And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)
Augustine could never get free from his lusts until he heard a voice saying, “Take, read!” he opened his Bible at Romans chapter 13 and what he read caused a mighty earthquake in his soul. The prison doors of his heart immediately flew open and the chains of lusts which his own efforts could never file off now dropped away. He confessed that he had been a slave to these lusts and tied to them with unbreakable chains of pleasure linked with guilt. He had rolled around in his filthy lusts with as much amusement as if he had been resting on a bed of spices, anointing himself with precious ointments. Yet this one word came with such a commanding power that it tore every one of them out of his heart and turned his love into a defiant hatred of them.
As the Word is the weapon by which God brings sinners out of the devil’s power into freedom, He also uses it to defend His saints from temptations which would draw them back into sin. Satan, now thrown out of his kingdom, tries diligently to reclaim the forgiven sinner.
But those kingdoms that we win by the sword we must keep by the sword. David tells you he stood his ground and guarded it against the enemy: “Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalm 17:4). It is as if he had said, “Would you like to know how I escaped the ungodly things that most men like to do? The answer is God’s Word, which keeps me safe from the temptations which carry men off to be slowly destroyed.”
Can we go against sin and Satan with a better weapon than the one Christ used to fight the tempter? Of course He could easily have laid the devil at His feet with one beam shot from His deity if He had wanted to fight that way. Yet He chose to conceal the majesty of His divinity and let Satan come close to Him so that He could conquer Him with the Word and demonstrate the value of that sword which He would leave with His followers to fight the same enemy.