The sword of the Spirit is the “word” of God. I’ve already mentioned that the Greek word for “word” is not the expected logos, which might as Pentecost says, “refers to the Word in its totality; instead he used an interesting and significant word (rhema) which refers to the Scriptures as composed of individual sayings.” In his book “Designed to be like Him,” J. D. Pentecost goes on to explain the significance of this distinction. He writes, “ It is the Word in its applied sense. It is the Word which we have personally appropriated and experienced. When Paul uses this word he teaches us a very important truth concerning the Word of God as a weapon. Only that portion of the Word which has particular relevance to the temptation at hand may be considered the sword that will defeat the enemy.”

If we’re to be like Christ we must wield the sword like Christ did. Continuing the quotes, “When Satan came to Christ with a temptation, He used a specific verse that dealt with that specific problem, and He quoted that verse as the answer to the temptation. He took from the Scripture that which was applicable to that particular temptation. You do not necessarily have a sword of the Spirit because you own a leather-bound, gilt-edged copy of the Holy Bible. You have the sword of the Spirit to use against Satan when that which is in the Bible has been transferred to your mind and heart so that when Satan comes you can apply that which you have learned to defeat him in that particular attack.”

Again, continuing, J.D. writes, “The Word of God that you have appropriated is the sword of the Spirit.” It’s not the notes you have taken from retreat speakers. It’s not the books you have about the Bible. It’s what “you have written in your heart.” This struck me as correct because of David’s claim in Psalm 119:11. He says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Doing battle against temptation is the full and complete comprehension of God’s instructions to man as they particularly apply in every situation. In conclusion, my commentator says, “You must study the Word and appropriate the Word, so that you may be able to stand. As a Christian soldier, you can have victory because you know the Word of God, have appropriated it, and know how to use it when you are tempted.”