Ephesians 6:17
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
God's Word a SwordPaxton Hood.Ephesians 6:17
Power of God's WordEphesians 6:17
The Arm that Wields the SwordSpencer.Ephesians 6:17
The Bible a SwordW. Harris.Ephesians 6:17
The Bible the Sword of the SpiritEphesians 6:17
The Christian Warrior's SwordJ. Leyburn, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Christian's Weapon of OffenceH. Melvill, B. D.Ephesians 6:17
The HelmetJ. Burns, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Helmet of HopeJ. Leyburn, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Helmet of SalvationD. Moore, M. A.Ephesians 6:17
The Helmet of Salvation'Alexander MaclarenEphesians 6:17
The Hope of SalvationT. Carlyle.Ephesians 6:17
The Power of the BibleW. Graham, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The SwordJ. Burns, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword a Chief WeaponW. Gurnall, M. A.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritW. R. Taylor, M. A.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritD. Rees.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritC. S. Robinson, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritT. Mortimer, B. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritD. Moore, M. A.Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the SpiritCharles Haddon Spurgeon Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the Spirit'Alexander MaclarenEphesians 6:17
The Sword Unsheathed by the SpiritT. Chalmers, D. D.Ephesians 6:17
The Word of GodH. J. Foster.Ephesians 6:17
The Word of God Likened to a SwordA. W. McClure.Ephesians 6:17
Panoply of God. Conclusion of EpistleR. Finlayson Ephesians 6:10-20
Soul-MilitancyD. Thomas Ephesians 6:10-20
The Christian PanoplyR.M. Edgar Ephesians 6:10-24
The Whole Armor of GodW.F. Adeney Ephesians 6:13-17
The Divine Panoply in its Separate PartsT. Croskery Ephesians 6:14-17

The spiritual equipment of the Christian is here described in detail - the belt, the breastplate, the sandals, the shield, the helmet, and the sword.

I. TRUTH IS THE BELT, AS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE BREASTPLATE. "Having your loins girt about with truth." As the belt or girdle kept the armor in its proper place, giving strength and buoyancy of action, so truth acts in relation to righteousness, faith, and peace. If truth were wanting, there could be none of these things, and nothing Christ-like or noble. The truth here does not mean truth of doctrine, as the Word of God is again referred to, nor even sincerity in the sense of truthfulness, but the truth subjectively apprehended, that is, the knowledge and belief of the truth. It is the conscious grasp of the truth which gives a Christian boundless confidence in his conflict with evil. Error, as a principle of life, dissolves strength and unnerves for the great fight with sin. Truth is our proper girdle, because we fight for a God of truth (Titus 1:2), and against Satan the father of lies (John 8:44). Without it we are spiritless, heartless, and weak.

II. THE BREASTPLATE. "Having on the breastplate of righteousness." The Roman soldier wore it to protect his heart, the center of physical life. The breastplate of the Christian is here called "the righteousness," evidently in allusion to Isaiah 59:17, where Jehovah puts on "righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head." It can hardly mean moral rectitude, which, after all, would be but a poor guard against the reproaches of conscience or the assaults of Satan. This righteousness is that which the Apostle Paul desired for himself - "the righteousness of God by faith" (Philippians 3:8, 9). It is emphatically "the righteousness," so perfect that it satisfied every demand of Law, and is perfectly proof against all assaults from within or from without. Let us not show the bare breast of our righteousness to the tempter, but rather the righteousness of God himself, imputed to us and received by faith. This breastplate was purchased by Christ at a dear rate; none are his soldiers who have not put it on; without it, God himself will fight against you; if you have it, you are sure of ultimate triumph (Romans 8:31, 32)

III. SANDALS. "Having your feet shod with the preparedness of the gospel of peace." The legs of the Roman soldier were covered with greaves, and below these were the sandals, or caligae. Swiftness of foot was of great consequence in military movements. Christians are to show a readiness, a celerity, an alacrity of movement, in doing God's will. This preparedness is the effect of the gospel of peace, which inspires us with severity and courage, and liberates us from those doubts which generate weakness. The unready warrior is liable to sudden and secret attacks. The Christian ought ever to be prepared to advance against the enemy, to obey his great Captain, to fight, to suffer, and to die in the cause of God and truth.

