home / Bible Questions / Why Study the Bible?
Page: 1 2 3Next >>

2. Spiritual Warfare:

In the world that we see with our eyes, the Bible is just another book on the shelf, often collecting dust; but if you look beneith the surface into the spiritual dimension, that book is transformed into a mighty weapon -- what Ephesians 6:17 calls the "Sword of the Spirit." The Bible is a supernatural book. It is a spiritual sword that is, in the words of Hebrews 4:12, "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit." Sharper than any two edged sword means that it is sharper than any physical sword. Piercing even to the division of soul and spirit means that it reaches beyond the physical dimension into the spiritual dimension.

Ephesians 6:10-13 states "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

The world is a spiritual battlefield, and the "Sword of the Spirit" is our weapon. Every time you study the Bible, you are actually sharpening your spiritual sword!

We must be carefull, though, because the battle reaches all the way to the inside of the church. Whenever man's wisdom is added to the Bible or substituted for the Bible our sword is either dulled or replaced by a fake, plastic sword, often without us realizing it. Satan, the one whom Jesus called the father of lies, is the mastermind behind this danger.

In the Garden of Eden we see Satan first questioning the Word of God when he said to Eve, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1) After Eve answered, "God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die,'" (Genesis 3:3) Satan took it one step further and outright denied God's Word by saying, "You will not surely die." Then he added, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). This lie is the root of all of man's wisdom. You will be like God, knowing good and evil; in otherwords, your wisdom will be equal to God's wisdom -- you don't need to listen to God's Word, you can rely on your own ideas...

The Roman Catholic church is a classic example of satan's lies being mixed with God's truth. In 1665 William Gurnall published his 1,200 page magnum opus called The Christian In Complete Armour. C.H. Spurgeon considered the subject of spiritual warfare to be so critical that he said if he was stranded on an island and could only have two books with him, he would choose the Bible and The Chrisitan In Complete Armour. In it William Gurnall wrote about the Catholic Church:

Look into his armour, and hardly a piece will be found armour of God. They fight in the pope's armour. His authority is the shop wherin their weapons are forged...which they load silly souls--too heavy indeed for the broadest shoulders among them to bear.... Their masses, matins, vigils, pilgrimages, lent-fasts, whippings, vows of chastity, poverty, with a world of such trash! --where is a word of God for these? Who hath required these things at their hands? A thousand woes will one day fall upon those impostors, who have stripped the people of the true armour of God, and put these reeds and bulrushes in their hands... [and] force us to venture the life of our souls in such paper-armour, when God hath provided better. (The Christian in Complete Armour, William Gurnall)

The "bulrushes and reeds" and "paper-armour" that Gurnall mentioned is man's wisdom substituted for God's wisdom. Paul warned about this when he wrote, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Colosians 2:8-9). Paul also warned that man's wisdom can have the appearance of God's wisdom -- "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colosians 2:23).

On the other hand, the Sword of the Spirit has the power of God behind it! On the battlefield there is a mysterious partnership between each Christian and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit actually does the fighting for us when we are using the Sword of the Spirit. As we proclaim truth, it's as if the Holy Spirit clasps His hands around our hands and swings the Sword of the Spirit to advance His Kingdom. The apostle Paul spoke of this dynamic in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 when he wrote, "my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

We can experience the same dynamic when we follow Paul's exhortation in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

In the book of Acts we read of the Bereans who exemplified this. "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed..." (Acts 17:10-12)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 -- "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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work"

Page: 1 2 3Next >>