The Christian’s weapons of warfare

Some religions are violent.  That is, they promote their religious beliefs through death and destruction.  In the church of Christ we do not use outward acts of violence to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are commanded to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:16), but we are not authorized to do this by physical force.

In Eph. 6 Paul writes about the “Christian armor”.  The one offensive weapon is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).  This is the only offensive weapon we are to use! 

“The Spirit gave the word of God to the Christian, that me might use it both as a defensive and offensive weapon.  It is that which God has spoken, his word, the Bible.  This is ‘sharper than any two-edged sword’.  (Heb. 4:2)  It is the wisdom of God and the power of God.  It commends itself to reason and conscience.” (Lipscomb, p. 133, emphasis added)

This weapon fits the Bible’s description of the war we are engaged in as New Testament Christians. 

[3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] 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 (KJV)

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5, ESV)

1. We are alive in the world but waging a warfare that is not after the flesh

2. The weapons of Christian warfare are not like those used in physical combat

3. The weapons are not carnal (KJV) or of the flesh

4. “Mighty through God” or “have divine power” = “But weapons empowered of God, with the gospel being the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), have an effect in quietness, as the Word does its work in the minds or hearts of men.”

5. “Strongholds” = “…the destroying of entrenched doctrines, ideas, opinions, teachings – in terms of God’s work, to pull down error! 

6. “Imaginations” (KJV) is rendered “destroy arguments” (ESV) = The gospel is the power of God and is to be used in “casting down” or destroying all that is false

7. “Against the knowledge of God” = There are things that stand in the way of preaching/teaching the God’s word/the truth.  All error stands in opposition to the knowledge of God and must be met with the power of God which is His word (Rom. 1:16-17; Eph. 6:17).

8. “(A)nd bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” = The battle we fight is for the mind.  One who willingly obeys the gospel will then bring his thoughts to be harmony or in line with the will of God.  A faithful Christian will have thoughts that please God and not thoughts that would please the devil.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:16).

Leon Brashear

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