September 13, 2017
WOFCF Bible Explosion
The Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Eph 6) – Part 1
Part of the armor of God, as described by the apostle Paul, is the shoes of "the preparation of the gospel of peace." What good are shoes? And more importantly, what do they have to do with the gospel of peace? Let's find out. The third piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is the shoes of "the preparation of the gospel of peace." What purpose did shoes serve for a Roman soldier? What purpose do these spiritual shoes serve for us?
Point #1 Shod with the Gospel of Peace
The brethren gathered around, desperately trying to convince Paul to abandon his plans to travel to Jerusalem. They had heard the prophecies about the fate that awaited him on this journey—Paul himself said that he did not know what to expect, "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me" (Acts 20:23). Paul's brethren and fellow workers couldn't bear the thought of their friend willingly walking into this, and begged him to reconsider.
But God, through His Holy Spirit, had summoned Paul to Jerusalem (Acts 20:22)—and Paul was intent on answering that call. Knowing that the upcoming trip could very well mean the end of his life, he says to his would-be dissuaders, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 21:13).
Paul did not just write about the armor of God; he also wore it. At this time in his life he was able to call upon the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. He found protection and strength in the knowledge of what God's gospel meant for him and for the others he shared that good news with. His footing was sure and unshakable, and he was prepared to carry the gospel wherever God sent him.
Point #2 What purpose do shoes serve?
Imagine a fully armed soldier. He has his sword, his shield, his helmet, his breastplate and his belt...but his feet are completely bare. The picture probably seems strange, and it should! Just by thinking about it, we can tell something is missing.
But the problem goes beyond just looking odd. A shoeless soldier could run into real trouble in the heat of battle. Unless he is fighting on Astroturf, he is going to encounter some debris. It may be nothing more than twigs and pebbles, but to a bare foot that can cause serious pain—and one of the last things you want to deal with in the middle of a fight is worrying about where you step. In short, shoes allow us to step freely and without fear while we turn our full attention to the battle at hand.
Point #3 What is the Gospel of Peace? Are there different gospels in the Bible?
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God...
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
The gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God, the gospel of the grace of God, the gospel of peace—these are some of descriptions attached to the word gospel throughout the New Testament. Do all these different qualifiers mean that there are multiple gospels set forth in the Bible?
No. The Greek word translated gospel—euaggelion (pronounced ‘you-r-gilion’)—simply means "good news." This raises a question: The good news of what? The first description used in the Gospels also summarizes all the others: The gospel of the Kingdom. The good news of the Kingdom of God includes the good news about Jesus Christ the King, His grace (unmerited pardon) and His plan of salvation for all mankind. This plan gives us peace now, and will bring peace to the whole world! This is the message God's people are eager to share with others. Our loving Father is preparing us all for a future beyond imagination and description.
Next week, we’ll discuss:
1. What does the gospel of peace have to do with shoes?
2. How do these spiritual shoes help us stand firm?
3. Why is it called a gospel of peace?