The second Amendment of the United States Constitution states the right of American citizens “to keep and bear arms.” In 1791 our forefathers saw the need for people to defend their own liberties against tyranny. From the beginning of our nation an armed citizenry was connected to freedom. The goal was not death but preserving a way of life.
What a vivid illustration of the spiritual warfare that believers are engaged in. The greatest tyrant of all, the devil, seeks to bring men into bondage and keep them there. Only the truth will set them free. And only those armed with the truth can help them. The gospel brings life.
This is the picture given to us in Ephesians 6. After detailing the defensive armor of the good soldier of Christ, the Apostle Paul lists one offensive weapon. Only one, and it is enough…”the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Every victory is won through the power of God’s Word.
How foolish to go into battle without your weapon! Certainly this begins with time in God’s Word to strengthen your own soul. But the sword of Scripture is not something to simply hold – it is something to use.
When you go out into a world of needy sinners each day, are you armed?
- Arm yourself with gospel literature. If you intentionally carry gospel literature you will be much more likely to use it to begin conversations throughout the day. A kind word, a smile, and a gospel tract can become an open door for the message of Christ.
- Arm yourself with key Scriptures. Memorize several strong gospel verses. In some circumstances you cannot give out literature or open a Bible to conduct a Bible study, but you can quote passages that you have committed to heart. When you are asked questions you will be ready to give Bible answers (1 Peter 3:15). We cannot quote Scripture we have never memorized.
- Arm yourself with God’s promises. Claim definite Bible promises of God’s presence and power. Choose a Scripture each day to meditate on. Pray in faith that the Lord will fulfill His Word and work through you. Those who are used of God are those who take God at His Word and believe it for themselves.
1 Peter 4:1-2 says,
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
Someone is probably thinking that this passage is not related to gospel work. In fact it is the very work of Christ and the word of the gospel that brings suffering. The word “martyr” and the word “witness” come from the same root word. Those who fight for others to live must die to themselves.
Peter teaches that this is something we must do for ourselves. Your pastor or favorite Bible teacher are not solely responsible to “arm” you. You must take responsibility. The place where we must be armed is in our minds. The cause of Christ is the greatest on earth. Get ready for the battle! Prepare.
Are you armed?
Scott Pauley has just written a new gospel tract, Would You Like A New Start?, that is available now through Faithworks media. Go to enjoyingthejourney.org and click on the resources slide for more information and to order this witnessing tool.