The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 6:15 ~ The Armor of God Pt. 6 ~ Shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, Pt. 3 ~ Witnessing

Vol. 17, No. 18  – May 6, 2018

5 3 18 eph 6 vs 15 Witnessing gospel of peace pt 3 Armor of God pt 14 Shod feet pt 6

Ephesians 6:10-24, Stand in Warfare!

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

Our final phrase, “the gospel of peace,” 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.
  9. The gospel of the glory of Christ, 2 Cor 4:4, showing its eternal eminence.
  10. The gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ, Eph 3:8, showing its accompanied blessings.
  11. 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:

  • 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.”
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 16:2831; 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 2:89
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-046 & 18-047 & 18-048

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!

Leave a Reply