What does "Sword of the Spirit" mean in Ephesians 6:13?


The phrase “sword of the Spirit” is found only once in Scripture. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17

The sword is one of the pieces of spiritual armor Paul tells the Ephesian Christians to put on as part of the “full armor of God” giving the ability spiritual and physical ability to stand against evil (Ephesians 6:13).

The sword is both an offensive and defensive weapon used by soldiers or warriors. In this case it is a weapon belonging to the Holy Spirit. Swords were used to protect oneself from harm or to attack the enemy to overcome or kill him. In both cases it was necessary for a soldier to get rigid training on the proper use of the sword to get maximum protection. All Christians are soldiers in spiritual warefare whether they know it, believe it or not and need the same rigid training to know how to properly handle the Sword of the Spirit, “which is the word of God.”

Scripture in and of itself provides context and perspective on what spiritual warfare actually is and to what extent man is targeted. Scripture is also an actual weapon, lunched verbally and imbued with power through ones faith against demonic attacks on the ground, whether the attacks are physical, emotional, financial, mental or otherwise. The more one is grounded in Scripture the stronger ones ability to believe and fight back, even the ability to withstand premature death as a result of spiritual warfare. This all applies to ones ability to believe Gods word and the degree of faith one operates in. Example: It’s easier to believe to be healed from a common cold than cancer, healing in this case, is predicated on what you can believe for.


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16–17

The word of God is from the Holy Spirit and written by men, since every Christian is on the spiritual battle with the satanic and evil forces of this world, we need to know how to handle the Word properly. Only then will it be an effective defense against evil, but it will also be an offensive weapon used against “strongholds” which are mental and emotional connections to destructive behaviors that are initiated through demonic influence and acted on by man. These strongholds are demonic doorways that begin are encouraged by demons and grow into various manifestations.


“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:” Galatian 5: 19–21

The easiest way to escape these strongholds is to first understand that they are all spiritual first and manifest physically. If you address them as spiritual conditions rather then simply physical, they can be arrested or stopped.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”2 Corinthians 10:4-5


God refers to His Word as a sword in Hebrews 4. Here the Word is described as living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword. The Roman sword was commonly made in this manner. The fact that it had two edges made it easier to penetrate, as well as to cut in every way. The idea is that of piercing, or penetrating; the Word of God reaches the “heart,” the very center of action, and lays open the motives and feelings of those it touches.


“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.” Hebrews 4:12

The purpose of the sword of the Spirit—the Bible—is to make us strong and able to withstand the evil onslaughts of Satan, the enemy (Psalm 119:11, 33–40, 99–105). The Holy Spirit uses the power of the Word to save souls and then to give them spiritual strength to be mature soldiers for the Lord in fighting the corrupt and evil world we live in. The more we know and understand the Word of God, the more useful we will be in doing the will of God and the more effective we will be in standing against the enemy of soul of man.

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© Tony - W.A.M