IV. THE SHIELD. "Above all, taking the shield of faith." The shield covered the whole body, as well as the armor itself. Faith is a shield in the spiritual warfare. It is that faith of which Christ is the Object, at once "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen;" that confidence which defends the understanding from error, the heart from weakness or despair, the will from revolt against Divine command. It is, in a word, "the victory that overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4, 5). Its special service is "to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Satan showers his burning arrows upon the soul of the Christian, either in the shape of blasphemous suggestions, or unholy thoughts, or dark despair; but faith makes the soul impenetrable to such destructive missiles, because it falls back upon the Divine Word, and apprehends the mercy of God, the merits of Christ, and the help of the Spirit.

V. THE HELMET. "And take the helmet of salvation." The helmet protects the head, the most exposed part of the body, enables the soldier to hold it up without the fear of injury, and to look calmly round upon the enemy's movements. Salvation, and not the mere hope of it (1 Thessalonians 5:8), is the helmet that covers the head, is our true defense against the devil. It will make you active in all duties, courageous in all conflicts, cheerful in all conditions, and constant to the end of life.

VI. THE SWORD. "And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." The other parts of the armor were defensive; this is both offensive and defensive.

1. The Word of God is a sword, because it pierces like a sword into the heart (Hebrews 4:12), because it pierces through all disguises of error, because it lays bare the "wiles" of the devil. It was wielded by Christ himself in his great temptation. It is still the saint's only weapon of offence. Whether the temptation is to atheism, to impiety, to despair, to unbelief, to covetousness, to pride, to hatred, or to worldliness, the legend, "It is written," stands clearly revealed on the handle of this sword.

2. It is the sword of the Spirit, because he is its Author, its Interpreter, and he who makes it effectual to the defeat of all enemies. - T.C.

And take the helmet of salvation. -

1. The object of hope. Salvation.

2. The origin and source of this hope. It is a grace of the Spirit, and the effect of a renewed heart.

3. The basis and ground of hope.

(1)The promises of the Father.

(2)The work of the Son.

(3)The influences of the Spirit.


1. It animates for the warfare.

2. It supports in sufferings.

3. It will put us in possession of the victory and reward.Application:

1. Cultivate and preserve this hope of salvation.

2. As your hope is, so will be your comfort and joy.

3. Address those who have not a good hope.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

(T. Carlyle.)

(J. Leyburn, D. D.)

(D. Moore, M. A.)

The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

1. The Spirit of God is the Author of the Word.

2. It is the agency of the Spirit that makes the Word effectual.


1. For repelling Satan's temptations.

2. For actually destroying Satan's works.

(1)We are to aim, first, at the destruction of these works in ourselves.

(2)The works of the devil, wherever they appear, are to be the object of our opposition and enmity.

3. In opposing error.

4. In seeking the conversion of sinners.

(W. R. Taylor, M. A.)

I. THE APTITUDE OF THE SIMILITUDE which likens the Bible to a sword.

1. The sword is useless so long as it is confined to the scabbard; and the Bible is useless if it rest idle in the intellect.

2. This sword is that by which the Christian defends himself, and that by which he cuts down all his foes.

II. THE PROPRIETY OF THE DESCRIPTION which designates the Bible the sword of the Spirit.

1. The Spirit dictated its composition.

2. The Spirit alone can unfold its meaning.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)


1. The sword itself. Is "the Word of God."

2. The description given of this sword - "Sword of the Spirit."

(1)It is the production of the Spirit - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16. See also 2 Peter 1:19-21).

(2)It is the instrument which the Holy Spirit makes use of in effecting His purposes.

(3)It is by the Spirit's influence believers can profitably use the Word of God.


1. Satan's assaults are to be resisted by it.

2. The world's attacks are to be overcome by it.

3. When our own hearts would deceive us.

(1)By distrust and despondency.

(2)When in danger of self-complacency.

(3)When inclined to indolence.


1. Cultivate an intimate acquaintance with it.

2. Keep this sword polished and bright. This is only to be done by constant exercise.

3. Seek, by constant prayer, a renewal of spiritual strength.Application:

1. Learn from this not to wage war with unhallowed weapons; such as human reason - such as human passion.

2. The weapon provided is all-sufficient.

3. Use it for all spiritual purposes.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

I. THE WORD OF GOD. This denotes -

1. The importance of its contents (Psalm 119:18; Matthew 13:11).

2. The attention and reverence due to it (Isaiah 1:2).

3. The full credit which it demands (John 20:31).


1. As He is its Author (2 Peter 1:21).

2. As it is His instrument in saving sinners.

3. As it has no power without His agency.

III. TAKE this. Learn to use it more and more. Show how God's Word becomes victorious over all enemies.

1. It penetrates the most seared conscience (Acts 2:37).

2. It lays open the evils and enemies concealed within (Hebrews 4:12).

3. It demolishes the walls of unbelief (2 Corinthians 10:4).

4. It cuts the sinews of error.

5. It repels Satan's temptations (Matthew 4:1, etc.).

6. It penetrates the storms of affliction (Psalm 119:92).

7. It disarms death.This sword has four peculiarities -

1. It decays not with use.

2. It cannot be broken.

3. It is suited to the strength and capacities of all. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again," etc. (Hebrews 5:12, 13).

