I was walking through the building with this sword in hand and our ministry intern looked at me quizzically. Last year, I set this sword on a table in the front of auditorium at Central as I preached. Why does Scott have a sword?
The short answer: Because I wanted one. This one is a costume prop. It is a steel blade, but the edges are not sharp. I purchased it online so I could use it as an object lesson and maybe one day to go with a full Roman Centurion Costume (What do you think, Amy?).
Swords were an important weapon in the arsenal of a Roman soldier. The short sword was advantageous in close combat as a weapon of offense and defense. I learned a little about this dual purpose when I watched my son’s TaeKwon Do class learning Korean sword technique when he was in upper elementary school. Helping him practice sparring using his practice swords helped too.
The inspired writers of Scripture compare the Word of God to a sword, much like the one I have. In describing the armor of God Christians wear as soldiers in the Lord’s Army, Paul tells us to “take . . . the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17). The word of God is part of our arsenal to protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil as we defend against his attacks, is useful in cutting out what is amiss in our lives, and pointing out the way out of the struggle that we all have with sin. The Hebrew writer confirms this as he describes God’s word this way, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.:” (Heb 4:12).
There is something I know about this sword of mine, especially if this sword were authentic. I know that in my hands it is dangerous, not just to others but to me. Most of what I know about sword fighting is that the object is to deflect your enemies attacks and to use the edges and pointy end to stop him. I do not know any fencing techniques. I really only know how to mostly aimlessly flail it around hoping that it does what it is supposed to do. If I really wanted to know how to fight with a sword, I should probably get lessons, practice, and give my best effort to learning the art of fencing / sword fighting.
You are probably way ahead of me. Since the word of God is the Sword of the Spirit, I need to know how to use it properly. If not I might unintentionally hurt myself or someone else. Maybe, just maybe that is why Paul said, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2Ti 2:15).
- DO YOUR BEST – study, be diligent, exercise your mental and spiritual muscles, practice, and learn
- So you can “RIGHTLY HANDLE” the word of God.