Spiritual Warfare 4: feet shod with the gospel of peace

Sermon preached on 24th June 2012

Peace with God

Peace with God (Photo credit: listentothemountains)

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 (Ephesians v12).

The church is under attack from secular forces and this has increased in recent years.  We need to recognise it’s not a flesh and blood battle and stand firm. 

We have considered TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS.  We now consider the GOSPEL OF PEACE:

Stand firm … with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace [Ephesians 6v15].

This PEACE of God transcends all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus [Philippians 4:7], and makes us ready to stand firm in our faith.

In v 15 Paul uses the analogy of the Roman soldier’s boots and we will look closely at this verse.

1.       with your feet fitted / feet shod

The Roman soldier’s boots had to be fitted with the right kind of boot.  If you are going to the beach, flip flops will do, but if you are hiking you need a good pair of walking boots.  Having the right footware is essential because if it fails us we can’t carry on.

The Romans realised how important footware was. Their soldiers had to stand against the enemy, fight and march forward.  So they produced boots fit for purpose.  It was a leather boot tied round the ankle and shin with straps, with a nail-studded sole.  It was not a running shoe; it was a boot with traction to prevent the soldiers sliding around.   Much ancient warfare involved hand-to-hand combat, and these boots helped the soldiers to stand firm, and to march forward one step at a time.  Imagine a rugby scrimmage without any grip on your boots.  You would be sliding around in the mud all over the place.

The gospel of peace gives us traction to be able to stand against the attacks of the enemy and in the midst of difficulty.  The gospel of peace prevents us sliding around and being weak and ineffective in our faith.   As the church, we need to know God’s peace in these difficult times.

2.       with the readiness / the preparation

What is this ‘readiness’ / ‘preparation’?

Some have thought it is just a readiness to share the gospel of peace with others.  Though this is always an excellent thing to do I do not think this is the primary meaning here.

I think this readiness has to do with a preparedness to stand against all the devil would throw at us.  The word has a sense (in Greek) of a foundation.  We can stand because the gospel of peace is like a firm foundation in our lives.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful [Colossians 3:15]

The peace of Christ which comes from believing the gospel gives us a firm-footing.  If we place our feet firmly on this solid ‘gospel-ground’ the enemy won’t be able to push us back, and we will be able to advance forward.

It is gospel believing Christians who will be equipped to stand in the battles Christians will face in coming years.

3.       that comes from the gospel of peace

It is a gospel of peace!  The ministry of the Baptist was, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace [Luke 1:79]

The angels announced the gospel to the shepherds, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men [Luke 2:14].

Many think religion is the cause of all war, but true Christianity isn’t – it is a gospel of PEACE!

When we find peace with God through Christ it is a wonderful thing.  Knowing that our sins are forgiven we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.  This is the greatest knowledge we can have.

I remember experiencing God’s peace for the first time 30 years ago! I remember later being literally flooded with God’s peace when I made the step to train for ministry.  But it’s not just on special occasions we can know God’s peace but every day as we put our trust in Him.  God is the God of peace.  He gives us His peace, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you [John 14:27].  This  peace of God enables us to stand firm against even the greatest assaults of the enemy.

QUESTION Do you have peace with God?

It is certainly the view of insurance companies that you do not, which is why they offer ‘peace of mind’ with various insurance packages, to guarantee your future!  They know one of the basic instincts of human beings if to seek peace.

It’s not only insurance companies offering peace of mind.  Try www.peaceofmind.com! (though I don’t really recommend that site!)  The lack of peace in human hearts produces much anxiety which has become epidemic in our society.  This in turn leads to extreme loneliness, depression and illness.

Yet when we come to the Bible we read about a gospel of peace which brings us into unity with God our Creator.  It is a peace of mind we are unable to achieve ourselves through insurance or religion or whatever.  It is a peace God has achieved for us through the work of Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection, and is his gift to us.  It is just a step of faith away.      This gospel establishes peace between God and human beings.

Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ [Rom 5:1].

So do you have peace with God?  You will not be able to stand life’s battles unless you do.  When we are made right with God through Jesus, i.e. we are justified by faith and we believe the gospel, then we find the deep inner peace we have been searching for all along.

Knowing the peace of God will enable you to stand in the midst of all your struggles and difficulties, and to move forward in your life.

The peace of the gospel will sustain the Church through the trials and tribulations which we now see increasing in our world.

Make sure you are shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace!

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One Response to Spiritual Warfare 4: feet shod with the gospel of peace

  1. Wendy Brooks says:

    Thank you for referencing my “Armor of God Prayer” at the bottom of your Sermon notes. Blessings.

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