“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
The Christian life is a life of war, and the Christian soldier must be a skilled swordsman if he is to survive and win. In our text, Jesus taught that a peaceful life would not be the Christian’s lot, but a life of swordsmanship instead.
The first “sword” mentioned in the Old Testament was not a sword of metal, but a “flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). Likewise, the final sword mentioned in the New Testament is “the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth” (Revelation 19:21). This is the fiery sword with which the coming “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) will be defeated “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (v. 8). “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4).
The mighty “word of the LORD” by which “were the heavens made” (Psalm 33:6) is still a flaming sword, turning every way, for “out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword” (Revelation 1:16) as John saw Him in His present glory.
Furthermore, we can wield this same sword by His Spirit, for “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The Christian armor, as outlined in Ephesians 6:13-17, is all defensive armor with the one exception of the prayerful use of “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). In this wonderful text, the spoken “word of God” is in view–the sword applied, on either edge, turning every way, probing exactly when and where needed in each encounter of every battle of the Christian warfare. HMM