Ephesians 6 – Part 4 (vs. 15-16) – The Equipment, Pt. 2

Eph 6 - Part 4 ( vs. 16 ) - Books of the Bible

Vs. 15

Eph 6:15, “And having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.”

So far, we have noted two pieces of armor, the belt of truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Now, we note the third, the Feet shod with the preparedness of the gospel of peace.

 

 

In vs. 15, we have the military shoes, sandals, or combat boots we are to put on to fight the spiritual warfare we are engaged in.

 

The Greek begins with the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” that links this verse and armament with the overall armor of God.

Having shod,” is the verb hupodeomai ὑποδέομαι that means, “shod, bind on, bind under, or put on.” It is also used in Mark 6:9 and Acts 12:8, and the verb appears twice in the Septuagint, 2 Chron 28:15; Ezek 16:10.

Here, it is in the Aorist, Middle, Participle in the Nominative Plural of HUPODEO. The Culminative Aorist tense stresses the cessation of the action of putting on your combat boots, with the idea of continuing to wear them during your spiritual warfare. In the Middle voice it means, “to put on your own combat sandals.” As a Participle it continues the command to put on and continue to wear the armor of God, and specifically this piece of equipment.

It comes from the Preposition HUPO, “under,” and DEO, “to bind.” Therefore, it means, “to bind under,” as sandals under the feet, to put on sandals, slippers, or shoes. Interestingly, the word DEO in Latin means, “God.” So, we see the authority we are to be under in our spiritual warfare.

In classical Greek, this verb meant to underbind, e.g., to fasten a binding on one’s sandals or put on one’s shoes. The sandal was bound on the foot with leather thongs. The cognates HUPODEMA and HUPODEMATOS mean, “a sandal or shoe,” Mat 10:10; Luke 10:4; 15:22; 22:35; Acts 7:33, quoted from Ex 3:5.

As you may have noticed, the word “sandal” is not used in this verse. The Greek noun for “sandals” is sandalion, σανδάλιον and is only used in Mark 6:9 and Acts 12:8, and is with HUPODEOMAI. Yet, from the root HUPODEO and its cognates, we see the context of the object that is in view for “putting on,” but not the common sandals for the civilian, in Eph 6:15, it speaks to the soldier’s sandals worn when on duty. Therefore, we could say, “having sandaled.” Today, we would say, “having put on your combat boots.”

Eph 6 - Part 4 - vs 15 (1), Books of the Bible

The Roman soldier needed sure footing to enable him to march, to move quickly, and stand his ground when necessary. The Roman sandal or military shoe was bound by leather throngs over the instep and around the ankle, and the soles were thickly studded with nails to permit surefootedness. This would give him a firm sure footing in case of attack.

The analogy we have here is for the Christian soldier to stand firm against the attacks of Satan, his demonic forces, and world system. To do so, we must see to it that our feet are properly protected and equipped.

This word is first used in the NT in Mark 6:9, when Jesus sent out the 12 disciples to evangelize throughout Israel. Notice that this passage has to do with evangelizing, spreading the Gospel of Peace, just as our verse does.

Mark 6:7-13, “And He (Jesus Christ) summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was giving them authority over the unclean spirits; 8and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belt; 9but to wear (HUPODEOMAI) sandals (sandalion); and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11And any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake off the dust from the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12And they went out and preached that men should repent. 13And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.”

Here we see several principles about evangelizing we should take note of, but when Jesus told His disciples to provide for themselves only one pair of sandals for their evangelistic trip, He was teaching them to trust in God to provide their needs as necessary during their journey, cf. Deut 29:5. So, we see that we are to faith rest in God to provide all that is necessary when we go out to evangelize.

Deut 29:5, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.”

The next time HUPEDEOMAI is used, is when Peter was freed from King Herod’s captivity, Acts 12:8.

Acts 12:4-11, “When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads (TETRADION – 4 soldiers per squad) of soldiers to guard him (16 in all), intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. 6On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself (perizOnnumi, Eph 6:14) and put on (HUPODEOMAI) your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11When Peter came to himself, he said, ‘Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting’.”

Here, the angel had freed Peter from captivity and told him to prepare himself for that freedom. Therefore, we see the results of the gospel of peace; freedom from captivity. That is, the captivity of sin over the life of the unbeliever. As a believer, you are free from sin. That is the message we are to be prepared to deliver to the lost.

Likewise, in the LXX usages, we see the impact the gospel of peace has, as 2 Chron 28:15, records how the Israelites clothed their prisoners, gave them food and drink, and put sandals on their feet. And, in Ezek 16:10, God recounts how He treated the Israelites; He bathed them, vs. 9, clothed them, and placed sandals on their feet. Therefore, we see the provisions of God that accompany the gospel of peace that we are to bring to the lost.

The thing to be “shod or sandaled” is “the feet” HO POUS, in the Accusative, Masculine, Plural. Rather than saying to put on “sandals,” sandalion, we are commanded to shod our “feet.” In other words, we are to wrap the feet, protect the feet, and provide for the feet. As you know, the feet provide great stability for the whole body. That is the first message here. To make sure we are stable in all that we do. The feet also give the body motion: forward, backward, and side to side. With the feet, we can stand still, walk, run, and jump. The feet are a wonderful creation by God to provide these things for us.

All of this is analogues to what the gospel of Jesus Christ provides for our soul; it gives it the potential for motion, momentum, stability, height, depth, breath and width, Eph 3:18, as it gives us spiritual life and the ability to advance in that life.

The Bible is filled with many analogies regarding the feet and the abilities it provides for us:

1. Metaphorically, the way of one’s feet refers to the way of one’s life, e.g., Psa 119:101,105; Prov 4:26.

Psa 119:1, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.”

Psa 119:101-104, “I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. 102I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. 103How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.”  

Psa 119:105-106, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 106I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.”

a.) “Feet” indicate our righteous acts of Divine good production, 1 Tim 5:10; Heb 12:13.

1 Tim 5:10, “Having a reputation for good works; if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.”

Heb 12:13, “And make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

b.) Though the feet can be used for good, they can also be used for evil, 1 Kings 2:5; Prov 1:15-16; 5:5; 6:13, 18, 28; 7:11; 26:6; Mat 18:8; Rom 3:15, as we see in the seven things God hates, Prov 6:15-19.

Prov 6:16-19, “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Rom 3:15, “Their feet are swift to shed blood.”

1 Kings 2:5, “Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt about his waist, and on his sandals on his feet.”

2. “Feet in sandals,” is also used in an expression of the Lord’s love for the members of His body, His bride, Song of Sol 7:1.

Song of Sol 7:1, “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist.”

3. We also note that when things are placed “under the feet,” it represents power, rule, and authority, Psa 8:6; 110:1; Mat 22:44; Acts 2:35; Rom 16:20; 1 Cor 15:25-27; Eph 1:22; Heb 1:13; 2:8; 10:13.

Eph 1:22, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”

Rom 16:20, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

a.) For our Lord to gain His authority and provide us our authority, His “feet” were pierced on our behalf, Psa 22:16; Luke 24:39-40.

Psa 22:16, “For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.”

4. Worship of the Lord includes the feet, in falling at, sitting at, washing, and kissing, Mat 15:30; 28:9; Mark 5:22; 7:25; Luke 5:8; 7:38-46; 10:39; 17:16; John 11:2, 32; 12:3; Rev 1:17.

5. “Feet” are used by our Lord to teach the rebound technique of 1 John 1:9, the cleansing of our sins experientially post-salvation, as they are positionally at the moment of salvation, John 13:5-14. Vs. 14, also speaks to our outreach and service to others, both believers and unbelievers, so that they too can have the cleansing found in Jesus Christ.

6. There is much celebration when a fellow brother or sister is restored to fellowship with God, Luke 15:22, 32, cf. Luke 15:6, 9.

Luke 15:22, “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet’.”

Luke 15:32, “But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.”

Luke 15:6, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!”

Luke 15:9, “And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’”

7. “Feet,” as in our verse, indicates the firm ground we are to stand on in the spiritual warfare, Psa 40:2.

Psa 40:2, “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.”

8. And, as in our verse, it is used to indicate how God views those who bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are lost in this world, Isa 52:7; Rom 10:15.

