Before we get into the offensive weapons, let’s expand on the shield of faith.

A small shield was also called a buckler. This weapon actually can be used both defensively and offensively. Ever seen a battle scene where the soldier slams his buckler into the opponent, knocking him away and giving the soldier more room to swing his weapon? Quite a smart strategy! armor set

The buckler is the only defensive weapon that can be moved to defend whatever part is being threatened.

The term shield (from the Latin word scutum) indicates a much larger shield than the buckler the soldier carried on his forearm. They were about two feet wide by four feet tall, enough to protect the entire body. A scutum had straight edges and hooks on either side so the soldiers could link them together, sort of like a turtle shell. These were made of three sections of wood, and layered with leather and cloth on the outer surface. Before a battle, the shield was soaked with water. That water absorbed into the leather and quenched the fire-tipped arrows that rained down on the troops from an enemy fortress.

faithWell-wielded shields and bucklers are priceless, just like our faith. And faith is also used both defensively and offensively.

Now we’ve reached the offensive weapon called the Sword of the Spirit. Jesus Himself wielded this weapon with great effect and He will do the same in the future. Remember Revelation 1:16 and 19:15? It says He will return with a sword in His mouth. I believe that image to be symbolic of the Sword of the Spirit. It comes from His mouth because His words (and ours) are the method of our warfare.sword of wood

We’ve talked before about how powerful words are. God created everything by speaking it into existence.

Since we are created in His image, our words also have power – the power to create or the power to destroy. And when that power is charged by the Holy Spirit, when we are speaking His words according to His will, the power to put the enemy to flight is magnified. That’s why I wrote about using the words of Scripture for defense, in addition to acknowledging and declaring that the parts of the armor of God cover you.

Wielding the Sword of the Spirit generally has two aspects: speaking scripture (the logos, or written word) and speaking the rhema, or personalized word. Both are God speaking to us, just in different media. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan misquoted scripture to Him. Jesus countered the attack by accurately quoting other scripture, defeating the, cross and crown of thorns

When at last he told Satan to leave, He was speaking the word given by the Father for the circumstance (rhema). We can do the same; indeed we are encouraged to do the same. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NASB).

Jeremiah 23:29 declares that God’s word is like a hammer and like fire. Ephesians 6:17 states that God’s word is the sword of the Spirit.

A powerful weapon, indeed!

this is the 3rd post in a series on warfare

part 1| This Means War!

part 2| The Big “D” of Warfare

all illustrations courtesy of