4. Thousands may use it at the same time. A Christian soldier is a terror to the powers of darkness. The destruction of those who neglect or reject this sword is inevitable.

(H. J. Foster.)

I. SCRIPTURE IS HERE REPRESENTED AS THE WORD OF GOD. And is it not so in the strictest sense? Does it not throughout bear evident marks that God is its Author? There have appeared, indeed, in the world men who have denied this, and endeavoured to prove it false. But the Bible has survived all their assaults. And to this day it continues to be received as the unpolluted fountain of Divine truth. Indeed, its own internal evidences, independently of every other consideration, must ever convince every candid and unprejudiced mind that its pretensions to be the Word of God are just and amply substantiated. Among these evidences, we may notice -

1. The great antiquity of its history.

2. The prophecies of the Old Testament, and their exact accomplishment in the New, what a strong argument have we that the Bible is the Word of God! For who can foretell future things but God Himself?

3. We find many doctrines revealed in the Bible, to the knowledge of which we could never have attained by the mere light of nature or reason.

4. The same truth is confirmed to us by a consideration of the laws which are published in the Bible. Never yet was it in the power of men to frame and enact laws which could bind the whole family of man, or be equally suitable to them all. But in the Scriptures we find laws given to all mankind, equally suitable to them all, wheresoever they live, and howsoever they may be circumstanced. And they are not only suitable to them, but also binding upon them.

5. The Scripture appears to be the Word of God from the concurrence of its testimony, or its unity with itself. Whatever is laid down as truth in one place, is neither contradicted nor overturned in another.

II. The Scripture is represented in the text as "THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT." Now, a sword, we know, is an instrument of war, by which the warrior not only defends himself, but also repels and overcomes his enemies. When, therefore, the Christian is exhorted to take such an instrument in his hand, it is implied that he is here in a state of warfare.

1. But why is the Scripture called the sword of the Spirit? One reason why it is called so may be, that it was given by inspiration of the Spirit. Indeed, it is this circumstance which makes it so sharp and powerful.

2. Another reason why the Scripture is called the sword of the Spirit is that it is the instrument which the Holy Spirit employs to wound the conscience and destroy the false peace of a sinner.

(D. Rees.)

(W. Graham, D. D.)


1. It has the brightness of the sword. It is like the flaming falchion at Eden's gate, which turned every way to preserve the garden from the unhallowed intrusion of fallen man. Even so the Bible blazes before the everlasting doors of the celestial paradise, so that "there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie."

2. It has also the keenness of a sword. "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. When John saw the Son of man in vision, he tells us that "out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword." This is a symbol of the penetrating power of the cutting reproofs and denunciations which issued from His lips.

3. The Word of God is like a sword because it is pointed. Common weapons can only smite the body, but this of the Spirit pierces far deeper, even to the inmost soul.

4. It may be added that a good sword will not easily break. It is even so, and more, with the Lord's good sword. Oft has it been rudely struck by those who would parry its thrust or ward off its stroke. Oft has it crime down with cleaving force on hearts harder than flint. But it has never been shattered, nor can it be. It thus resembles a sword in the qualities of brightness of blade, sharpness of edge, keenness of point, and power of endurance.


1. It is a terror to evil-doers. How many have been deterred from sin, by seeing it sweeping in threatening circles over the path of transgression. How readily they would have run in the ways of iniquity but for the salutary restraints of the Book of God. It has flashed conviction like lightning, and struck the soul into submission like a bolt from heaven.

2. The Word of God is also like a sword in its cleaving energy. "It divideth asunder the soul and spirit." It is "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." It cuts right and left, with double edge, among all the false hopes of the self-deceived, and lays them in the dust.

3. The sword of the Spirit demolishes the defences under which the sinner shields himself. The spiritual weapons of our warfare is "mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds."