Isa 52:7, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Rom 10:15, “How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

a.) When evangelizing, if people reject your message, you are not to take it personally, but put it behind you, forget about it, and move forward to the next opportunity for witnessing. Remember, they are not rejecting you but are rejecting the Lord, Mat 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; 10:11; Acts 13:51.

Mat 10:14, “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.”

Mark 6:11, “Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.”

Luke 9:5, “And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

Luke 10:11, “Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.”

b.) At the same time, we are to have discernment as when to witness the gospel and when not to, Mat 7:6.

Mat 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

c.) Yet, when we do have opportunity to witness, we are to use the best of our spiritual abilities to save those who are in darkness and bring them to the peace of God, Luke 1:79.

Luke 1:79, “TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Summary:

  • Our feet symbolize the “path of life,”
    • Both good and bad.
  • They symbolize God’s Love for us.
  • They are a sign of authority, power, and rule.
    • Because our Lord’s feet were pierced on our behalf.
  • They are an expression of our worship of the Lord.
  • They remind us of the forgiveness of sin.
  • They indicate God’s rejoicing over the lost who are found.
  • They symbolize our firm position in God and Christ.
  • They indicate our responsibility to witness to others.
    • God loves it.
    • Forget those who reject it.
    • Have discernment in delivering it.
    • Do it to your best ability.

With all of these in view, our feet need to be prepared to stand firm in Christ during the spiritual warfare we are in.

The phrase, “YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE,” is capitalized in the NASB, because it is a quote from the OT. In this case, it is from the hymn of praise in Isa 52:17, which is also quoted in Rom 10:15, and from the prophecy of Nahum 1:15. Yet, in our verse, it is more of a paraphrase. In addition, Paul previously spoke of this in regard to Jesus’ ministry in Eph 2:17.

Isa 52:7, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Nahum 1:15, “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is cut off completely.”

Rom 10:15, “How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’”

Eph 2:17, “And He (Jesus Christ) came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.”

In all instances, the reference is to the communication of the gospel of salvation that is found in Jesus Christ.

Next, we have, “with the preparation,” in the Dative case of the Preposition EN, “with,” and the Noun hetoimasia, ἑτοιμασία, that means, “readiness, a state of being ready for action, readiness or being ready to do something, preparation,” or even “equipment.” This is the only time this word is used in the NT. It comes from the verb hetoimazO that means, “put or keep in readiness, get ready, or prepare” in classical Greek. In addition, it was used for the tackling of a ship, which meant the ropes, winches, pulleys, and blocks that were necessary to sail a ship. If the ship were not equipped with these things, it could not sail to its destination. Therefore, the ship needed to be equipped with and prepared with the tackle in order to set sail. So, we could translate this, “with the tackle or equipment.”

Today, we also think of the usage of tackle as a word for the gear and equipment necessary to go fishing, which is a direct analogy to being prepared to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jer 16:16; Ezek 47:10; Mat 4:18-19; Mark 16-17; Cf. Luke 5:10.

Jer 16:16, “‘Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,’ declares the LORD, ‘and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks’.”

Ezek 47:10, “And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.”

Mat 4:18-19, “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen, (HALIEUS). 19And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men, (HALIEUS ANTHROPOS).”

To follow Jesus was the preparation they and we all need in order to be fishers of men!

Luke 5:10, “And so also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men’.”

Therefore, readiness to preach the gospel message is seen as part of the soldiers “equipment.”

Occasionally in the LXX, hetoimasia is used for establishing a foundation or a firm footing, Ezra 2:68; 3:3; Psa 89:14; Zech 5:11.

Psa 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation (hetoimasia) of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”

As you can imagine, the foundation we stand on is Jesus Christ and our salvation through Him. So, we could also translate Eph 6:15, “with the firm footing for the foundation.” Cf. 1 Cor 10:4; Luke 6:48.

1 Cor 10:4, “And all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” 

This suggests the firm and solid knowledge of the gospel, along with the eternal security that comes with it, in which the believer may stand firm on and not be moved, just like soldiers in their military duty.

The cognates of this word, like the Adjective HETOIMOS, are used in the NT to speak to the concept of “readiness.” This readiness is demanded in three respects:

  1. Readiness for good works, Titus 3:1; cf. 2 Tim 2:21.
  2. Readiness to bear witness to the Gospel, 1 Peter 3:15; Eph 6:15.
  3. Readiness for the return of the Lord, with particular urgency, Mat 24:44; Luke 12:35-40.

1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

Luke 12:40, “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”

This readiness gives the Christian life a distinctive dynamic character. It means to be vigilant, that is, to be preparing yourself daily with the knowledge of Christ and His “so great of a salvation,” first for yourself in recognizing the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life you stand in. The sailors of the ancient day did not know when a storm would hit them. So, they had to be constantly prepared for it, so that when it did hit, they could weather the storm and ride it out safely. The same goes for the believer to be prepared to weather the storms of life, and the attacks of Satan and his cosmic system, because you never know when they are going to hit you. Therefore, the best defense is to be always prepared; vigilant.

Secondly, the believer is to be vigilant so that you are prepared to communicate the gospel of Christ whenever the moment arises. You never know when someone will need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ask you about it, or the opportunity arises for you to communicate it. Therefore, the best offense is to always be prepared to deliver it.

In virtue of it, the life of the believer becomes a life of conscious and vigilant expectation, which assures of salvation and the openness to the possibilities of action determined by it. That is why Paul tells us to “have our feet shod with the preparation.” The preparation is for the readiness of battle inside the Angelic Conflict, and the readiness for active propagation of the Gospel, which is the most effective means of combating satanic powers. The preparation is first for ourselves to provide confidence for endurance, and secondly to deliver the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, when we witness to others, it causes us to stand more firm on the rock of Jesus Christ.

That leads us into our final phrase “the gospel of peace,” which is the Genitive of HO EUAGGELION HO EIRENE.

The first noun euaGgelion, εὐαγγέλιον means, “good news or the gospel,” which is from EU, “good, well,” and AGGELLO, “to proclaim, tell.” The double G in the Greek renders the NG sound like “ing,” in English. Therefore, sometimes people translate the first G as N, as in EUANGELION. We have seen this word in Eph 1:13; 3:6, and will see it again in vs. 19.

Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Eph 3:6, “To be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

Eph 6:19, “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.”

This word represents the salvation message of Christ crucified, risen, and seated at the right hand of God, who provides forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe in Him.

In ancient Greek, the original definition of the noun was a “reward for bringing a good message.” It also stood for the message itself. It became a general term for the triumphant message from the battlefield, and it was used for joyous political proclamations, or for personal messages of good news. Therefore, according to its Greek heritage, as well as its acquired Hebrew background via the Septuagint, it describes a good report from the battlefield, a message of victory.

In addition, the Greeks and Romans used this word in association with the emperor cult, where in one occasion, it is said the birthday of the Emperor Augustus, as he was praised as a divinity, was the beginning of the good news. “The birthday of the god was for the world the beginning of joyful messages which have gone forth because of him,” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). To the early church, the emperor was a false god who claimed divine rule. Therefore, the euangelion of the emperor cult was a false gospel, which opposed the gospel of Christ.

When Christians used the term, they were speaking the familiar language of the day, yet in proclamation of the saving work of Jesus Christ. When Paul spoke of “another gospel,” a very literal sense can be understood, because he lived in an age of “gospel preaching.” He used the term 60 times. In about half of these, he used it in an absolute sense, i.e., without any qualifying definition. For the apostle, as well as for his readers, there was only one gospel.

Generally, the gospel is God’s plan of salvation, its doctrines, declarations, precepts, and promises. The gospel is the message of God’s action in Christ, executed within the framework of human history; what God has done to make our salvation possible. euangelion summarizes the Christ event: His incarnation, His earthly life, His death on the cross, His resurrection, and His ascension. The gospel is the message of Christ’s victory over the enemy; the strong one has been conquered by the One who is stronger, Mat 12:29. Paul summarized the essential message of the Christian proclamation, i.e., the gospel, twice, Rom 1 and 1 Cor 15. Read Rom 1:1-17; 1 Cor 15:1-19.

