourself is human viewpoint and it's also legalism.

The Father's provision is grace.\

 

MAT 4:4  But He answered and said, "it is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"

 

And guess what the Greek is for "every word"? It is our friend "rhema" which is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Once again note that in our Lord's test He answered Satan with Bible doctrine. Perhaps the most surprising thing about our Lord's testing was that instead of performing miracles under His own power, our Lord used the greatest power ever known in the history of the human race. He used Bible doctrine in all three parts of His testing for blessing.

 

Prin-Bible doctrine is the greatest power the world has ever known; it is far, far greater than God performing a miracle. When God performs a miracle, it requires only His sovereignty. But when a believer uses Bible doctrine and makes correct application and advances in the plan of God through the use of that Bible doctrine, that is the greatest power and the highest function that any member of the human race can attain.

 

MAT 4:4 But He answered and said, "it is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

 

The Lord jesus Christ used the sword of the Spirit because the power of doctrine is greater than any miracle. Bible doctrine has more power than man can imagine. We deal with an invisible enemy, with satanic systems, with an evil genius far superior to our human minds. Yet we have been given the sword of the Spirit, a power superior to all the concentrated forces of evil in the universe.

 

So the Lord said, MAT 4:4 "It is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"

 

As true humanity, the Lord jesus Christ dealt with spiritual warfare from His own metabolized doctrine.

And rather than perform a miracle and speak to the stones, He picked up the sword of the Spirit and spoke to Satan the word of God. And when the Lord said, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'

He was also revealing a very important principle which is over-looked by so many.

Food is essential for life, but the ultimate purpose of food is to allow the believer to perpetuate his spiritual advance.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ, who had gone 40 days without eating food, found all the strength he needed in Bible doctrine and the PPOG. Also notice that our Lord didn't rebuke the devil. He didn't lash out and judge the devil. There was no anger, no indignation, no outburst of emotion, He had nothing to prove. He simply relied on the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

 

So the Lord said, "It is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"

 

Prin-Victory comes only through the word. And of course if you do not know the word, you do not know Christ. Now the word "proceeds out" is the pres-act-part of ekporeuo, and in the present tense it means that the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God keeps on coming out from the mouth of God. And this is the basis for your personal relationship with God.

Remember 2TI 3:16  All scripture is God-breathed.\

 

Scripture proceeds out of the mouth of God and that's what "man must live on", every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" So TLJC did not rely upon His deity, He relied upon the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. He resisted this temptation through the word. All spiritual victory is directly related to the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Also notice that TLJC found strength, not in performing a miracle, but in the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

 

Our strength is also in the word. This is why our Lord said what He did in JOH 6:27, "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, {even} God, has set His seal."

 

JOH 6:33-35, "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." They said therefore to Him, "Lord, evermore give us this bread." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

 

JOH 6:47-59, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." The Jews therefore {began} to argue with one another, saying,   "How can this man give us {His} flesh to eat?" Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever." These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.
Then in JOH 6:63, He makes this marvelous and yet shocking statement, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

So, the first test had to do the Lord Jesus Christ being tempted use His deity independently of the Father's plan to show that in His humanity our Lord could not depend on the Father's provision.

Now, back in Mat 4, the next test had to do with the relationship with the word of God, MAT 4:5‑7.

 

And the reason for this is because in the first temptation Satan was defeated by the word, and since the power is in the word and since the Lord Jesus Christ was relying on the word, Satan tries to pull his power out from under Him. Therefore, the second temptation deals with the relationship with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Satan now attacks the weapon that was used against him, which is the word itself. Satan attacks the word by quoting the word, distorting the word and taking scripture out of context. To distort the word by removing it from it's context and interpretation has led astray many sincere and ignorant believers.

 

MAT 4:5  Then the devil took him into the holy city [Jerusalem]; and he had him stand on the pinnacle [or porch] of the temple,
The highest point of the temple was called Herod's porch. 450 feet below this porch was the rocky floor of the Kedron valley.
MAT 4:6  And he said to him, "if you are the Son of God throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge [command] concerning You'; and 'on {their} hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

 

Note now that Satan starts quoting scripture, but as usual out of context. A fall from such a height would mean instant death. And how would the Lord Jesus Christ answer now that Satan has used the word of god to tempt Him? Satan even said in vs 6, it is written...

Satan now attacks scripture by quoting scripture. He tries to pick up the sword of the Spirit but he does not have the power to...

 

Satan stated a true doctrine but it was derived from a false application of PSA 91:9-13. This was a deliverance Psalm written for the Jews as they marched through the rugged, mountainous regions of Sinai.

And this is why the believer is told in 2TI 2:15, to study to show himself approved a workman that needeth not to be ashamed handling accurately the word of truth. Satan loves to distort the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Satan has quoted a scripture that is true but it is not applicable to this situation.

 

Therefore, in verse 7 our Lord picks up the sword of the Spirit and corrects the false doctrine of Satan.

 

MAT 4:7  Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

 

Satan had quoted scripture that did not apply and therefore had distorted scripture. The Lord Jesus Christ quoted the scripture that did apply and therefore he used the machaira, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And by the way MAT 4:7 is a quotation from DEU 6:16, and the Lord Jesus Christ was reminding Satan of who had created him and of who was sustaining him even as they spoke.

The person whom Satan had begun to test was the God of the universe and of all creatures in the universe, including those who reject Him.

 

And what the Lord is saying is look Satan, you say I'm the Son of God then I'll quote the pertinent scripture, DEU 6:16 'you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"  So the Lord Jesus Christ turns the first class conditions in verses 3 and 6 back on Satan. MAT 4:3 and 4:6 both say "if you are the Son of God" - first class condition, and you are.

Therefore, the Lord again uses the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God to defeat Satan.

 

In verse 8, Satan was confounded by our Lord's answers and therefore he completely changed his tactics. Satan would no longer mention the deity of Christ or even attempt to quote any more scripture.

MAT 4:8, Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; And he said to him, "all these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me."

 

In his desperation, Satan no longer uses his brilliant arguments and his subtle deceptions, he get's right to the point..."all these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me."

Notice that the sword of the Spirit cuts right though all the satanic lies and gimmicks. His game plan had been defeated. His poise had been shaken!
MAT 4:10  Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'you shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"

 

This was the final word in the debate. The humanity of Christ using the sword of the spirit had defeated Satan completely. In an attempt to fulfill his desire to be like God, Satan wanted to be worshipped instead of God. He wanted to be obeyed. He so wanted to be like God that he tried to usurp God's throne and take over the central place of worship in the universe. Satan still desires to be worshipped today. All forms of idolatry, in one way or another, are Satan's attempts to be like God.
We will conclude our series on the Christian soldier and the weapons of our spiritual warfare with which in EPH 6:17 says And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

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