Well, they are quite the different weapons. With skill, the sword can be used for precision cuts. But with a club, all you can do is bludgeon. With a club you can forget precision too as the questions are only what is broken and how much blood is on the floor.
As Christians we have a weapon and it is precise. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the heart.” Now that is a weapon!
It is a powerful weapon—I can actually think of none stronger. It is two-edged for the height of precision. Its precision goes where none other can go. If its precision to cut perfectly the joints and marrow was not enough, it can slice between our souls and spirits. It turns out that its work exceeds cutting and actually discerns hearts. Its greatest feature it that it is “quick”, which means “alive”. Where other weapons excel in death, it distributes life. No wonder we are told that “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.”
So it is clear what the Sword of the Word of God is. But we have a problem. Some wielders of the sword confuse it for a club. They see it as a traditional weapon, which, of course, leads to death. This error raises its ugly head all through Christianity, and Independent Baptists have often followed suite. They are quite clumsy with a club, but who wouldn’t be if your club is actually a sword?
There are a variety of damaging moves with the club. Some take God’s Word that is meant to bring life and take those abused by sin and abuse them more. Where God’s Word brings guilt to see our sin only to later remove both the sin and the guilt with its Gospel message, some explain the sin and bring on the guilt only to leave you broken and bleeding from its blow. Some then run from the Word for relief when only the Word can bring relief because some silly Christian soldier thought his sword was a club.
All of this is not to say that God’s Word doesn’t convict or tell me what is wrong. It tells reality in a Holy God’s Universe. But when its precision cuts tell me what a rotten sinner I really am, the grace of God springing from the blood of Jesus Christ comes surging over me. Here is where club users go awry.
I read that the legalist wants you punished. Apparently, the delirium that comes from club swinging makes one forget that Christ took the punishment. We proceed from there. The legalist wants you to pay where Christ has already paid it all. Lest our discussion get off track, let’s remember that is as true years after I’m saved as it was the day I got saved.
If we get that messed up, we speed down the slippery slope. First thing you know, some club gladiator with a Bible in his hands tells some battered woman in the throes of physical abuse that she must stay and submit. Or next we’re told we can’t report a church member for molesting a child because we can’t our take brother to court. The Bible was referring to civil cases in that instance, but a club is not, as we said, an instrument of precision. None of that is “quick”, or life. It sounds like death to me. It may not be a bludgeoned skull, but it is a butchered heart and life.
It is time to lay down our clubs. We are not even trained or called to use them. But let’s take the Sword of the Word of God into our hands as it is the answer for us all.
Find all articles in the series here.