“A Good Offense” “…

and take the … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17 There is a saying in football that the best offense is a good defense. You don’t have to score many points if you keep the opponent from scoring. But if your defense is full of holes you better have some offensive weapons. Last Sunday the Dallas Cowboys won, not because they had a good defense, but because their offense finally got in gear, with the return of their leading rusher. While the opponent’s starting quarterback and runner were out with injuries, they still scored often against a porous defense. So that day the best defense was a good offense. It seems to me that often we try to win battles against sin and Satan relying only on defense, which St. Paul identifies in Ephesians 6: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation. These are the promises and gifts of God which are ours by grace. With such defenses we can prevent many attacks against the soul, like temptation and condemnation. Resting only on our defensive armor, however, we might think that the devil will leave us alone because we are God’s children who have these promises by faith. But he doesn’t leave us alone. Rather, he tempts us to sin and condemns us for sinning. That’s when we need to be on the offensive. We take up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Paul’s language suggests that in speaking forth God’s Word it becomes an offensive weapon, not just a defensive one. Speaking God’s Law to the devil can drive his temptations away, as Jesus did in the wilderness: Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Matt. 4:10. By speaking the Gospel to ourselves we silence Satan’s accusations and condemnation. Paul gives us this Gospel Word: “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:33-34 When battling sin and Satan, the best weapon is a good defense and a good offense. The promises of God’s Word are the best defense. Speaking those promises are the best offense. May the victory be yours, in Christ. Pastor Tom