Shod With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
By Dr. Tom Walker
The Bible says, “Having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace” (Eph.6:15). We continue our studies on the warfare of the believer. It is easy to see there is a battle that is ongoing between the forces of evil and Almighty God. It is a conflict that we cannot deny since we see it every day as we walk through this world on our pilgrim journey to Heaven.
Despite the inward and outward battles we face, some present the Christian life as a leisurely tiptoe through the tulips. That is a false concept of what the Christian life actually is. When you enter the family of God by faith, you enter into a new realm of conflict like you have never known. You were born with an old nature that tends to lean toward sin, but when you become a true child of God, you begin to realize you have a new nature that you did not have before.
That nature is a divine nature. Peter speaks of it when he says in 2 Peter 1:4: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Since we have been born again, we have new leanings and new tendencies since we have new desires that we never had before our salvation.
It is further pinpointed and explained in 2 Corinthians 5:17. In that Scripture the Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” A person’s whole being, nature, life, and behavior change. Man is born in trespasses and sins, but as a new creature, he becomes alive unto God. Man had no relationship with God but as a new creature, we have a permanent relationship established. Before salvation, we never communed and fellowshipped with God, but the new creature can fellowship and commune with God all the time. We did live in sin but as a new creature, we live in righteousness and holiness. What a clear contrast between the old life as a lost sinner and the new life that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ!
If you are going to fight the battles you face you must make the proper preparation if you are going to effectively conquer your enemies of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. This verse gives us a part of that preparation that should be ours as we represent Christ.
The Preparation of Our Feet
Have you thought lately about how important our feet are and how thankful you should be if you have them both to support the weight of your body? Feet are the foundation of your body. Keeping them healthy is important and vital to your overall health.
Your feet serve three purposes. First, they support your body weight. Something has to be able to handle the weight of your body. Secondly, they provide balance. Just one toe missing, can affect the accuracy of your balance. Thirdly, they serve as shock absorbers for the human body.
If a person is going to take care of his or her feet, your shoes must fit as they should, or they could lead to injuries and disorders.
Not only should we be concerned about our physical feet but also our activities for our Lord, which shoes represent. What do shoes speak of in our spiritual lives?
They speak of activity. There can be little or no activity without feet to support or carry your body from one place to another. God desires that His people be busy with His business rather than in a state of sloth or laziness.
They speak of acknowledgment. As we have our feet shod with the Gospel of Peace, we acknowledge the importance of putting our feet to use to carry the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They speak of resistance. Since feet absorb the shock of the weight of your foot, it resists the pain that could come to the rest of the lower part of your body. “Shod” means to “bind under one’s feet.” It would suggest in Paul’s day putting on shoes or sandals. It is not a good idea to go into battle without having your feet covered. I have never seen bare-footed soldiers going to battle, have you?
The Proclamation of the Message
Paul mentions the gospel in our text verse. If you have been a Bible student any length of time, you will know the word “gospel” has the idea of “good news.”
Our day is filled with a great deal of bad news. Just turn on the news on television and you will hear of shootings, crimes, and murders. You will hear bad news about our standing in the world or problems on the home front. Bad news seems to dominate what we see and hear on the television screen.
As we go through this pilgrim journey, we are to carry the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are not left on earth just to sit and wait for our journey to Heaven. It is our place to witness and tell the good news of the Lord’s death, burial, resurrection, and His coming again.
There is hesitancy to overcome. Too many potential witnesses for Christ are hesitant to do so, possibly afraid they will offend someone or arouse some hostility from the other person. We cannot allow such that to hinder us from giving a Christian witness to the person who is lost in his or her sin. Jesus faced hostility, but that did not keep Him from giving out the truth to sinful men.
There is knowledge to acquire. It helps a Christian witness to adapt a plan of Bible verses you can use in presenting the Gospel of Christ to sinners. Many use the Romans Road (Rom.3:10, 23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9,10,13). Others used what some call the Isaiah Trail. Here is what this trail looks like:
- God loves man and desires that all men should experience a life filled with His blessings (Psm. 16:11 and Isa.41:10).
- Man is separated from God by sin; He is a sinner by nature and by will.
(Jer. 17:9 and Isa. 64:6)
- The result of sin and separation from God is spiritual death.
(Jer. 31:30 and Isa.59:2)
- God has provided a way by which reconciliation can be accomplished.
(Isa.1:18; 43:11; 53:4-5; Lev.17:11)
There is an urgency to express. It is possible to wait too late to reach someone for Christ. We do not know exactly when death is coming to anyone. I have seen situations where doctors told family members their loved ones would not live overnight, yet they lived for several days. We do not know how our death will come or when it will come, but we must do all we can to witness and get people ready for the day they leave this earth and meet God in another world.
III. The Peace We All Enjoy
Peace is not something we can fully explain but is something every believer can enjoy as he or she walks with the Lord, depending upon Him in daily life. When we believe the message of Christ and trust Him, peace can be our portion in our day-to-day activities. Due to our faith in the Lord, panic, despair a host of other problems, can be overcome in our lives.
The wonder of it– it passes all understanding. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We cannot explain peacefully, but we can express it to others and gratefully enjoy it. What does it mean to pass all understanding?
Once we have peace with God then the peace of God can flood our lives. The believer is not to fret about anything. The Philippians had every reason to worry if it were the proper thing to do. They were suffering severe persecution, there was disunity in the church, they had carnal members who were selfish and self-centered, there were false teachers among them, and some of the Christians were having to struggle for just the necessities of life. However, despite it all, they could have the peace of God to settle their hearts amid all the difficulties they encountered.
The peace of God passes all understanding. It is beyond anything we can ask or think. It surpasses all our imaginations. Think of the most terrible situation you can imagine; then think of the peace you would want as you went through that trial. In actual experience, the peace of God is far greater than anything you could ever imagine or understand. The peace of God actually carries the faithful believer through the very midst of trial and tribulation.
The work of it– calms us in the storms and assures us as we seek to fulfill our spiritual responsibilities in life. It assures us that God will deliver, sustain, strengthen, guide, and provide as we walk along the pathway of life. Peace is a sense that all is well because God is on the throne when things do not even seem well.
The way of it- The way of God’s peace is the best way to live in life. If a person is living without Christ as Savior, and without this peace given from God that passes all understanding, life is not what it could be for them if they personally knew the Lord. As we consider our opening two verses, prayer is a very important part of knowing God’s peace. Know the Lord personally, live in obedience to His will and you can know this wonderful peace.