Ephesians 6:15, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
We are to be ready at any time to minister the gospel. Note that all believers are included in this command. Every Christian is in full time Christian service, always on the front line.
Even a Christian who doesn’t want to fight is in the conflict. A soldier may be untrained or in poor condition and drop beside the road before the enemy is reached. Or he may be killed in the first skirmish.
The primary thrust of evangelism is through the individual. There is a place for those with the spiritual gift of evangelism; but these men can reach only a specialized segment of the population. Individual believers circulate throughout the community in various functions. They have jobs; they belong to clubs; they have certain friends. The principle or witnessing for Christ is that you do it in your own environment.
Preparation implies the ability to fight. Preparation means flexibility and the ability to use God’s Word in witnessing. Knowledge of the basic doctrines of salvation is necessary for witnessing (not salesmanship techniques). You need to know about Reconciliation, Propitiation, Redemption, Imputation, Regeneration, and The Barrier, as a starter. You don’t have your shoes on your feet without this preparation.
And your feet shod …“to bind with sandals”. The sandal was the GI boondocker for the Roman army. This is a reference to the foot soldier slogging it out. The infantryman fights with the least glamor and the highest casualties.
While the Greek soldier wore greaves to protect his ankles, the Roman soldier wore a heavy soled sandal which had metal studs on the bottom for good footing on uneven or slippery ground. This shoe was known in Latin as the caligula, so the foot soldier was called caligatus. Officers wore different footgear.
with the preparation of – etoimasia, refers to full preparedness, being able to march great distances in order, with others, and over a long period of time, to use weapons effectively.
the gospel of peace…
- Witnessing for Christ is the responsibility of every believer. Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15; Mk. 5:18,19.
- The effectiveness and clarity of the believer’s witnessing depends, in large measure, on his understanding of the Last Judgment. Sins will not be the issue! The only reason that a person will stand at the Last Judgment is that he rejected Christ during his lifetime. John 3:18; 3:36. All sins have been judged at the Cross, and there is no double jeopardy.
- The basis for the indictment of unbelievers is human good, not sins. The witnessing Christian must make the issue clear.
- Witnessing is impossible apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit. John 16:8-11. And the Holy Spirit must minister to the unbeliever to apply the doctrine of salvation.
- The context for witnessing is that part of the Word of God called the Gospel. 1 Cor. 1:18; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12.
- The dynamics of witnessing depends on the believer’s mental attitude. One cannot be an effective witness if he is ashamed of the Gospel, if he does not have the capacity to be occupied with Christ, or if he is not oriented to Grace.
- In Rom. 1:14-16, the apostle Paul says “I am debtor”, “I am ready”, and “I am not ashamed”. A fisherman has a desire to fish. One is not a “fisher of men” without a desire to win souls.
- There are two sources for a Christian’s witness: (1) the testimony of his life, 2 Cor. 3:3, and (2) the testimony of his lips, 2 Cor. 5:14-21.
- There is a reward for witnessing. 1 Cor. 3:11-16; 2 Cor. 5:10. Rewards in heaven are an extension of edification; the only things that are rewarded in heaven is what is done on the basis of Grace. Thus, every reward in heaven is an eternal memorial to the grace of God. Grace means that rewards do not reflect any personal glory or merit. It is the Lord who enables us to labor for Him and who provides the divine production in the life (gold, silver, and precious stones).
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