In Rom 1:17, it states “for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” Here Paul explained that faith and not obedience to the Law brings righteousness. This righteousness is “from faith to faith;” that is, faith in Christ alone produces righteousness, but it is the preaching (hearing) of the gospel that creates faith, cf. Rom 10:17. Where the gospel is permitted to produce faith and where it is received in faith, “it is the power of God for salvation,” Rom 1:16. Only then does the gospel bring peace, Eph 2:17; 5:16, hope, Col 1:23, and eternal life, Titus 1:1-3.

The Biblical pattern for witnessing is found in great detail in 1 Thes 2, and according to Rom 2:16, judgment is also a part of the EUGGALION; the content of the Gospel.

Rom 2:16, “On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”

The preaching of the eschatological Day of Judgment is a message of salvation since Christ, the Savior of the world, is the Judge. The proclamation of judgment and the message of joy belong together like repentance and joy.

The Gospel is no new teaching. What is new is the name associated with it, that of Jesus Christ. If we were to sum up the content of the Gospel in a single phrase, it would be Jesus the Christ, Rom 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; 2 Cor 2:12; 9:13; 10:14; Gal 1:7; Phil 1:27; 1 Thes 3:2.

1 Cor 9:12, “If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.”

Phil 1:27, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

1 Thes 3:2, “And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith.”

The Gospel changes darkness into light and death into life. It has many qualifying descriptions:

1. It is referred to as the gospel of God and Jesus Christ, e.g., Mark 1:14; Rom 1:1; 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; 1 Thes 1:8, showing its sovereignty and Divine plan.

2. The gospel of God’s grace, Acts 20:24, showing its mercy and love.

3. The gospel of the kingdom of God, Mat 4:23, 9:35; Luke 8:1; Acts 8:12, showing its eternal inheritance and promise.

4. The gospel of the Son of God, Rom 1:1-3, showing its humility.

5. The gospel of God’s Son, Mark 1:1; Rom 1:9, showing its planned procedure fulfilled.

6. The gospel of Jesus Christ, Mark 1:1, showing its fulfillment of prophecy in the God / Man in hypostatic union.

7. The gospel of Christ, Rom 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; 2 Cor 2:12; 9:13; 10:14; Gal 1:7; Phil 1:27; 1 Thes 3:2, showing its deliverance through the anointed one: The Messiah.

8. The gospel of our Lord Jesus, 1 Thes 1:8, showing its authority to save.

9. The gospel of Jesus, Acts 8:35, showing its reconciliation in His humanity, the Savior.

10. The gospel of the glory of Christ, 2 Cor 4:4, showing its eternal eminence.

11. The gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ, Eph 3:8, showing its accompanied blessings.

12. The gospel of “your” salvation, Eph 1:13, showing that it is real, personal, and eternal. As an eternal gospel, Rev 14:6, of peace Eph 6:15, it is “ours” 1 Thes 1:5; Cf. 2 Cor 4:3-6.

1 Thes 1:5, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”

In addition to the above qualifying descriptions, other phrases are used in the NT to describe the gospel. For example, the content of its message is signified as “the preaching of the cross,” 1 Cor 1:18, and also the “witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” Acts 4:33. This emphasizes both the Lord’s death and resurrection as being vital parts of the Gospel.

Elsewhere we see further description, as the gospel message is referred to as:

  1. The word of God’s grace, Acts 14:3.
  2. The word of salvation, Acts 13:26.
  3. The word of reconciliation, 2 Cor 5:19.
  4. The word of truth, Eph 1:13.
  5. The word of faith, Rom 10:8.
  6. The word of life, Phil 2:16.
  7. The word of God, 1 Thes 2:13.

Nevertheless, the main emphasis of the message is contained in the phrase “preach Christ” cf. Acts 8:5; Col 1:28.

Col 1:28, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

Believers are not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Rom 1:16; 2 Tim 1:8, and are to govern their life-style by it, Phil 1:27.

Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Phil 1:27, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

Though believers may be called to suffer on account of the gospel, Phil 1:15-18; they must continue to proclaim it to the ends of the earth, 2 Tim 4:2, cf. Acts 1:8; 13:47; Rom 1:8; 10:18.

It alone heralds the sound words of truth, salvation, reconciliation, and grace, e.g., Acts 13:26; 14:3; 2 Cor 5:19; Eph 1:13. Only the gospel is the word of life, Phil 2:16. Therefore, this gospel is to be preached to the poor and to the captives, who will be set free by its power, cf. Luke 4:18, (quoting Isa 61:1, Jesus used this term as descriptive of His own ministry).

Isa 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” 

Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is the responsibility of every believer, because we are all in full-time Christian service. We are professionals and our profession is “Christianity,” which includes spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are in full-time Christian service related of our spiritual gift, our Royal Priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6, 5:10, our Royal Ambassadorship, 2 Cor 5:20; Eph 6:20; Philemon 9, our invisible impact for Christ having a phenomenal testimony to billions of angels, as well as those in our periphery, and our job, either in the home or outside the home. Our function in life is part of our full-time Christian service. Therefore, whether we are an evangelist, Pastor-Teacher, or have another spiritual gift, we are all in the profession of witnessing for Christ, 2 Cor 5:18-21.

2 Cor 5:18, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

2 Cor 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

The Church Age believer has two areas of responsibility in witnessing for Christ:

1. The witness of the life, 2 Cor 3:3, “Being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

2. The witness of the lips. Witnessing is the Royal Family communicating the gospel to an unbeliever on a personal basis. It is personal evangelism rather than mass evangelism. It is informal, conversational, whereby one individual communicates the gospel to another individual, cf. 1 Thes 2.

The Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive of witnessing. Effectiveness of witnessing depends on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is the doctrine of common and efficacious grace, Acts 1:8; 2 Cor 3:3; John 16:8‑11; 1 Cor 2:14.

1. The witness of God the Holy Spirit in evangelism is the doctrine of common grace; making the gospel understandable to everyone who hears it. The Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit so that the unbeliever can comprehend the gospel issue, 1 Cor 2:14.

1 Cor 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

1 Cor 2:14, includes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the common grace of God the Holy Spirit steps in for this one area to make the gospel of Jesus Christ understandable to the natural man who otherwise could not understand its meaning and intent.

2. The power of God the Holy Spirit in evangelism is the doctrine of efficacious grace; making the faith of those who believe in the gospel effective for their salvation.

Therefore, we communicate the gospel in our own way and then rely upon the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace.

Nevertheless, your ability to witness for Christ is based on your perception and understanding of Bible doctrine. In the communication of the gospel, you must be filled with the Spirit and accurate in your presentation of the gospel. You do not need to lie or embellish the truth. Just witness the truth and make the issue clear. The issue is always the person of Christ, not sin and not trying to add something to faith for salvation.

The weapon for both the believer and the Holy Spirit when witnessing is Bible doctrine. The pertinent content of the Bible for witnessing are the passages which declare the way of salvation, the passages which deal with the person of Christ. No unbeliever accepts the Bible as the Word of God. No one believes the Bible is the Word of God until he is saved. Therefore, just fire the weapon at that unbeliever and let the Holy Spirit make the issue real to them. Remember:

  1. “The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18; cf. Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17.
  2. The Bible is the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
  3. The Bible is the absolute norm for truth, 2 Peter 1:12-21.
  4. The Bible is Divine power, Heb 4:12.
  5. The Bible never returns void, Isa 55:11.
  6. The Bible endures forever, Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:25.
  7. The source of the gospel is the Bible, Luke 16:28‑31; 1 Cor 15:3-4.

1 Cor 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Therefore, the Bible is the proper weapon to use in witnessing.

Next, we note that the mental attitude of the believer in witnessing for Christ is one of being a debtor. We are under a great obligation or debt to those lost and dying in this world, those who are without salvation, Rom 1:14.

Rom 1:14, “I am under obligation (debt) both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.”

The more you take in God’s Word, the more you realize what your obligation is to be witnessing the gospel of peace to those who currently do not have it. You will also realize that you should be performing your obligation (OPHEILETES, paying off your debt), the rest of your life here on earth. To do so, you need to have the mental attitude of readiness to witness for Christ, Rom 1:15.

Rom 1:15, “So, for my part, I am eager/ready (PROTHUMOS) to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

You should be ready at any time in a conversation to present the gospel to anyone, and as we noted above, not be ashamed to witness for Christ, Rom 1:16.

Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Therefore, your mental attitude in witnessing should be:

  1. Rom 1:14, “I am debtor,”
  2. Rom 1:15, “I am ready…”
  3. Rom 1:16, “I am not ashamed…”

Witnessing is what you do from your own motivation as a part of your own priesthood without being pushed by others and should never be about taking and ego trip. Instead, the analogy to witnessing is found in Mat 4:19, taking a fishing trip.

Mat 4:19, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

To be a good fisherman:

  1. You must have a desire to fish. You must be motivated spiritually. Consistency in learning Bible doctrine determines both your motivation and effectiveness.
  2. You must be equipped to fish. You must know the gospel.
  3. You must go where the fish are located.
  4. You must use the right bait (God’s Word) and be flexible.
  5. Fishermen stay out of sight. You never make an issue of yourself.
  6. You must be patient. Present the gospel and if you get negative signals, move on, “shake the dust of your feet,” Mat 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5

There are many false issues related to the gospel that become a hindrance to witnessing:

1. Sin is not an issue in salvation, Col 2:14; Christ is the issue. The gospel is the only thing pertinent to the unbeliever. Do not make an issue of anything else. Do not try to get an unbeliever to live the Christian life or meet the standards of the Plan of God before he or she is born again. Do not try to superimpose Christian standards on unbelievers. Do not try to get unbelievers to give up something. Do not make an issue of the Christian way of life or commitment or Lordship or baptism or joining a church or giving money. Never put the cart before the horse.

2. Do not argue; do not beg or persuade anyone to believe. Let the unbeliever make a decision. Avoid false issues such as salvation by works, observing taboos, or any other legalistic standard. Nothing is accomplished toward salvation by persuading the unbeliever he must give up sins, change his behavior pattern, join a church, or be baptized. You do not try to force a decision for Christ. This is the job of the Holy Spirit. Avoid gimmicks, emotional begging, public invitations, and remember to respect the person’s free will. You should always stay with the subject of the gospel when witnessing. It is easy to get off the subject of the gospel because of all the questions the unbeliever will ask that are not a part of the subject.

3. Whether or not the Bible is actually the Word of God is not the issue. Be flexible when witnessing, do not limit yourself to one method or system. You cannot superimpose your volition on others. Provide doctrinal facts so that the unbeliever can make a decision. Provide information about the work of Christ; make it simple; make it in your own language in your own way. 1 Cor 15:3‑4 is the gospel issue. Compare with Eph 2:8‑9.

4. Anything added to faith is dead works, and dead works have no part in salvation, Rom 3:20-28; Gal 2:16. Make the issue clear. Sin and changing your life is not the issue. The issue is believing in Jesus Christ. Therefore, do not add to the gospel. Nothing is accomplished toward salvation by persuading the believer to give up his sins, to improve his personality, to feel sorry for his sins, to join the church, to give money.

5. Remember that Divine institution number one is freedom of volition. This includes the right of privacy in making a decision for Christ. It is not necessary to make a public decision. Always make evangelism a private issue between God and the individual. Provide gospel information but leave the results in the hands of God the Holy Spirit. The gospel must persuade the spiritually dead person to believe in Christ, nothing else. The persuasion must come from the content of the gospel; it does not come from salesmanship, begging, or emotional coercion.

6. Pitfalls in witnessing:

a.) Avoid argumentation. You are to give information, not argue over its validity. You are not trying to win a debate. You are to provide information, not argue over the validity of that information, and do not try to force a decision for faith in Christ; this is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

b.) Do not be sidetracked by false issues such as: is the Bible the Word of God, or what about the people who have never heard?

c.) Deal with the individual alone wherever possible. Witnessing in front of others creates false issues by producing embarrassment, loss of prestige, heckling, etc. The unbeliever may think that he is losing prestige by hearing the gospel in front of others.

d.) Avoid getting in a rut by always using the same approach. No two people are alike and often must be approached differently. Flexibility comes with maturity.

e.) Avoid false concepts of witnessing to a certain number of people each day, or that an evangelist must have a large audience, or that your spirituality depends on witnessing to people, or that you are not smart enough to witness to smart people or smarter people than yourself. A high I.Q. is not necessary to witness to those with a high I.Q.

f.) Motivation must come from Bible doctrine in your soul, not spiritual bullying, human pressure, or approbation lust. Therefore, avoid bragging about your experiences in witnessing and do not judge other believers for their apparent failure to witness. Apply the privacy of the priesthood.

g.) Human popularity, attractiveness, or rapport will not bring the unbeliever to Christ.

There are many false systems of salvation, including.

1. Commitment salvation says that you must believe in Christ and commit your life to him. Faith is receiving a gift from God; it is not making a commitment.

2. Lordship salvation says that you must believe in Christ and make him the Lord of your life. At the moment we believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit automatically enters us into union with Christ which makes Him our Lord. It is not something we do; God the Holy Spirit does it for us.

3. Morality salvation says that you must believe and be moral in order to be saved. This is legalism. Good deeds of the unbeliever do not provide salvation.

4. Ritual salvation says that you must believe and perform certain religious ritual works, e.g., baptism.

5. Emotional salvation says that you are not saved unless you feel saved; you must believe and have some kind of emotional experience.

Acts 20:21, “Solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Repentance toward God is a change of mind about God which does not save you; it is the faith in Christ which saves.

6. Psychological salvation says that you must believe and perform some sort of body demonstration, such as raising your hand, walking to the front of the congregation in church, weeping tears at the altar.

7. Salvation by works includes not even mentioning faith in Christ as necessary for salvation.

8. Salvation by inviting Christ into your life or heart is a distortion of Rev 3:20, which is an invitation for believers to rebound, not for unbelievers to believe in Christ. The spiritually dead do not invite Christ anywhere; into his heart or into his life. You are not saved by inviting Christ anywhere. Jer 17:9 says that, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately wicked.” This invitation bypasses faith.

1 John 5:11-13, “And this is the deposition that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. But these are written to you who believe in the person of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”

John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”

John 6:47, “Truly, truly, I say to you that he who believes has eternal life.”

John 3:36, “He who believes on the Son has eternal life; he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Cf. John 3:16-18.

Phil 3:9, “That we may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of our own, but that which is through faith in Jesus Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

Rom 4:5, “But to the one who does not work for salvation, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

And finally, we have, “of peace,” which is related to “the gospel.” It is made up of the Article HO and the Noun eirene, εἰρήνη in the Genitive case that means, “peace, harmony, tranquility, or good health.” It is related to the Hebrew word SHALOM, that had a broader meaning than EIRENE did in the Greek. But its use in the NT took on the broader meanings of the Hebrew usage to include, good health and well-being, prosperity, etc. In addition, the Stoic philosophers sometimes used the word to indicate “inner peace, tranquility” or “peace of mind.” This too, is adopted in the NT usage of the word, as the Word of God resident within your soul is designed to bring you the inner peace, joy, and happiness of God, +H of God.

We have noted this word in Eph 1:2; 2:14, 15, 17; 4:3, and will see it again in vs. 23. The progression of this word in Ephesians includes:

1. A salutation for peace that comes from God our Father and Jesus Christ, Eph 1:2.

2. Jesus who broke down the dividing barrier between Jews and Gentiles to bring the two to peace, Eph 2:14.

3. By taking on the sins of the world, He brought peace to all who believe in Him, making them one body, Eph 2:15.

4. He preached the gospel of peace to all, both Jews and Gentiles, Eph 2:17.

5. We now are to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit, (the one body), in the bond of Peace, Eph 4:3.

6. We are to be prepared to fight the Angelic Warfare with the Gospel of Peace, Eph 6:15.

7. God desires us to live in peace, Eph 6:23.

In secular Greek, EIRENE simply meant the opposite of war, a condition of peace, that is, a respite during an endless series of wars. The Greeks, as later did the Romans, considered peace, (i.e., the absence of war), as the foundation for national and personal welfare and prosperity. In fact, they had a goddess of peace named, Eirene, who was believed to give gifts of wealth and well-being. As you can imagine, that was Satan’s counterfeit to what God provided to the Israelites and to all believers throughout history, including today.

