The Scripture tells us that God’s word is living, active and sharper than any two-edged sword. The point of that remark is in relation to the weaponry the Roman soldier would carry into battle. History has spoken of the might of the Roman army, but the might (strength/power) could not have been attained and maintained without the proper equipment and skilled leaders that could train men for the endurance and battles that each would have to engage. Rome could not have lasted as a leading community, a city-state, then an empire for as long as it did (about a thousand years) without something going for it. But, in the fifth century A.D., mighty Rome came “tumbling down” because of many factors, one of which was that residing in the heart of each of its citizens.
While they held sway over the empire, not only was there skill in leadership, there was a weapon of choice. The two-edged sword was a short sword of about 18 inches in length—though the point is not its length/size as much as its effectiveness. It could be used in close combat and effectively used by a skilled soldier. It was not a defensive weapon, but a “close quarter offensive weapon” (Baker Bible Dictionary, p. 1588).
The sword was clearly used for judgment purposes!
In Hebrews 4:12, the Lord, also, speaks of the sword used for judgment purposes. Its two-edged sharpness intimates its capabilities associated with exposing us and our way of thinking to the very foundation of who we are. In other words, there is no escaping the Lord’s knowledge of our intents, purposes and actions. The Word in its judgment of us helps us to see who we actually are, helps us to shape our individual lives in such a way that we live in accordance with the way Jesus lived His life. If we fail the Lord in this, then we have failed ourselves. In Revelation 19:15, the rider on the white horse has a two-edged sword coming from his mouth, clearly conveying judgment against those who have refused his admonitions to repent.
On the other hand, having heard the Lord and having obeyed His holy will, we are called upon by the Holy Spirit to use the sword to help others learn the same thing we already learned. One does not use the Lord’s sword to plunk people on the head, but to help them see themselves as the Lord actually sees them in the present. Thus, when you use the “sword of the Spirit,” don’t use it to tell someone how right you are, but use it as designed by God about how right He is, and that we one day will be called to account by Him, with God using the very word spoken by Jesus to judge us (2 Cor. 5:10, John 12:48). RT