4. Moreover, the sword of the Spirit defeats the enemies of God. Every time the Spirit strikes with it, Satan's empire totters, and the dark coasts of hell tremble at the blow. Wherever this burnished blade is guided by the hand of Omnipotence, it scatters light over the dark places of the earth.

5. The Word of God is used as a sword in defending His kingdom on earth.Concluding reflections:

1. We learn how ministers of the gospel should arm themselves.

2. We learn that Christians are ever to act on the aggressive.

3. We learn that the Word of God is no mortal weapon, but the sword of the Spirit.

4. We learn from our subject that God has enemies in the world. Would you know, my hearers, where that enmity to God is found, against which He will fight with the sword of His mouth? Alas! you will find it strongly fortifying itself in that revolted and disobedient heart of yours. Your soul is opposed to God. Your only safety is in instant submission.

5. The impenitent must again meet the sword of the Spirit in the day of doom. It will be the sword of justice at the judgment of the great day. Then will its slightest warnings come up in remembrance against you. Its testimony will convict you of having despised its reproofs, and your awful doom is already pronounced in its threatenings. Ah! is there no shield? Yes, one; and only one. See it on the Saviour's arm! Let Him hold it over thy head. Then the uplifted sword will lose its terrors. Thou mayest cry aloud with confidence, "Behold, O God, our Shield; and look upon the face of Thine Anointed!"

(A. W. McClure.)

(Paxton Hood.)

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

(T. Mortimer, B. D.)

1. The Bible was not made by one man, and one man cannot make a sword. Moses, we may say, made the handle; Joshua, Samuel, David, the prophets, etc., made the blade; and the evangelists and apostles made the sharp edge and point, without which, the rest would not be of much use.

2. The Bible is like a sword because it took a long time to make it complete and fit for use. It was intended to last.

3. As a sword is used by a soldier in battle to kill his enemies, so the Bible is able to kill sin, which is everybody's greatest enemy. How does the Bible kill sin? By telling about God's love to us.

4. Why does St. Paul here call the Bible the sword of the Spirit?(1) Because the Holy Spirit taught men to write it. If you were a sword merchant, and knew how to prepare the iron and make it into steel fit for a sword, you would not make the swords with your own hands, but you would tell the workmen what to do, and they would make the swords. But when the swords were made, they would be called after your name.(2) Because the Holy Spirit must teach us how to use it rightly.Concluding lessons:

1. Remember that God has given you this sword to use. The Bible is a fighting sword. It is given to you that you may kill sin with it. Otherwise sin will kill you.

2. If this sword of the Spirit was used by everybody there would be no need to have other swords. The more the Bible is used to kill sin, the less fighting there will be.

(W. Harris.)

(J. Leyburn, D. D.)

Nec vox hominem sonat, O Deus certe!" or as Jacob did of Bethel, "Surely, of a certain, God is in this Word!"


(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

i.e.,I will send war. And this because the sword is the weapon of most universal rise in war, and also that whereby the greatest execution is done in the battle. Now such a weapon is the Word of God in the Christian's hand. By the edge of this his enemies fall, and his great exploits are done - "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony."

(W. Gurnall, M. A.)

I. First, WITH REGARD TO OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE POWER OF THIS SWORD. I put this down as an indispensable prerequisite to a compliance with the apostolical injunction. For the apostle is not supposed to be addressing a company of undisciplined recruits. He is speaking to soldiers, to believers, to veterans, who have had some experience of the use and power of the weapons they are to employ. I cannot see how a man can use the sword of the Spirit to resist the assaults of sin, who has not felt the power of that sword to awaken in himself a sense of sin.

II. But I come to our second point, or, THE ENEMIES TO BE SLAIN BY THE SWORD. Of course, the great enemy is Satan himself, the father of lies, who therefore must be opposed by the Word of Truth. But, then, Satan has under him a large army of deceivers and impostors, who are ever on the watch to beguile unstable souls; and it is only by the power of God's Truth that we shall be able to dissipate the illusions which these gather around us. Again, by the edge of this sword we are to slay false fears. Every Christian knows on entering the service of his Master that great trials are appointed for him; that the rightful and only entrance into the kingdom of heaven is through the gate of tribulation; and that, though his Master has given him armour enough to protect him against sin, He has given him no armour to ensure him against suffering. Again, it is to the sword of the Spirit we must look to preserve us from all false guides, false influence, false dependence, whether the example of the world, the persuasion of friends, the fear of men, or the dominant tendencies and desires of our own heart.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

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