In our passage, EIRENE is used first from its original meaning in the Greek of a respite from warfare, which is the Angelic Conflict that we are all a part of, secondly, the peace that the believer has with God, and thirdly, the blessings or welfare that God provides to those who are in fellowship with Him being obedient to His Word. The latter encompasses the broader Hebrew meaning.

As you know, this does not mean that the Angelic Conflict is over; it means Jesus has won the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict at the Cross. As such, all who believe in Him have been given that victory as signified by the freedom from sin and death we receive at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. We also experience that victory by walking with Christ in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and in application of God’s Word that is resident within our soul.

From the day of the “Fall of Man,” man has been at enmity, at war, with God. People are “alienated and enemies” of God not only because of their deeds but because of their disposition, Rom 8:6-7; Col 1:21.

Rom 8:6-7, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

Col 1:21-22, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”

If there was to be peace between God and man, God Himself had to take the initiative. He did so when He sent His Son, He who “is our peace,” Eph 2:14. At His atoning death for our sins, we were reconciled to God in spite of our sins.

The message of reconciliation is called “the gospel of peace,” Acts 10:36; Eph 2:17; 6:15, and the God who has performed this is called, “the God of peace,” Rom 5:1-5; 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20.

As mentioned, this peace was given to us because our faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, who is the Messiah and the Prince of Peace, Isa 9:6; cf. Micah 5:4-5a; Zech 6:13.

Isa 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Micah 5:4-5a, “And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. 5This One will be our peace.” 

Zech 6:13, “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices, (King and Priest).”

Everyone who has believed in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, receives this peace, John 14:27; 16:33.

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

This peace comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the blessings which accompany and flow from our reconciliation to God through Christ, Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Thes 3:16. Therefore, we see once again in the “armor of God,” that we stand positionally in the peace of God, and are to live experientially in the peace of God.

2 Thes 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!”

That is why Paul wrote in Rom 5:1; 8:6; 15:13; Phil 4:7; Col 3:15, of the tranquil state of a soul that is assured of its salvation through Christ, fearing nothing from God, and consequently content with its earthly lot, whatever it is.

Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Rom 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Col 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” 

Rom 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is the direct result of our redemption by Christ, Eph 2:15, 17, and consists primarily of a state of conscious reconciliation with God, Rom 5:1, God’s peace is independent of outside conditions and is the fruit of an objective, real salvation with God, arising from reconciliation with God and a sense of His Divine favor in your life.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

1 Cor 14:33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

When the Bible says “The God of peace,” it also means He is the author and giver of Divine blessings, Rom 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20.

1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Phil 4:9, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

True peace is a blessing of which God alone is the author, Job 25:2; Psa 147:14; Isa 45:7. He, the author of peace, is the only One who can bestow it upon the righteous, Gen 15:15, upon Abraham; 2 Kings 22:20, upon Josiah, Psa 37:37, upon the perfect man; Psa 119:165, upon those who love God’s Word, Prov 3:1-2, upon those who follow Divine wisdom, Psa 4:8; Job 5:23; Isa 32:17, and therefore upon you.

Thus, it is a gift which God desires to impart to all His people, Jer 29:11, but which He is often unable to grant because of their sins, Isa 48:18; and Jer 4:10 cf. Jer 4:14.

Jer 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare (SHALOM) and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” 

Isa 48:18, “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being (SHALOM) would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

There can be no peace to the wicked, Isa 57:19; cf. Isa 57:20-21; 48:22. Those who hope for it, while continuing in their iniquity, are self-deceived, Jer 6:14; 8:11, 15; cf. Ezek 13:10, 16. Therefore, peace speaks of our relation to God, as God grants peace to His people.

As such, the attitude of peace within you is acquired through your new relationship with God. Satan has declared war, but you and I are ambassadors of peace, 2 Cor 5:18-21, as such, we take the Gospel of peace wherever we go. In turn, you affect your surroundings with peace, as it says in Mat 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Literally it means, “those who make peace.” Therefore, we as believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, are admonished to bring that peace to and live peaceably with all men, if it is possible, Rom 12:18; Heb 12:14; James 3:18.

Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Heb 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”

James 3:18, “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

We are to seek peace and to pursue it, 1 Peter 3:11, especially with our fellow believers, 2 Cor 13:11; Eph 4:3; 1 Thes 5:13; 2 Tim 2:22.

2 Cor 13:11, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

“The quiet heart will be able to fling its whole strength into its work. And that is what troubled hearts never can do, for half their energy is taken up in steadying or quieting themselves, or is dissipated in going after a hundred other things. But when we are wholly engaged in quiet fellowship with Jesus Christ we have the whole of our energies at our command, and can fling ourselves wholly into our work for Him. Duty that is done reluctantly, with hesitation, is not done. We must fling ourselves into the work gladly and be always ‘ready for all Thy perfect will’. Yet. we never shall be, unless we live habitually in tranquil communion with God, and in the full faith that we are at peace with Him through the blood of His Son. A quiet heart makes us ready for duty.” (Expositions of Holy Scripture.)

The Gospel is a peace-bringing power, in the midst of this picture of warfare. It brings us peace first, and then it says to us, “Now, having peace in your own heart, go out and fight to keep it and give it to others.” For, if we are warring with the devil, we are at peace with God; and if we are at peace with the devil, we are warring with God. Therefore, the two states of peace and war go together. The two conditions, though they seem to be opposite, will unite us. This is the paradox of the Christian life.

Jesus was the ultimate One with beautiful feet, who came with His gospel shoes, announcing peace to Jews and Gentiles. Those who know Christ have His peace and have this same mission. This is the difference with our mission and other religious missions. We are not taking life; we are offering life. We are willing even to lay down our lives, because Christ laid His down for us, and we know He will raise us up.

All of this means that you stand in peace before God, and should be enjoying peace in the mentality of your soul at all times. When you realize these two aspects of peace, you are equipped to share your peace, the gospel of peace, with others. Thus, the Christian soldier should see to it that his feet are equipped with the sandals which will give him a firm footing, namely, the good news that speaks peace to a sinful heart, for the Lord Jesus made peace by the blood of His Cross, making a way for a holy God to reunite Himself with a believing sinner who in Adam had been separated from Him and His life. This is to be to us the protection and equipment that the sandals were to the Roman soldier. With this, we are strengthened and protected to face the foe with courage and readiness, Phil 4:6-7; Luke 1:79.

Phil 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Luke 1:79, “To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (Isa 9:2), to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 

Let us hold fast to that Gospel which brings peace and also gives peace.

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Eph 6 - Part 4 (vs. 16), Books of the Bible

Vs. 16

Eph 6:16, “In addition to all (the first three pieces of armor), taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.”

Having noted the first three pieces of armor, we now turn to the fourth in vs. 16.

 

 

 

Vs. 16 begins with, “In addition to all,” which in the Greek is simply, EN PAS, ἐν πᾶς in the Dative case. The words “addition to” were added to emphasize the other parts of the armor of God that the “shield of faith” is now included with to make up the “full” armor of God.

Taking up,” is the Verb ANALAMBANO, which we saw in vs. 13, regarding “taking up” the full armor of God. It is in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, Plural. Here, we are to “take up” this piece of equipment to join the other pieces that we are arming ourselves with.

The Culminative Aorist, once again, emphasize completed past action where the results continue today.

In vs. 13, it was in the Imperative mood for a command.

Here, the Participle continues that mandate with this piece of armament.

The Active voice in both verses, tells us that we are the ones to perform this action. It emphasizes our volitional responsibility, in the non-meritorious act of faith, to take up the weaponry that God has provided for us found in His Word, so that we can stand firm against our adversary, Satan.

The piece of equipment we are to take up here is “the shield,” HO THUREOS in the Direct Object Accusative case. THUREOS, θυρεός is a military term that means not just any shield, but a “long shield or large shield.” It is a hapaxlegomena that means, it is only used here in the NT.

It was designated the shield of the heavy infantry, large, oblong, and four-cornered, four feet long by two and a half feet wide. It was made of a metal or wooden frame, with an insert of metal, leather, or wicker-work, and held on the left arm by means of a handle. If leather, there were several layers of leather spread over the frame, perhaps as thick as a hands breadth. Often the leather was soaked in water so as to put out any flaming arrows hurled by the enemy.

