Scripture, when hid in the heart by faith, is the ultimate weapon ordained by God for the diffusion of temptation in the flesh. It is a sword that grows with the soldier. A babe is able to slay a giant with it; a seasoned believer wielding the Word of God can banish a legion of devils and tread over all of Satans schemes. The Bible has a power to mortify that this world cannot comprehend, for the object of its mortification is not the flesh and blood citizens of this physical world but the angelic powers and sinister principalities of another realm (Ephesians 6:12).
Unregenerate and blind professors ridicule the Bible; religious cults tamper with it; the doctrinally-biased dull its blade to no effect; liberal theologians place a safety scabbard upon it. All these efforts are done in the flesh and are but the outcroppings of a deeper campaign occurring in the spirit realm. The powers of darkness know that the Bible is Gods weapon to the believer to withstand Satans directives in captivating the lusts of the flesh. The principalities and powers therefore induce men through the flesh to mock it, destroy it, persecute it, repudiate it, tamper with it, inoculate it (I Timothy 4:1; II Peter 3:3).
And if this werent enough, the Word of God is also dishonored among those who claim to be its friend (Zechariah 13:6). Many believers play with the Word of God as though it were a lifeless toy. They wave it menacingly at each other in fruitless debates; they use it as a club to enforce their agendas; they indiscreetly wield it against fellow soldiers to make a show of their technique. But when it comes time to use it for its real purpose in overcoming sin - they find it totally powerless against the prevailing powers of hell.
When standing against spiritual wickedness, most believers are soon vanquished by a besetting sin: they lose their tempter, they burn with lust after women, they go after money and worldly position and carnal prestige; they succumb to the vain applause and religious acceptance of men. This is because inwardly they have never come to learn the value of Gods Word as a sin-destroying weapon for their own walks. They instead use Gods Word for their own agenda, and then suffer the consequences when the double-blade falls back to open their own flesh (Galatians 6:7).
Used for its original purpose, the Word of God is Spirit, and as such it gives abundant life to the believer when hid in the heart (John 15:3, 7; Colossians 3:16; I Peter 1:23). When misused, however, it becomes a razor of death and condemnation for all who tamper with it. While scripture is profitable for the establishment of healthy doctrine and the reproof of heresies, the great truth largely forgotten by the church is that Jesus Himself used the Word of God as a weapon to overcome Satans attacks. The wilderness incident was recorded by the Holy Spirit for our tutelage in the mortification of temptation (Luke 4:1-13; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 6:17; II Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 6:20; I Peter 2:21-23).
New Testament scripture was never meant to be intellectually dissected and dissertated in seminaries. It was meant to impart divine knowledge to Gods children in the combating of spiritual evil, to shield them from succumbing to satanic temptation, and to give them the mind of Christ. The Word also has a very practical purpose in revealing the Spirit of Gods Son to us and through us. It exhorts us to walk in Him, rooted and built up and established in the faith, allowing no provision for our flesh to exercise its deceitful lusts through the heart and mind (Galatians 1:4, 5:24; Colossians 2:6-7; Romans 13:14).
Nor was Gods Word ever intended to be used as cannon fodder for dogma wars among the dissenting denominations of Christendom. It was given rather that the believer might partake of Christs divine nature, triumph over all unrighteousness, and be perfected in holiness, magnifying Gods love through the very mind of Christ (II Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 1:20; Hebrews 6:1; II Peter 1:4). Each holy verse has its own special mortifying power. Each verse is authenticated by the Holy Spirit and has the ability to dissolve any obstacle you face, and yet each verse is a dead letter until divinely vivified.
Dear believer, if you would experience this miraculous power, this supernatural grace of the Holy Spirit which always leads to victory and joy, you must first allow Gods Spirit to bring the conviction of necessity for His prevailing grace. Seek this power all cost; seek it more than miracles or any other gift. Covet His sustained purity in your heart more than anything else in the world, and He shall in time grant you this desire (II Corinthians 2:14, 3:18; Philippians 4:4; II Timothy 1:7). Confess today that you are an undone creature without the very life of Christ empowering you to His glorious conquest. Depend on Him daily to renew and refresh your inner man to face Satans onslaughts as they arise to buffet your mind. Depend on the grace of God to thwart each wave of fleshly rebellion against His righteous law. As with salvation, such a life is wrought according to the power of God through faith (I Peter 1:5).
May we all taste of this all-victorious life, of the excellence of unbroken fellowship with our Heavenly Father through the grace of the shed blood of Christ!
Paul Frederick West