Salvation & the Sword

Eph 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. NIV

The helmet of the Roman soldier looked more like a piece of artwork than a helmet.  It was beautifully decorated with all kinds of engravings and etchings.  The helmet was made of bronze and was equipped with pieces of armor that were specifically designed to protect the entire head, back, sides and front.  It was extremely heavy so it was lined with sponge.  This piece of armor was so strong, so massive and so heavy, that nothing could pierce it, not even a hammer or battle-ax.  

When you get into a fight, the first thing you do is put up your fists to protect your head and face.  Why would the Holy Spirit take a piece of weaponry like this and compare it to salvation? It's because your salvation is the most gorgeous, most intricate, most elaborate, most ornate gift God ever gave you.

If your salvation, like a helmet, is not worn tightly around your mind, then the enemy will attack and destroy your theology. His attacks involve eroding the foundation of your life, trying to tell you that healing, deliverance and soundness of mind were not really a part of Jesus' redemptive work on the cross.  You must have this helmet on if you are going to remain strong in God’s Kingdom. The devil attacks the mind.


Of the five different kinds of swords that roman soldiers used in confrontations with enemies, the holy spirit carefully selected one of them to illustrate our "sword of the spirit."  

THE GLADIUS SWORD - extremely heavy, wide sword with a very long blade.  The gladius was the most beautiful; however, because if its weight, it was also the most cumbersome and awkward to use.  This particular sword was so massive that it was referred to as a two-handed sword. It was sharpened only on one side and the other side was blunt and dull.  

THE SECOND SWORD was shorter and narrower.  It was about 17 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches wide. 

THE THIRD SWORD used by the Roman army was even shorter than the second sword.  It was so short that it looked more like a dagger than a sword.  

THE 4TH SWORD Roman soldiers used was a long and very slender sword.  This sword was also used in a sport that was similar to modern-day fencing.  This was not the kind of sword that you would use in battle.

THE 5TH SWORD was the type of sword that Paul had in mind when he wrote about spiritual armor in Eph 6.  The Greek word "Machaira" is translated "sword" of the spirit. This brutal weapon of murder was approximately 19 inches long and was razor-sharp on both sides of the blade which made this sword much more dangerous than the other swords.  The very end of the sword turned upward, causing the point of the blade to be extremely sharp and deadly.  Before the Roman soldier withdrew this particular sword from the belly of his enemy, he held his sword very tightly with both hands, gave the sword a wrenching twist inside his enemy's stomach, and withdrew the man's insides as he pulled the sword from his enemy's body.  While the other swords were deadly, this one was a terror to the imagination.  This sword was not only intended to kill, but to completely rip an enemy's insides to shreds - it was a weapon of murder!

Just as the shield rested on a clip on the right side of the belt, the sword dangled down from a clip on the left side of the belt.  Just as the belt was the support for the shield, it was also the resting place for the sword.  A "rhema" word or verse which the Holy Spirit quickens in your heart at a specific time for a specific purpose in your life is so strong and powerful, that it is like God has put a supernatural sword in your hand.  The "sword of the Spirit" is a word that the Spirit yields.  It is a specially quickened word.  This is the Holy Spirit's rebuff to the devil's attempt to penetrate the mind with slanderous lies and accusations.  A verse that leaps off the pages of the Bible and into your heart carries a special measure of power in your life.  Or this could be a Word that God speaks to your heart which will confirm His Word!

The helmet is an illustration of our salvation and the sword of the Spirit is the word of God, “rhema.” There are two words in the Greek language which translate as “word”, “logos” and “rhema”. The Bible is the written word of God, Logos. Then there is the revealed word of God in specific situations.

When it comes to hearing God you must remember that nobody can hear the voice of God for you better than you. When somebody gives you a word you should always let your starting point be only that which you sense is truly from God for you. The beautiful thing about God’s Word that Jesus clearly revealed is that God’s Word dwells with you until it brings God’s purposes to past.

Determine what you believe is from God and then cultivate faith as you declare that which you sense is true as your own confession. The Kingdom of God is voice activated!  This is how you got saved and this is how you are to continue to live in Christ.

Col 2:6 Just as you received Christ, continue to live in him.

It seems that most Christians allow the cycle of pain to determine their rhythm of prayer. It is not God’s plan for you to be used to explain the circumstances. It is God’s plan that you be used to define them!

Dan 10:12-13 “…Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days...” NIV

Scripture communicates that when words are spoken, swords are drawn. Obviously there is a correlation in Scripture between WORDS AND SWORDS. 

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword... NIV

When we speak God’s Word our mouths like sharp swords.

Isa 49:2 "And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword…" 

Ps 57:4 “…tongues are sharp swords. “ NIV

Ps 59:7 “…the words from their lips are sharp as swords…” NIV

Ps 64:3 They sharpen their tongues like swords... NIV

Ps 149:6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands. NIV

GP2RL Action Point

Read Daniel 10 this week and reflect on how when words are spoken swords are drawn.

So many Christians allow the cycle of pain to determine their rhythm of prayer. God has equipped you for transformation. Stop explaining situations and start defining them! Let the weak say I am strong! Let the poor say I am rich!

Salvation is about reviving the spirit, restoring the soul and rescuing the mind. There are some things God desires for you that you will not have if you do not pray. Make the sound of heaven!


Click here for a downloadable pdf file of this guide.


    1.    Have you ever had a disagreement with somebody as a result of a misunderstanding and once you both gained understanding the disagreement was cleared up? Share the situation.

Accurate communication is central to resolving conflict. This is also essential to winning any level of conflict against adversarial forces. 

Eph 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. NIV

Paul gives clear explanation that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The helmet and the sword are mentioned together. This analogy of spiritual warfare clearly connects salvation and the word of God.


    2.    Share how you came to a place of accepting Christ.

The Kingdom of God is voice activated. Salvation happens when we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. This activates our lives to continue in this conversation the same way we were saved.

Col 2:6  Just as you received Christ, continue to live in him. NIV

Conversation with God activates us spiritually. God is not only wanting to have a conversation with you. God is wanting to invite you into that conversation with the world around you.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword... NIV

God’s Word is active and activating. He activates our lives in such a way that we become part of the conversation of God. Notice his word is a sharp sword and when his words are in our mouths then our mouths are like sharp swords.

Isa 49:2  “He has made My mouth like a sharp sword…” 


    3.    Share a time in your life when you felt the Holy Spirit was speaking to you. 

Conclude by praying together asking the Holy Spirit to speak with greater clarity in all of our lives. This year we are praying that our conversations become confirmations that God is speaking to us all. Here are a few verses you can focus on as you pray:

Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  NAS

2 Cor 13:14 “May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”  NAS