Its cognates THURA and THURIS mean, “door, gate, or entrance,” referring to a stone for closing the entrance of a cave or a window, respectfully. Thus, Homer used THUREOS in his writings for that which is placed in front of the doorway, where in Odyssey, the character Polyphemus used a THURA as the stone placed in front of his cave, (“Odyssey,” ix., 240). Therefore, THUREOS is used to describe a large, door-shaped shield.

The earliest dating of this word appears to be from papyri of 3 B.C. It also occurs 24 times in the Septuagint. Eleven times it used for the Hebrew word TSINNAH that denotes “a large rectangular protective shield,” which usually covered the entire body. Thirteen times it is used for the Hebrew MAGHEN that was typically a smaller shield used by an individual soldier who was active in battle. During the time of the NT, it commonly referred to the Roman legionary shield that was door-shaped with an iron frame.

The emphasis of the term is upon the shield most commonly used by an army in frontline combat. It was a basic tool of warfare, particularly significant for troops which were in the most intense fighting. It did not indicate the ornamental shield or armor which was reserved for those of higher rank.

Paul uses it only here in the NT to figuratively describe the “shield of faith” that the believer needs to take up in order to extinguish the flaming arrows / missiles of the enemy, Satan. So, it is used symbolically of shielding like a door for every believer.

The Roman shield was made from metal and leather. Yet, the believer’s shield is made up “of faith,” which is HO PISTIS in the Descriptive Genitive case. PISTIS πίστις can mean, “Faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability; confidence, assurance, conviction, belief, or Bible doctrine / the Word of God.” In classical Greek writings, it denoted the trust one has in another, and indicated the trustworthiness, reliability, of someone, (i.e., faith in the object of your faith). Both the noun PISTIS and the verb PISTEUO have a wide range of usages in the NT.

The basis of faith is the Word of God and His action in history; thus, faith is directed at God Himself. God and Jesus Christ are the objects of faith, central to the life lived by faith, John 14:1. Jesus is rightly called the “author (leader, pacesetter) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith,” Heb 12:2.

It is used extensively throughout the NT, and we have seen it in Eph 1:15; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13. We will see it again in Eph 6:23. In a survey of the usage in Ephesians we see:

Eph 1:15, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints.”

Eph 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Eph 3:12, “In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” 

Eph 3:17, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”

Eph 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

Eph 6:16, “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Eph 6:23, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Therefore, those who have faith in the Lord are commended:

  • We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, (i.e., our entrance into the spiritual life by faith).
  • Faith in Christ gives us boldness and confident access to the Father, (i.e., our prayer life of faith).
  • Christ is at home in the heart of faith, (i.e., our walk in faith).
  • We have One Faith, (i.e., positional unity in the Body of Christ).
  • We are to attain a unity of faith with the brethren, (i.e., experiential unity in the body of Christ).
  • We are protected by the shield of faith, (i.e., the guardianship that is faith).
  • God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Paul desire us to have faith, (i.e., their hope of faith for us).

In the Old and New Testaments, faith has a broad array of application. The LXX uses PISTIS to translate several Hebrew words including, EMUNAH, AMAN, BATACH, and CHASAH.

It ranges from, “fidelity and faithfulness,” to the “faithful attitude” toward another human being, and our relationship with God, Gen 15:6; Ex 14:31; 2 Chron 20:20. It also indicates a trust in God with respect to His Word and His promises, Joshua 3:5; Psa 106:12, and obedience to His commands, Psa 119:66. It also means, “to rely on, put confidence in,” as well as, “to seek refuge in.” God is the object in whom trust/confidence/refuge is placed or sought.

Psa 106:12, “Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.”

Psa 119:66, “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.”

Faith is not a passive resignation to life like fate; rather, it is confidence that God will fulfill His promises and carry out His salvation plan.

Isaiah gives us a great example of faith, using the key words “quiet” and “confidence,” Isa 30:15. Notice the volitional responsibility we have to appropriate this faith.

Isa 30:15, “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.”

In the OT, just as in the New, an individual’s relationship to God was grounded upon faith in His promises of grace and salvation. This concept is of the same essence as faith / righteousness in the NT, Hab 2:1, 4; cf. Rom 1:16-17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38.

Hab 2:1, “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.”

Hab 2:4, “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.”

Rom 1:17, “For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith’.”

Heb 10:38, “But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

Jesus instructed the disciples to depend upon God. In this respect faith contrasts fear, Mark 5:36.

In the Epistles PISTIS regularly describes the life of faith worked out by the Spirit in the heart of the positive believer, Rom 1:8; 2 Cor 5:7; Gal 2:20; Eph 1:15; Col 1:4; 1 Thes 1:3; 3:5; 1 Tim 6:12.

Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

2 Cor 5:6-8a, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord –7for we walk by faith, not by sight- 8we are of good courage…”

1 Tim 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

The believer can:

  • Become strong in the Faith, Acts 16:5; Rom 4:20.
  • Be grounded and established in faith, Col 1:23.
  • Stand firm in the faith, 1 Cor 16:13; Eph 6:16.
  • Be “full of faith,” Acts 6:5; 11:24.
  • Be on the road to deeper faith, 2 Cor 10:15; 2 Thes 1:3.

Rom 4:20, “Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

Acts 16:5, “So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.”

2 Thes 1:3, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.”

In Hebrews chapter 11, we have a lengthy series on the OT models of faith, the “visible heroes” of faith. These saints believed God’s promises, in spite of the apparent hopelessness of their circumstances. Without seeing the realization of the promises, they lived and died believing that the promised Messiah and Kingdom would one day come. Faith characterized their lives. We could say that they realized that “without faith it is impossible to please God,” Heb 11:6.

Heb 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Taking our example from the OT visible heroes, to be an invisible hero in the Church Age, we need to understand how we build and apply faith in our lives according to the following designations of faith in the NT:

  • The Word of faith, Rom 10:8, (faith is found in the Word of God).
  • The law of faith, Rom 3:27, (not of human works, but trusting in God and His Word).
  • The obedience of faith, Rom 16:26; 1:5.
  • The righteousness which is by faith, Rom 4:13f.
  • The life of faith, Gal 2:20.
  • The walk in faith, 2 Cor 5:7.
  • The prayer offered in faith, James 5:15.
  • The work produced by faith, 1 Thes 1:3.
  • The battle of faith, 1 Tim 6:12; Eph 6:16.
  • The end result of faith, 1 Peter 1:9.

Each of these always occurs within the glorious framework of Christ’s redemptive work.

1 Tim 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Faith is also that which justifies, Rom 3:22; Gal 3:22-23, and “to believe” or “to begin to believe” are equal to being a Christian, Rom 13:11; 1 Cor 3:5; 15:2, which is the normative expression of the Christian. In other words, the one who has faith is doing what the Father calls for and is demonstrating the Christian way of life. On the other hand, the one who lacks in faith is not, and scarcely can call themselves a Christian, because it is not Christ who they are trusting in, but something or someone else.

The Christian, who has faith, is also one who is doing things for Christ in faith. This was the message of James in his book where he compliments Paul’s teaching on justification by faith, Rom 3:28; 5:1; Gal 2:16; 3:11, 24; Cf. James 2:14-26. Whereas Paul tried to prevent someone from basing salvation upon works, James tells us that works must follow as the fruit of faith and as proof of salvation. He cautioned against a “faith” that rests upon an intellectual assent to the truth but lacks a life yielded and obedient to God. He was fighting the influx of Gnosticism that continues today, in both an organized and unorganized way. I say unorganized, in that some “grace” believers rest on their laurels of having believed in Jesus Christ for salvation and then live as they like in the world, Satan’s cosmic system. They do not continue in faith with Divine good production in their lives. Yet, the “Christian” is one who not only believed in Christ for salvation, but continues to trust in Him for every aspect of their life. Their works, done by faith and in faith, demonstrate the faith they had at salvation, which continues in their daily walk with Him.

Therefore, faith described as a shield, is not just the subjective attitude, but an objective, Divinely given reality in the life of the believer, 1 Cor 13:13; 1 Thes 5:8. All the attacks of Satan are hurled back by the fellowship the believer has in faith with God.

