And the Sword of the Spirit

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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.'” Matthew 4:4

These are the words of Jesus as He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.  From what is recorded in Scripture we know Jesus was tempted with three things.  Each time Jesus answered with Scripture.  Even Satan used Scripture to try and tempt Him.  What does this mean?  To me it means how highly Jesus thought of the Word.  It also means that the enemy knows the Word as well.  Don’t you think we should too?

I am sure many of you who profess Jesus Christ attend church each week.  Each week I hope the Pastor is teaching you the Word of God with expository teaching.  I hope he gets out of the way and explains what is there.  But is this enough for the Christian?  Is once a week in the Word enough to feed the Christian to fulfill the mission?  Is this what was done in Scripture itself?

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

According to Scripture a key component to making disciples is teaching them to observe what Jesus has commanded.  How can we teach if we don’t know what He commanded?  Where do we find His commandements?  The Bible!  Is learning once a week enough for a believer to be able to teach what Jesus has commanded?  Did Jesus just teach once a week?

Getting up, He went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them. Mark 10:1

All throughout His ministry Jesus taught His disciples. He taught in the temple, synagog, homes, on mountains, as well as other places.  Was He just teaching a new philosophy on life?  Was He teaching a new law that He made up?  Or was He teaching what was already spoken by God?

But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”  Matthew 22:31-32

Jesus quoted the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).  Was He doing this to show off?  No.  He also knew the people He was talking to had studied the Tanakh. They didn’t just learn once a week.   The teacher didn’t just teach once a week.  People were devoted to learning who God is.

There is a need for Christians to be students of the Word.  We have the written revelation that has been so well preserved.  We have a way for God to speak to us.  If we start looking elsewhere as Christians to have God speak to us then we don’t trust His Word.  Jesus trusted His Word.

I encourage you to be in your bible everyday.  Don’t just read it.  Study!  Meditate on it!  Ask your Pastors to offer more learning oppurtunites outside of Sunday if they don’t already.  I feel it is a responsibility of a church to provide these opportunities for the saints to learn.  True biblical teaching by someone trained to do so helps many to steer away from false teachers.  It helps us to know the gospel more clearly and to see when a preacher of lies is hiding in sheep’s clothing saying that you can have your best life now.  Also, knowing the gospel that saves will allow the saints to fulfill the commission and proclaim the gospel that saves. Amen!

Clear biblical teaching helps in so many other ways as well.  Just read what Paul wrote to Timothy.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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I pray you get with the Word.  I pray you stay in prayer.  I pray you dig into knowing God in the beautiful gift of the bible.  So many have died for us to have this book in a language we can read.  It is a shame to not love the Word of God and the living Word Who died for the salvation of all who believe.  There is still a battle going on.  Although almighty God has won and Jesus Christ is reigning King, we still need to put on the armor, pick up the sword, and stand firm!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-18

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