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Cut to the Heart by the Sword of the Spirit

We continue to meditate on the offensive weapons of the Spirit of God—weapons that will break down the spiritual strongholds of our unseen enemies, Satan and his dark angels and demons. Paul, the apostle, compared the Word of God to a sword, a sword of the Spirit. Martin Luther, the great reformer, had a similar experience when the Word of God powerfully came to him. He read the Scripture, “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17), but the Roman Catholic church that he was a part of at that time believed that a person could enter into eternal life by his good works.

While on a trip to Rome, as a religious work to try to earn peace and forgiveness, he was told that he could obtain peace by climbing the twenty-eight white marble steps of the Lateran Staircase on his knees. As he moved from step to step, the Spirit of God reminded him of what he learned from the Scriptures, “The just shall live by faith.” He saw that justification [God’s act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin] was by faith in Christ’s work on the cross alone and not by a man trying to earn salvation by good works. These truths flew in the face of everything taught at the time, and the Lord called him to raise the banner of God's Word over the traditions of men. This revelation was a turning point for him, and in turn, for those who would hear his words as he returned to Germany, a changed man ignited with a fresh revelation of the Word of God.

We have a further example of the power of the Word of God in the Scriptures. After the resurrection of Christ, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Spirit. They came outside of the building to several thousand Jews gathered at the sound of a rushing wind (Acts 2:2). Under the power of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter preached the Word of God to them. The effect was powerful: “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?'" (Acts 2:37). The Word of God, spoken by Peter, was like a sword that cut to the inner core of their hearts.

Do not underestimate the power of the Word of God at work in and through the believer in Christ:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 Emphasis mine).

In nineteenth-century America, God touched the life of Charles Finney. He was a man who gave himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word of God. The Lord used him in preaching from church to church. The presence of the Spirit was on him to such a degree that people who heard him would come under great conviction of heart and feel cut to their very inner being. On one occasion, Finney was preaching in a schoolhouse, “Suddenly an awful solemnity fell upon the assembly, and the congregation fell from their seats, crying for mercy.” Finney said, “If I had had a sword in each hand, I could not have cut them off as fast as they fell. I think the whole congregation was on their knees or prostrated in two minutes.” The crying and weeping of the people were so loud that they could not hear Finney's appeal for them to give their lives to Christ. “Finney seemed so anointed with the Holy Spirit that people came under conviction of sin just by looking at him. He visited a large factory when holding meetings at Utica, New York. At the sight of him, several workers broke down and wept under a sense of their sins, and finally, so many were sobbing and weeping that the machinery had to be stopped while Finney pointed them to Christ."[1] Can I encourage you to pray and call upon the Lord to work in our cities similarly? Keith Thomas

This meditation is a shortened version of the more in-depth study: Offensive Weapons of the Believer.

[1] Taken from:


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