Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
(Ephesians 6:19-20 ESV)
Paul had just written that each believer should be in constant communication with God as part of their on-going spiritual warfare with Satan. As he begins to wrap up this letter, he asks his readers to pray also for him.
Paul was in prison at this time facing possible execution. Yet he does not ask his readers to pray for his release. Instead, he prays that he be given words whenever he speaks so that he will be fearless when it comes to telling others about the gospel of Jesus. Despite his precarious position, Paul was more concerned with others’ salvation than he was with his own life.
This is interesting because it was his role as ambassador of the gospel that had gotten him arrested years before. There were many in Jerusalem who did not appreciate Paul’s conversion from a Jew who hated and persecuted members of The Way (as Christianity was called in its early years) to one who embraced and taught The Way [Acts 21:27-36].
There were also many in Ephesus who opposed Paul because his message of monotheism hurt their business of selling trinkets of the many Greek gods [Acts 19:23-34].
Of course even today there are many who vehemently oppose the good news of the availability of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The gay community, for example, wants complete recognition of their lifestyle including the right to marry. But God’s truth opposes that. So they do what they can to eliminate this message including suing pastors who don’t agree with them.
But it isn’t just pastors who should be proclaiming the gospel. Anyone who is a child of God should fearlessly declare the gospel with our words and lifestyle. But make no mistake… anyone who does so will be opposed. Sometimes peacefully. Sometimes not so peacefully. Sometimes a heavy price will be paid. But remember, it is not other human beings who are our enemy. Those who oppose us are unwitting pawns of Satan [Ephesians 6:12].
We learned yesterday that every child of God who has been born-again through faith in Christ needs to pray in order to stand firm against these schemes. Those who are in full-time ministry, like our pastors, are even more likely to be attacked by Satan since they are responsible for the spiritual formation of so many people. If Satan can get one of them off-course he can affect not just that pastors’ life but the life of numerous others.
Therefore all Christians should pray for pastors, fellow believers, and themselves to be fearless and uncompromising when it comes to gospel as it is the gospel of Jesus Christ – and only the gospel of Jesus Christ – that has the power to give eternal life [John 3:16, 14:6; Romans 1:16].
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