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Dear Partner,

This month we are looking at the "Sword Of The Spirit" that Paul refers to in his letter to the church at Ephesus.

Eph 6:17   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

What is this sword of the Spirit? I found the answer in the book of Hebrews, which was written to help bolster the faith of the Jewish people who had recently converted to trusting in the blood of Jesus rather than trusting in the Law of Moses to save them. Intense pressure was being placed upon them to recant their faith in Christianity and turn back to the traditions of the elders regarding the Law of the Old Covenant. Some of these new believers in Christ were being disinherited by their parents. Many were being excluded from the Universities and the best occupations because of their belief in Jesus as the Messiah. The writer of the book of Hebrews opens his letter with these words:

Heb 1:1-2a   God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.

Contained in those words is the heart of the entire book of Hebrews. The critical question was, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" If you believe that He is who He says He is, then you will also believe the words that He spoke. Jesus said that He gave unto man the words that the Father had given Him to speak:

John 17:6-8   I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Contained in the words that Jesus brought from the Father to man was the "New Covenant" which is established upon "better promises" than the Old Covenant. Nobody in the Old Covenant could be actually "born again" by God's own Spirit. Notice the writer of Hebrews says concerning the heroes of the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter eleven that all of them died in faith, "having received not the promise."

Heb 11:39   And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

What promise? The promise of the new birth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That's why the writer of Hebrews tells them in the next chapter that there is only one pattern for us to look at JESUS the author and finisher of "our" faith.

Heb 12:2   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

We can learn things from the faith of Abraham, Moses, King David and all of the other Old Testament saints. But the truth is, they lived under a different covenant than we do. To really understand our covenant we have to look at the first man born with the life of God within Him since the fall of Adam Jesus Christ. He is the author, the beginning, of this New Covenant. He brought us the "words of God" that bring "life" to those who believe them so they can be "born again" by God's Spirit. Jesus said His words are "spirit and life." (John 6:63)

The message that Jesus brought from the Father to man is the very "Sword of the Spirit" that these Hebrew Christians needed to defeat all of the pressure that was being applied to them. They had to take the "words which the Son of God hath spoken to us in these last days" as their weapon to cut away every thought pattern within them that stood in opposition to the truth. That's why it says in chapter four:

Heb 4:12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

What "word of God?" The words that God had spoken in times past to the fathers by the prophets? No, the "word of God" that has been spoken to us in these last days by His Son! Remember, Paul told the Ephesians to take this same Sword of the Spirit and do battle against principalities, powers, and so forth. We must do the same. We have to take the words of Christ in the New Testament and use them like a two-edged sword to cut away every false doctrine and erroneous reasoning within us that does not agree with what the Son has spoken to us in these last days. As our minds agree with the words He spoke, we are changed and no longer conform to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2)

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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