Since the beginning of Christianity there have been misguided, sincere Christians who fall into the trap of confusing literal Bible verses with symbolic verses. For example consider Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” This verse is obviously symbolic. We are not putting on an actual suit of armor with God’s seal on it. Our armor is faith in God’s word through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our weapon is, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17.
The battle of the Christian is much more serious than a physical battle. We fight against unseen spiritual wickedness (demons). Christians fight these spiritual battles with power of God’s word.
The New King James Bible describes our sword as “living and active, sharp…” God’s word is powerful – not a simple historical record. It is a practical, up-to-date book of living Truth which we can apply to our daily lives. The Bible is sharp in that it cuts through the lies and deceits of our hearts and exposes our true intentions. (2 Timothy 2:19)
The Bible pierces “even to the dividing asunder of soul (natural man) and spirit (the new creature begotten of God’s spirit).” We might use our own human reasoning to reach a wrong decision. But the scriptures, through the Holy Spirit, reveal to the new creature God’s view of the matter.
The Word of God divides asunder “the joints and marrow.” The spiritual sword can cuts through an enemy’s argument. It can penetrate the error and pierce our beings inwardly into our very marrow.
The Bible is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” “Thoughts” are passing and may include the good and bad. But Christians should strive to make the “intents of the heart” always good. Our intents include our wills and deep motivations within. This is the developing New Creature, which is growing into Christ-likeness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 2:19 (ESV), “…God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’”