There is a battle going on for lost souls, and we can only share the gospel effectively if we learn how to wear the armour of God.
Every Christian has been given the Ministry of Reconciliation. As 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].”
Since us as Disciples of Christ are in the middle of a spiritual battle for lost souls, the responsibility to share the gospel in an effective way is tremendous. We should therefore make every effort to understand how to reach the world biblically and effectively, so the seed of the Word will yield a mighty harvest as it falls on good soil. (See Matthew 13:1-8 as well as Matthew 13:19-23)
To be successful in our Christian walk, we have to learn how to wear the Armour of God. It is the Armour of God that gives us overall protection from the evil one. It is also the Armour of God that equips us to do what God has called us to.
Christ In Us
In spite of this spiritual battle going on around us, we still have Good News to celebrate. 1 John 4:4 says, “Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.”
What amazing assurance to know Christ lives in us, and that through Christ we can accomplish anything we set our minds to as long as it is in agreement with God’s will.
God has not left us in this battle to fight alone. In fact, God doesn’t want us to fight but rather be used by Him as He pleases. The battle is the Lord’s, and we are only His servants. 1 Corinthians 3:9 says, “For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God…”
God does the work, while we work with Him as servants of Christ. God fights the battle, while we stay faithful and obedient.
The Bible teaches us how to play our part in this battle, and that we are to put on the whole Armour of God, which is an armour God supplies. The reason why we need this armour is because of the unseen battle going on in the spiritual realm. (See Ephesians 6:10-13)
The key is not to put on just any armour (which could be fallible), but God’s armour. It is indeed good news that we can stand in the midst of this spiritual battle knowing God wants to equip us for the task with everything we will need.
The Armour Of God
Ephesians 6:14-19 tells us how to use God’s armour in the midst of this warfare – this battle – for lost souls. Without trying to make a sermon out of each verse, let’s have a quick look at each part of God’s armour.
The Belt Of Truth
- “14Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God. 15And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.”
Satan uses deception to blind the world. However, Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
Spend time in the Word of God. Get a deeply rooted understanding of the gospel and of God’s Word as a whole. When the time comes, truth will flow from you like a river and you will be an effective witness right where God placed you (see Luke 6:45).
The Shield Of Faith
Ephesians 6 continues with,
- “16Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].”
The Bible teaches us that “the just shall live by faith.” The Bible also teaches us that “faith comes by hearing the Word of God.”
As you grow in your understanding of the Word of God, and as you become more acquainted with the Word of God, faith begins to rise up on the inside of you. As Scripture becomes deeply rooted in your heart, it will be your ready defence when the flaming missiles of the wicked one comes against you.
Having faith is also key if we want to evangelise effectively. As you reach out to the lost, trust God for their salvation. Ask God for good soil as you sow the seed of the gospel. Pray the enemy won’t snatch the Word up, but that it will grow instead (see Hebrews 11:1 for the definition of faith).
This faith is not for a new Ferrari, but a title deed for the desires that are in line with God’s own will. Since God’s own will is that no one should perish, you can boldly trust the lost will be reached through you – a fellow labourer of Christ.
The Word Of God
The next verse continues with,
- “17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.”
Again, the emphasis is to stay true to the Word of God.
We need to be acquainted with the Word of God, so we can live in the truth of the Word in our daily lives. The same applies when we share the gospel with others.
Preaching or sharing a compromised gospel – a gospel that is not true to the Word – is like wielding a blunt axe against a Quebracho tree (a very hard wood tree of which the name is derived from a word that means axe-breaker).
If we want to reach a sinner’s heart with the gospel, we need more than a blunt axe. We need the sword the Spirit wields.
To show us how powerful this sword of the Spirit is, which is also the Word of God, Hebrews 4:12 uses the analogy of a sharp two-edged sword, and says that this sword (the Word) can even divide between soul and spirit.
The Helmet Of Salvation
Verse 17 also talks about another part of God’s armour, which is our helmet of salvation.
The helmet of salvation is also known as the righteousness we have in Christ. Our righteousness nullifies any accusation the enemy might bring against us.
The accusations are meant to make you, as a Christian, ineffective in life.
The accusations are also meant to make you ineffective as a witness for Christ.
When you embrace your righteousness, you embrace the new person you have become in Christ. Embracing the free gift of righteousness will give you the confidence you need to accomplish what God has called you for in the earth.
It will also give you the confidence to share your faith with others.
The next verses continue with,
- “18Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding on behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). 19And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel).”
Paul had a desire to reach the lost no matter the cost. However, he was still human and battled with the same fears you and I do from time to time. From this verse we can see how Paul needed God’s help to open his mouth boldly.
We pray to God to help us in our daily walk with Him. Part of our prayer is to also ask God to help us open our mouths with boldness.
The Body of Christ should not neglect to pray regularly for the lost. As we do, God will stir in our hearts to go into all the nations and to preach the gospel to every tribe and tongue.
Putting on the whole Armour of God leads to effective prayer.
Effective prayer leads to breakthrough in our lives. It also leads us to a place where we can share the gospel with others effectively, which results in Effective Evangelism.
Effective Evangelism paves the way for the Holy Spirit to minister to the hearts of lost people, so they can ultimately be won over for the Kingdom of God!
Looking forward to hear your thoughts in the comments below.