2002-06-10 - The Christian's Military
Romans 13:12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
As we all know there is the current "war on terror." However, the Christian is also in a war. We fight the good fight of faith. To some extent this makes us part of military life. Leading a life of holiness and virtue, as a Christian should is like a battle. It is things like the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-24 that make up the Christian's uniform. The more we conform to the image of Christ the more decorated our uniform is in our spiritual battle.
There is a great passage in Ephesians 6:10-20 where we are admonished to put on the full armor of God. In fact, Scripture is ripe with passages that talk about our walk with Christ in military language. "In the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left," 2 Corinthians 6:7. Examples could be easily multiplied. In fact, the war of a Christian is very similar to how the war on terror has been portrayed. Our war is against spiritual forces of wickedness. That's not easy to define, just as the actions of a terrorist are hard to discern ahead of time. We have a solid hope in Christ and the victory is a foregone conclusion, but yet, the battle rages on and fight we must.
The last weapon mentioned in the Ephesians 6 passage is the sword of the Spirit. We might picture a large weapon here with illusions of Camelot or such. That was not the kind of sword used in the time of the writing of the New Testament. It was a weapon quite smaller and more easily manipulated. In general there was a common single edged blade which generally had a curve to it, and also there was a double edged blade that was similar to a dagger. In close combat this would be the soldiers only useful weapon. In a moment of danger, this was the soldiers most trusted weapon. This is why the analogy holds so well for us today. What does Ephesians 6:17 tell us? It tells us that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. In our war against sin, there is no more deadlier weapon than God's Holy Word.
When we encounter Satan in close combat there are many weapons at our disposal. Satan doesn't always hit us directly. It is often the cares of the world or the pleasures, and seductions that come our way that are used against us in battle. Pride, ingratitude and the other corruption's of the heart are only overcome by the weapons we have been given to fight with. Chiefly, I think the greatest weapon we have been given is God's Word. It is like a sword that simply never gets dull no matter how much it is used. Rather than needing sharpening, it sharpens itself and the more it is used the more fine tuned it becomes. The Word of God not only gives the Christian the ability to fend off the attacks of the wicked one, but it also serves the purpose of exposing the darkness of our hearts.
For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12