In Romans 6:13 we read: And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
This verse reminds Christians that we are weapons of righteousness to God. In fact, the original word for weapons, pronounced ‘hŏp´ lŏn,’ which is translated into instruments here, is the same word used in John 18:3 where weapons were brought against Jesus when He was arrested. It is also the same word used by Paul in II Corinthians 10:3-4, where he writes, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”
Let’s not take these verses out of context so that we may justify possession of our own earthly weapons. God doesn’t need guns, knives, swords, or other types of arms. Our fighting and hunting implements, or instruments, are not part of this comparison.
Although we find it necessary to brandish our man-made weapons in times of war, the Christian’s warfare is fought with God’s provisions. To that end, we must present arms before God that are righteous and holy. The only other option is to bear arms of unrighteousness to sin; and when armed with unrighteous weapons, we are unfit for God’s army. Clearly, we either stand against the gates of hell as God’s holy warriors or we march in lock-step with injustice and unrighteousness on the other side of those evil gates. There are no neutral battle zones.
In his book, We Believe: Living in the Light of God’s Truth, James Draper writes that “we must become skilled in combat” (Draper, 2003). He lists four skills that help us in the battle: be alert, be armed, be confident, be clean. Each of these righteous actions is an important combat weapon for the Christian as he lives a victorious life before God.
During a particularly trying time in my life, a friend once reminded me of where the greatest battles come from: spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). In other words, the Bible teaches us that ours is not a struggle against material objects, nor do we go to this war with earthly things in hand. Ours is a battle against spirit-hosted movements and mind-numbing principles of immorality and godlessness.
So what weapons of righteousness should we bear in service to our God? Our presentation of arms should be as one who is alive from the dead.
- This requires us to be alert to the enemy.
- This demands that we stand armed with the Word of God.
- This orders us to be confident in the power of the blood of Jesus that saves people from their sins.
- This means that we must be clean, holy vessels, fit quarters for the Holy Spirit.
We are alive. We are God’s weapons of righteousness. Conduct yourselves like men, and fight! (I Samuel 4:9).