1 Cor 13:13, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 

1 Thes 5:8, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

1 Peter 5:9, “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”

Psa 5:12, “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”

Therefore, the shield that the Christian soldier uses inside the Angelic Conflict is faith, a present faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for victory over sin and Satan’s cosmic system.

This is the only part of the full armor of God for which Paul indicates the effect it has, as he says next, “with which you will be able,” EN HO DUNAMAI.

DUNAMAI, δύναμαι is a verb that we are familiar with that means, “to be able, have power to do, or have capacity for.” It expresses the ability and capacity to accomplish something in deed, attitude, or thought. This is indicating the inherent power or ability we will have when we operate by faith in our Christian walk. We saw this word in verses 11 and 13, for the inherent ability we have to fight and be victorious in the Angelic conflict, when we put on the full armor of God. Here, with the “shield of faith,” we have a specific ability we can exercise and effect against the attacks of our enemy to be victorious in the battle.

In our passage, DUNAMAI is in the Future, Middle, Indicative, 2nd Person, Plural.

The Future tense tells us that subsequent to picking up and utilizing the shield of faith, we will have the ability to defeat the attacks of our foes.

The Middle Deponent voice, is active in meaning. When we seize the shield of faith, we will be able to thwart the enemy’s aggression towards us.

The Indicative mood is for the dogmatic reality of having this inherent power against Satan and his cosmic system, when we walk in faith.

Next is the ability or effect we have, “to extinguish,” which actually is the last word in this sentence in the Greek. It is the verb SBENNUMI, σβέννυμι that means, “to extinguish, quench, suppress, restrain, subdue, or stifle.” It is also used in Mat 12:20; 25:8; Mark 9:48, (and added in vs. 44, 46 in later copies of the gospel); 1 Thes 5:19; Heb 11:34. Here it is in the Aorist, Active, Infinitive.

The Culminative Aorist views the action as completed, “to extinguish” the flaming arrows.

The Active voice, the faithful believers are the ones who are able to extinguish these satanic arrows.

This is an Infinitive of results, indicating the results or accomplishment of putting on the Shield of Faith; you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows.

This verb is used in three primary ways in classical Greek literature. Literally, it is used of extinguishing a fire. Similarly, it is used of liquids that “dry up,” and as a figure of speech, it can be used of anything that is checked, quenched, or quelled. We could also say “offset.” Therefore, when temptations to sin or perform human good come your way, you can offset them by walking in faith, i.e., apply God’s Word to the situation, whatever it may be.

In Mat 12:20, from the prophecy of Jesus Christ in Isa 42:3, it is said, “A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory.” His faith carried Him to victory at the Cross. Regardless of the temptations hurled at Jesus, He would not be denied His faith walk in God the Father’s plan for salvation for the human race. Jesus would not waver or falter!

In Mat 25:8, regarding the foolish virgins, (i.e., unbelievers), having not enough faith, they will miss the 2nd coming of the Lord. “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out’.” The unbeliever does not have faith in God or Jesus, and therefore will miss His coming.

In Mark 9:48, quoting Isa 66:24, it again speaks to the unbeliever who will be tormented for forever in the Lake of Fire, “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” Because of their rejection of Jesus Christ during their life here on earth, because of their lack of faith in Him, they will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire where the sensation of burning will never stop. If they had just a little faith in Jesus Christ, they would avoid an eternity of faithlessness.

In 1 Thes 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit,” the believer is commanded to not fall into reversionism or apostasy, which is a direct result of a lack of faith, leading to “quenching,” halting or stopping the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in their lives.

In Hebrews 11, it is used to demonstrate the power faith gave to the visible heroes of the OT.

Heb 11:33-34, “Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”

Like Daniel, his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, received the power of God by faith to accomplish such things. The true power behind all of these was not man’s, but the power and ability (DUNAMAI) of God and His Word resident within their souls. When they appropriated by faith God and His Word in their lives, they accomplished great things. Therefore, as we see in our verse, Eph 6:16, we will be able to quench, (stop or overcome), the attacks (temptations) by Satan and his cosmic system.

In Lev 6:9 and others places, this word is used in the LXX to refer to the fire on the sacrificial altar which was never to be quenched. It was the imagery of the Christ’s sacrifice for our sins that is all sufficient and never revoked. It “burns” continually, meaning His one sacrifice endures forever and through it we have eternal security. His completed work for our salvation is what we are to trust in and rely upon for our daily walk, post-salvation.

Conversely, four times in the OT we are warned that the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished, Job 18:5-6; 21:17; Prov 13:9; 24:20. Because of their lack of faith, God will bring their lives to a conclusion.

Therefore, as we see in the usage of the word SBENNUMI, “extinguish,” throughout the Bible, we see that by faith in God, His Word, and Jesus Christ, man can extinguish the flames of hell and the flaming arrows Satan hurls at him. On the other hand, if man does not have faith in God then the flames of hell last eternally and the flaming arrows of Satan will penetrate leading to destruction of the soul.

The thing we will be able to “quench” or “stop” is, “all the flaming arrows,” which in the Greek is, PAS HO PUROO HO BELOS. In the Greek, BELOS comes first, then later comes PUROO. But we will follow the English reading.

Flaming” or “fiery,” is the Verb PUROO, πυρόω that means, “set on fire or burn.” Figuratively, it means, “to burn with desire, glow with heat, test, etc.” It is the 2nd to last word in the Greek sentence. It is in the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Accusative, Plural.

The New Testament uses PUROO only in the passive, “to be set on fire, burn up, to be ignited, kindled, to burn, or flame.” It is used in 1 Cor 7:9; 2 Cor 11:29; 2 Peter 3:12; Rev 1:15; 3:18. It is closely related to the noun PUR, which from the time of Homer (8th Century B.C.), refers to “fire” in its various forms whether in nature or produced by man. In our passage, it is used to describe the intensity of the temptations Satan and His cosmic system hurl at you.

The Intensive Perfect tense, is for completed past action where the results continue to the present. In other words, these arrows have already been set on fire by Satan and continue to burn. It is part of his overall master plan to thwart God’s overall Plan for mankind and His plan for your life. He set his evil plan in motion long ago, and when it involves you, it is just as intense as it was at the foundation of the world. In this, we see Satan’s master plan of temptation of “appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride,” 1 John 2:16; cf. Mat 4:1-11; Gen 3:6.

The Passive voice, means the arrows received the burning fire by another, in this case, Satan.

In the OT, PUROO is used in the LXX, usually referring to the process of smelting or refining by fire, e.g., Psa 12:6; Zech 13:9. The smelting or testing process establishes the product as approved and makes it more pure. So, this PUROO in regard to “flaming arrows,” alludes to being tempted by Satan, which in fact, is a testing by fire. When these flaming arrows come at us, our soul is refined by their fire when we apply faith, either reproved or purified, 1 Peter 1:6f; 4:12; 5:10; cf. James 1:2

1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.”

1 Peter 1:6, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.”

1 Peter 5:10, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

Therefore, the flaming arrows hurled at us by Satan are a testing process for our souls, to refine it to be purer and purer as God draws us closer to Himself. This was the case of the humanity of our Lord, as seen in the results of Rev 1:15, which also should be ours, Rev 3:18.

Rev 1:15, “His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.”

Rev 3:18, “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined (PUROO) by fire (PUR) so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”

As Psa 119:140 tells us, we should love the Word of God, because it has already been made pure, and therefore becomes power and strength for us when we are tempted by Satan.

Psa 119:140, “Your word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it.”

The thing that has been put on fire is “arrows”, or “missiles”, or “darts,” which is the Greek noun BELOS, βέλος that means, “dart, arrow, javelin, etc.” It is only used here in the NT; a hapaxlegomena. It comes from BALLO, “to throw.” It is a projectile such as an arrow, javelin, or dart hurled deliberately and with purpose. If we were writing this letter today, we would probably use the word, “bullet” or “explosive shells,” a projectile sent by an explosion or fire. Missile is also a good imagery here. But back when the Bible was written, they did not have bullets, but they did have arrows, darts, and javelins. Therefore, the “flaming arrows,” refer to arrows tipped with tow, pitch, or such material that were set on fire before they were discharged. Sometimes they were missiles fitted with combustibles.

