Introduction: Last week we studied all the armor that God has created
for us except for the “Sword of the Spirit.” This week we finish up
both our armor study and our study of the book of Ephesians. I’m
sorry we are coming to the end of this great series. One last time
let’s jump into our study of Ephesians!

    1. Sword of the Spirit


      1. Read Ephesians 6:17. Is a sword an offensive or defensive
        weapon? (Offensive. We now come to the one clearly
        offensive weapon in God’s arsenal for us.)


        1. Paul makes several logical links we need to explore.
          Why would Paul refer to the Bible (“the word of
          God”)as a “sword?” (Read Hebrews 4:12. The Bible cuts
          through our nonsense. It cuts through our stubborn
          pride. It cuts through our excuses. It lays bare our


          1. If the Bible cuts through our defenses, is it
            really an “offensive” weapon? (When I think
            about “offensive” weapons, I think about beating
            up unbelievers with the truth. Do you like to
            make “killer” arguments about how unbelievers
            are wrong and the Bible is right? As much fun
            as that might be, I have the feeling that Paul
            advises us to turn the “Sword of the Spirit” on
            ourselves. Let it convict you and me of our
            short-comings and excuses.”)


          1. Why is the Bible linked to the “Spirit” as in
            “the sword of the Spirit?” (Read 2 Peter 1:21.
            It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers
            of the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who speaks
            to our conscience.)


        1. Read Ephesians 6:12. Recall that our battle is
          against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
          realms.” Being reminded of that, tell me about how
          you would use your ( Ephesians 6:17) “sword of the
          Spirit?” (Putting together these two ideas reinforces
          the conclusion that our sword is to be used in this
          spiritual war against demons. Recall that the demons
          attack us with temptation. Thus, our sword is used to
          fight against temptation. It is not (at least not
          principally) a weapon to be used against other


      1. How often do you practice with your sword? How often do
        you study or read the Bible? How often do you ask the Holy
        Spirit to open up your understanding of the Bible or help
        you to resist temptation?


    1. Prayer


      1. Read Ephesians 6:18. How effective is prayer without
        having your armor in place? (The New Bible Commentary
        says, “Prayer warriors with no real grasp [of the gospel]
        may be spirited, but no more useful on the field than a
        soldier without weapons.”)


        1. In what situations should we pray? (Paul tells us to
          pray “on all occasions.”)


        1. Paul suggests that there are “all kinds of prayers.”
          What kinds of prayers are there? (Read 1 Timothy 2:1.
          We find reference to prayers that ask God to
          intercede in life, prayers that ask God for
          something, prayers that thank God and prayers that
          are simply communion with God.)


          1. Why would Paul suggest that we make “all kinds”
            of prayers and requests? (Have you considered
            your prayers? Perhaps you are in a rut and are
            only requesting things from God. We need to be
            sure that our prayers praise God and thank God
            and just spend time together with Him so that we
            can recognize when God responds.)


      1. When Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the
        Spirit,” what is he telling us to do? How is this done?
        (Read Romans 8:26-27. If you find that you are having
        trouble praying, you should turn to the Holy Spirit for
        help. Romans teaches us that the Holy Spirit aids our
        prayers – both in helping us to know what to pray and
        interceding in behalf of our prayers.)


        1. When Romans 8:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit
          “intercedes” for us in our prayers, does this mean
          that Jesus has a helper in His intercession for us?
          (The Bible Exposition Commentary draws a wonderful
          picture of what the Holy Spirit is doing to intercede
          in our prayers. Remember that in the sanctuary
          service the priest daily burned incense? (See Luke
          1:8-10 and Revelation 8:3-4.) This incense
          represented the prayers of the people going to
          heaven. “The fire on the altar is a picture of the
          Holy Spirit, for it is He who takes our prayers and
          “ignites” them in the will of God.”)


      1. Ephesians 6:18 also counsels us to “be alert.” It
        introduces this counsel with the phrase “with this in
        mind.” What should we have in mind that encourages us to
        be alert? (Paul has described the spiritual battle in
        which we are soldiers. Being alert would seem to be
        obvious advice in battle.)


        1. How about you? Are you “alert” in your prayers?


        1. Read Mark 14:37-38. Is this an accurate
          representation of your prayers at times?


      1. Last, Ephesians 6:18 tells us to “always keep on praying”
        for all of the saints. When can we stop praying? (When we
        all get to heaven!)


    1. Fearless


      1. Read Ephesians 6:19-20. Can you imagine Paul being fearful
        in sharing the gospel?


        1. Does this make you feel better to know that even the
          great Paul experienced anxiety in sharing the gospel?


          1. What is the difference in his situation and
            yours? (Paul could be killed – and tradition has
            it that he was – because of his witness.)


    1. Peace


      1. Read Ephesians 6:23-24. After this description of war and
        the counsel to prepare for war, what does Paul wish for us
        in closing? (Peace.)


        1. How is that possible? (Faith in our armor and our
          Armorer. Paul tells us Jesus and the Father love us.)


      1. Friend, do you have on your spiritual armor? Is your sword
        in hand? Are you in contact with our General through
        prayer? These are the things that make a difference for


  1. Next week: Begins a new quarter and a study on “Families.”