Gospel of Peace

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”-Ephesians 6:10-20

To get a better grasp of what it means to have our feet fitted, we must look again at the Roman soldier.  Thus far we have looked at the belt, which protects the soldier’s upper legs and private areas.  Last week, we took a close look at the breastplate which protected the soldier’s vital organs.  This week we are taking a look at the feet.  Why are feet so important?  Roman soldiers marched to battle, often over rough terrain, and if their feet were not protected they were done for.  You can have the greatest armor ever constructed, but if your feet are not taken care of it is all for nothing.

Last week, I described Paul’s education and training as a Pharisee.  By describing the feet Paul is alluding to a passage in Isaiah 5:27 which states, “No one in it is weary or stumbles, None slumbers or sleeps; Nor is the belt at its waist undone, Nor its sandal strap broken.”  In biblical times, the breaking of a soldier’s shoe was used as a metaphor for defeat.  The Roman soldiers sandal consisted of a thick sole that enabled him to march long distances without growing tired. 

Paul uses the concept of “peace” elsewhere in his writings.  In Romans 5:1 he writes, “Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The first step in being fitted is to stand on a firm foundation which is faith in Jesus Christ.  As we live for Christ, and strive to do is will Colossians 3:15 starts to take effect.  In passage Paul writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” As Christians, we are commanded by Christ to proclaim the gospel.  The armor of God which we have been studying has an interesting parallel in Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace.” 

We are constantly marching as Christians because we are forever at war.  As I’ve said before there are no breaks.  Shoes are vital to the mission, and if our shoes are torn we will not be able to stand.  I’m reminded of a hymn which says “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”  What is our foundation?  If it isn’t Christ, and the truth that is only found in Him then it is time for new shoes.

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