We all have heard about gun control, where the idea is that we’d all live in safety if only there were no guns. And of course, the rebuttal is that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Self-defense is becoming increasingly important as we watch the (apparently deliberate) non- or too late- responses of police. (The blame, I believe, lies with the people who give them their orders; I am not anti-cop.)
But there is a much more dangerous form of “gun control” going on today. Our own Christian leaders are joining forces with those who for generations have been attacking “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17). From our own ranks are coming enemies of the gospel and of the scriptures, saying they are old, irrelevant, hate speech, or superseded by personal revelation, sometimes even using those very scriptures as the authority to claim they are such!
Satan’s strategy against those he cannot destroy is to neutralize them by taking away their only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit. Having the “shield of faith” ensures our personal survival, but having no sword renders us ineffective and useless to further service for God. Satan wants us to remain safely behind our shields and stay out of his way. A sword in its sheath is no threat to anyone, and a Christian who either can’t or won’t use the scriptures is no threat either.
Jesus Himself used the scriptures in his famous rebuttals to Satan’s temptations (Mt. 4, Mk. 1, Lk. 4) and rebuked some of his disciples for not knowing them (Luke 24:25-27), along with the Pharisees (Mt. 12:3-8, Mt. 19:4ff). The apostles used them on many occasions and the book of Hebrews clearly shows the purposes of both Testaments.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Heb. 4:12 NLT)Satan fears this living and powerful weapon in the hands of a trained warrior. But as is his way of doing business, he fools people into laying the weapon down or setting it in a glass case so we can show everyone what a pretty sword it is. Heaven forbid that we should get it dirty or risk cutting something!
And it’s ironic that in today’s “watch people get slashed with swords” lust for entertainment, we shrink back in horror at the Bible’s use of the imagery of war to describe one of our purposes in this life. Yet the Bible says this:
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12 NLT)Far from the dead, irrelevant book people wish it to be, the Bible is our most vital anchor in a sea of confusion and hatred against God. It is the apostles’ teaching written down so that their message from God is not lost. Many who claim the Name have abandoned this precious treasure in favor of “their own wisdom”, thinking arrogantly that God speaks to them with as much clarity and authority as He spoke to the prophets and apostles. Yet who but the most conceited student thinks himself on a par with his teacher while he is still under that teacher?
Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. (Jude 1:3 NLT)
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (Acts 2:42 NLT)
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. (Eph. 4:14 NLT)
These attacks on the written Word are nothing new but they are escalating. Satan desparately wants us to lay down our weapons. But what kind of soldiers cut and run when they see their enemy advancing? Do you really think God will give his “well done, good and faithful servant” to such cowards?
Will you be found faithful to your Commission?