Rev. Schipper began his speech by relating the familiar story of the youth David who came before King Saul offering to fight Goliath. He refused the armor of Saul, preferring to fight with the weapons to which he was accustomed.
The point is that we cannot go forth to the battle to which we are called in any other armor than that which God himself prepares and gives us.
The topic is announced as An Arm of Defense and Particularly of Offense in the Battle of Faith – The Sword of the Spirit.
1. The Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God.
2. The Necessity for That Sword.
3. The Idea of Handling That Sword.
1. The Sword is the Word of God. Two words are used in Scripture for the Word of God.
The one, logos, has to do with the thought or counsel of God, while the other refers to the expression of that idea. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God which is declared and also revealed to us. The center of that Word and revelation is Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Word is to redeem us in Christ and to bring all things to his eternal glory.
The Spirit refers to the spirit of Christ who gives that sword unto his church. When this sword strikes it cuts in every direction. This is the Word of God, which is also a savour of life unto life and of death unto death.
2. It is this sword of the Spirit which we take as part of our armour. A man without a sword to fight against the enemy is himself liable to destruction. Without a weapon of offense his armor is incomplete. And indeed we do have a battle to fight, a battle wherein the enemy is described as three-fold: the devil, our adversary; the world in which we live, with which we cannot make friends; our own nature, our greatest enemy.
We as Protestant Reformed young people have a specific understanding of the Word of God. We understand it in a richer, deeper, fuller sense than any other young people. God has particularly singled us out to receive the truth. Especially today in our churches is this sword challenged. We need this offensive weapon as we have received it of the Holy Spirit. Particularly do we need it in the light of our own history and history as it is being made today in our churches.
Only two things can bring this battle to an end: the day of our death or the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore put on the whole armor of God. Take up the sword of the Spirit by a living faith, believe it, and fight.
3. Being clad in armor and having a battle to fight still does not make one a soldier. He has to know how to use the weapons, how to handle the sword. God has provided various media for the training of His soldiers.
(1) The preaching of the Word. God demonstrates the use of this sword through the preaching.
(2) Catechism. We are trained to handle efficiently the sword.
(3) Societies. These are the voluntary training camps of the covenant youth. Here we learn to use the sword to withstand every wind of doctrine that blows in among us.
Equipped with this sword, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Christ has won the battle for us, before we even began the fight.
Rev. Schipper ended his speech by exhorting us “to take up this sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Learn it, know it, take it to your heart, believe it, live by it, and then die by it, for yours will be the victory. No enemy can withstand the mighty Word of the Lord our God.”