The Scriptures are to be wielded. Ephesians 6:17 describes the word of God as an offensive weapon: “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Again in Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Second Timothy 4:2 commands us to use the sword of the Spirit: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Preaching Christ causes faith. But we are to preach Christ as He is presented to us in the Scriptures:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:14–17).
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me” (Jn. 6:44–45).
“Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, ‘So I declared an oath in My anger, “They shall never enter My rest”’” (Heb. 4:1–3).
It is the gospel that causes belief. Some people hear the gospel but refuse to learn, refuse to combine their hearing with faith, refuse to repent. However, the majority of the lost have a different problem. They cannot believe because they have not yet heard the gospel.
*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.