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Sword of the Spirit

January 27th, 2010 → 9:09 am @ David Phillips // No Comments

Sword of the Spirit

Missional Press announces the publication of Sword of the Spirit: How God’s Word Changes Lives by Dr. Kelly Malone.

People tend to base their spiritual hope on their own strengths and abilities. To say, “While we are saved by the blood of Jesus, real spiritual change comes by means of our own toil and sweat.” We encourage this tendency when we explain what people must do in a way that nullifies God’s role in the process. For example, we tell people that if they believe in Jesus and say the sinner’s prayer they will be saved. As a result, many people believe that these human actions, apart from any intervention on God’s part, can save a person from sin, death and hell. This is more like belief in magic than it is a biblical understanding of salvation by God’s grace through faith (Eph. 6:10). It is the work of God’s Spirit in us that saves from sin and brings new life; no human activity can save.

The same problem occurs in many popular presentations of spiritual growth. People are told, “Go to church, read the Bible, pray, witness, serve others, and you will grow to be like Christ.” The problem with this assertion is that a person can follow through with all these activities and never even have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The disciple’s life is not primarily a matter of human activity; it is a life lived out in relationship to Jesus. We learn to be like Jesus by following Him; we develop the character of Christ through obedience to His Word.

Spiritual change is not the result of mere human ingenuity, effort or methodology. The Sword of the Spirit challenges us to allow God’s Spirit to use God’s Word to transform us into the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. As God’s Word comes to life in us, He enables us to change the world for Him!

Author Biography
Kelly Malone is Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and the Jack Stanton Chair of Evangelism at Southwest Baptist University. He served for fifteen years as a missionary in Japan with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Kelly lives with his wife Molly, his daughter Maggie, and his son Kevin in Bolivar, Missouri.

Purchase the book
The Sword of the Spirit can be purchased through Missional Press or through online retailers such as


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