The one who is hurling these flaming arrows at us is “the evil one,” which is HO PONEROS. PONEROS, πονηρός is an Adjective, and with the article HO, it acts like a noun or pronoun. It means, “painful, serious, grievous, bad, wicked, evil, or depraved.” It means evil in a moral or spiritual sense, wicked, malicious, and mischievous. But here, it is a title for Satan to describe his personage, as well as his actions. We noted this word for Satan and his attacks back in vs. 13, “the evil day.” Here it tells us of the one who shoots the “bullets” at us. Therefore, the flaming arrows represent the temptations with which Satan attacks the saints. And, it is these temptations that we will extinguish when we put on the “Shield of Faith.”

Using the order of words in  the Greek for this passage, it reads as follows, Besides all, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to with all of the arrows of the wicked one, those having been set on fire, quench.”

When Paul wrote Ephesians, the PUROO BELOS was among the deadliest weapons developed for warfare. He used it figuratively for satanic temptations. We draw attention to several particulars in which this figure is specially instructive and warning.

1. The arrow is one of suddenness with which Satan attacks us. Satan’s temptations were designed to come swiftly and suddenly, and from directions we were not expecting. In other words, many times we do not see his attacks coming. This is the “shock and awe” effect of this weapon. That is why we always need to be at the ready, walking in faith, so that no matter what comes or from where; we are able to handle it in faith.

2. The arrow was designed to hit one specific area and penetrate deeply to cause the greatest amount of damage to that area. Likewise, Satan tempts us in a one specific area at a time, trying to hit your most vulnerable area to cause you to sin or get involved in a system of human good works.

3. The arrow was designed so that once it penetrated the intended target, it could not be easily removed without causing further damage. Likewise, Satan’s temptations are designed to stick in your soul, so that you cannot change your ways and repent back to God. Satan wants to keep you in his clutches.

4. The flaming arrow spreads its destructive intent, as Satan’s temptations are designed to affect your entire soul, it sets the soul on fire in a negative way. In other words, when temptation is thrown at you, it is designed by Satan to ignite a spark of sin or human good in your soul that consumes the entire soul.

5. The flaming arrow disperses its destructive force. Likewise, Satan’s temptations are designed to cause widespread sinning, human good, or evil in your life. If one sin is allowed to catch fire, it will ignite other sins in your soul causes a chain reaction of sinning or human good in your life.

6. Even when the flaming arrow did not hit the body and was caught by the shield, it hurled the flames all over the shield and around it with the intent to cause fear or a panic. Likewise, Satan’s temptations, though initially handled in your soul, (caught or deflected), by faith, are designed to weaken your resolve to fight the battle raising doubt, fear, worry, or anxiety about your spiritual walk, leaving you vulnerable to future attacks.

Eph 6 - Part 4 (vs. 16) - (8), Books of the Bible7. The flaming arrows causing panic in the soldier because their shield was blazing fiercely, could lead them to throw down their shield and be vulnerable to the next arrow that was hurled at them. Likewise, Satan’s temptations are designed for the Christian soldier to throw down his shield of faith and become vulnerable to the other attacks or temptations that may come. That is what Satan is trying to do to you. He sends one temptation to get you to throw off your faith in God and His Word, so that he can throw something else at you leading to sin or human good.

The burning arrows represent every type of assault devised by the evil one, not just temptation to impure or unloving conduct, but also false teaching, human good, persecution, doubt, despair, etc. Faith is the power which enables you to resist them all and triumph over such attacks.

“Flaming arrows” are also featured in the OT in Psa 7:13; Prov 26:18. These both speak of Satan’s attempts through the reversionist, who because of his unrepentant heart becomes part of Satan’s cosmic system, to hurl temptations at believers.

Psa 7:13, “He has also prepared for himself deadly weapons; he makes his arrows fiery shafts.”

Prov 26:18, “Like a madman who throws Firebrands, arrows and death.”

Because the Greek and Roman gods of passion, called Eros and Cupid, respectively, were said to strike with flaming arrows, some of Paul’s readers may have thought specifically of the temptation of sexual lust here. Yet, it is intended to cover more than just that danger, cf. Psa 11:2; 57:4; 58:3-7; 64:3; cf. Psa 120:1-4; Prov 25:18.

Psa 11:2, “For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.”

Psa 57:4, “My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword.”

Psa 64:3, “Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow.”

Psa 58:3-7, The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth. 4They have venom like the venom of a serpent; like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear, 5So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, or a skillful caster of spells. 6O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD. 7Let them flow away like water that runs off; when he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.” 

Notice that the arrows are defined as “words” that come from the mouths of evil men. Therefore, we see that the temptations that Satan hurls at us are many times those from the tongue: gossip, maligning, slandering, lying, insults, false witness, false flattery, enticements, etc. The arrows of Satan are not only sharp and penetrating, but what makes them more destructive is that they are fiery, designed to cause the maximum amount of damage to our souls.

Therefore, to combat these evil words that are sharp and penetrating to our souls, we need the righteous Word of God resident within our souls to apply in faith to the various forms of temptations. To combat an emphatic foe, we must put up the Shield of Faith, which will be found more than capable of not only halting their penetration, but of quenching their dispersing heat. The Christian’s shield effectively counteracts the danger of such diabolical missiles not merely by stopping or deflecting them, but by actually quenching the flames to prevent them from spreading further damage or destruction.

And our Lord is the one who gives us the victory over these temptations through His Word and Spirit being functional within our souls, Psa 76:3f.

Psa 76:3, “There He broke the flaming arrows, the shield and the sword and the weapons of war. Selah.”

Satan shoots these “flaming arrows,” at our hearts and minds: lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, burning desires for sin, etc. If we do not by faith quench these arrows, they will light a fire within and we will disobey God. And we never know when Satan will shoot an arrow at us, so we must always walk by faith and use the shield of faith.

We have a shield to protect us from the attacks of the enemy when we put on Christ, believing the promises of God. The combination of Bible doctrine in your soul plus the trigger called faith, becomes the basis of protecting you against Satan’s super weapons. The great overall principle of this verse is that there is no power which belongs to Satan that is great enough to destroy those believers who are holding up the shield of faith. You must carry the shield with you wherever you go. Believers should never be without the shield of faith.

When the demon armies start throwing these fiery darts at you, you have had enough Bible doctrine through the function of GAP, you have accumulated doctrine in the soul, you have built an altar in the soul, you have put on the full armor from God, and the result is that you are able to meet all of the attacks of the unseen enemy, the demon army.

Just as the shield would break the arrow’s force and cause them to fall harmlessly to the ground, so does your faith in God and His Word resident within your soul cause the attacks or temptations of Satan to be null and void within your soul, because truly God is your shield, Psa 18:2, 30, 35; 28:7; 33:20; 35:2;59:11;91:4; 115:9-11; 144:1; Prov 30:5; cf. Gen 15:1; Psa 18:2;

Psa 18:30, “As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”

Psa 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.”

Prov 30:5, “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

Just as the soldier could not afford to be without his protective shield at any time, the follower of Christ, the Christian soldier, cannot for one moment afford to be without faith, to be without God.

Psa 144:1, “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”

The shield of faith is the confident trust in and receptiveness to Christ and his power that protects the whole person who claims it is, “an objective, Divinely given reality.” Faith takes hold of God’s resources in the midst of the onslaughts of evil and produces the firm resolve which douses anything the enemy throws at you, Mat 8:5-13; 1 Thes 5:8-9; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

In Mat 8, we see the example of the Roman centurion who came to Jesus asking Him to heal his servant. Jesus said in vs. 10, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.” And He replied to the centurion in vs. 13. “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.”

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”

And remember:

Psa 7:10, “My shield is with God, Who saves the upright in heart.”

Rom 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

Eph 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”

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Click Here for Part 5, (vs. 17). The study includes:

Exegesis of Ephesians 6:17

The Equipment – Stand in Warfare:

E. The Believer’s Walk in Warfare; God’s Provision for His Children’s Spiritual Battles, Eph 6:10-20.

d.) The Warrior’s Resource, The Explanation of Our Armor, Eph 6:13–17.

  • The Doctrine of The Armor of God (continued)
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Salvation: Past, Present, Future
  • Story of Salvation
  • Meaning of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
  • Summary & Conclusion to “The Full Armor or God.”

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