Course index

Christians in Spiritual Warfare

Course:  The Armour of God

Lesson 7

Lesson Title: The Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace


Text:   Ephesians 6:15

 

Theme: Standing firm in the Gospel of Peace.


Details concerning the Shoe:

Shaped as the human foot – comfortable. Not made for show; had a straight inner edge.

Protected the foot

Good for marching – consider Roman Roads

Easily put on - Readiness

Fitted with nails or studs for firmness


Introduction:  

Comparison between the Armour of God and the Fruit of the Spirit.


Difference of emphasis between the fruit and the armour.

Fruit of peace - emphasis upon the life of Christ in the believer producing fruit in our lives. The fruit of peace is seen in our relationship with God and one another.


The armour of peace - emphasis is upon standing against the schemes of the devil.  The enemy comes to attack our relationship with God and one another.


Putting on the armour means putting on Christ.  The shoes enable us to stand firm.  It means standing firm on Christ, He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). The wrong shoes will provide no grip on the ground.


The Roman soldier’s sandal gave protection to the feet; firm grip on the ground; and made it easy to move.  Feet can easily slide without firm footing.  Nails or studs under the sole to keep the grip.    Sandal shaped so that it was comfortable for the foot.


Introductory Story:  ‘Peace in our time’.

Peace built on appeasement and not built on truth.

Before the outbreak of war the Munich agreement of 1938 promised peace.  The next year the Second World War began.

Neville Chamberlain made an agreement of peace with Hitler in 1938. He flew back from Munich with great happiness to Britain waving the signed agreement and saying 'it is peace in our time'.  The next year Britain was at war with Hitler and in 1940 Neville Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister, making the way for Winston Churchill to take over.  Churchill had been called a warmonger because of his negative attitude towards Hitler and Nazi Germany, but in 1940 the people knew he had been right.  Peace with Hitler was not founded upon truth.


Peace and truth must go hand in hand.

Mordecai wrote words of peace to the Jews. Words that came with the authority of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia (486-464 BC), words that were founded upon the truth.

'And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus with words of peace and truth,' (Esther 9:30)


Standing firm – wrong shoes will provide no grip on the ground. The world’s peace is the wrong shoes for spiritual warfare.  Christians who wear the wrong shoes can easily become discouraged and are soon defeated.  Only the ‘Gospel of Peace’ provides a firm footing against the schemes of the devil.



Main Points:

1. The shoes provide firm footing against the attacks of the devil regarding our salvation.


a) Standing firm because the gospel of peace provides full assurance of salvation,  '... we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus', Romans 5:1.

We stand firm on the finished work of Christ and not on our own works.

If we look at ourselves we will slide.

It is Christ alone who saves, Ephesians 2:8.


We have been reconciled to God through the cross, 2 Corinthians 5:18.

No longer the enemies of God but friends of God. We were by nature the enemies of God, but the Gospel brings reconciliation with God through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.


We are justified by faith, Romans 5:1.  Free from condemnation - We have become the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21.  God the Son dwells in us, God the Father delights in His Son, and the Holy Spirit delights to makes us more like Him.


We know that we are accepted in Christ.

Ephesians 1:6, 'To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved.’


We are adopted into the family of God, Romans 8:15.

When He returns we shall be like Him, 1 John 3:1-3


b) Standing firm because we have been brought out of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God.

Colossians 1:13  'Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:'


We are no longer slaves of sinful desires.

We have been set free to be the servants of righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18 'But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.'


We have the power to resist the devil in every trial and temptation.

1 Peter 5:9  'Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.'

Resisting the devil by standing firm in the faith.



2. The shoes provide firm footing against the attacks of the devil when he seeks to destroy our relationship with one another in the body of Christ.

We are able to stand firm because we have peace with one another in the body of Christ, Ephesians 2:14.


a) All barriers have been removed in Christ.

Galatians 3:28, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'


No racial barriers.

'There is neither Jew nor Greek...'

There is no place for racial prejudice within the body of Christ.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile.

There is no difference between nationalities - we are one body.


No social barriers.

'there is neither bond nor free...'

There is no place for social prejudice between rich and poor.

Every member of the body of Christ is needed, (1 Corinthians 12:18).

The body of Christ is to care for one another regardless of social standing.


No place for prejudice between men and women.

'there is neither male nor female...'

Men and women are of equal importance within the body of Christ.

Men and women have different roles but there is no difference in status within the body of Christ.

All are one in Christ Jesus.


b) The shoes of the gospel will keep us from schism.

1 Corinthians 12:25, 'That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.'

The shoes enable us to stand against the devil when he seeks to divide the body of Christ.

 

The God of peace will overcome the devil's schemes.

Romans 16:17-20, 'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.'


The Gospel of peace sets us free to serve one another.  We can rest in being who we are in Christ. The greatest in God's kingdom is the one who serves most, John 13.  This is how the body of Christ should function.  We are labourers together in Christ.  'Let all your things be done with charity’ (1 Corinthians 16:13).


The devil seeks to divide the body of Christ through competitiveness.  The body of Christ is not hierarchical or competitive, 1 Corinthians 13.  Ministers of the Gospel are not in competition with one another.  Those who seek to be highly honoured on earth will not be highly honoured in heaven.



3.The Gospel of peace enables us to stand firm when the devil attacks us in our daily lives.


The peace of God will be our daily guide.

Colossians 3:15 'And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful.'

The word rule is the Greek word brabeuo  which means 'to be the umpire'.

The peace of Christ will enable us to stand firm with confidence in every circumstance.


The peace of God is closely associated with being filled with the word of God.

Colossians 3:16  'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.'

When we love God’s Word we will know His peace in all circumstances.

Psalm 119:165, ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.’


The peace of God will guard and keep us.

Philippians 4:6-7 'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.'

The peace of God will keep our hearts and minds.  Stress will cause heart attacks and mental breakdowns, but the armour of God will keep us from the attacks of the enemy.  The peace of God is sufficient for us to be at peace in all circumstances.

Anxiety in believers is evidence that he or she has not learnt to put on the armour of God against the attacks of the enemy.

Isaiah 26:3, ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.’


The shoes prepare our feet for spiritual warfare.

‘the preparation of the Gospel of peace’ (Ephesians 6:15).

Preparation is the Greek word hetoimos which means ready, prepared, and refers to being firm footed.

The Christian must be prepared at all times against the attacks of the devil in our daily lives.  We must be equipped with the shoes of the Gospel of peace. If our feet are not firm then the enemy will be able to pull us down because we are not ready for his attacks.

It is our responsibility to keep our feet firm upon Christ and all He has done for us.


Perfect peace in the face of death.

Facing death.  Peter slept in the face of death in prison, Acts 12:6.

John Wesley said that even the enemies had to agree ‘We Christians die well’.  John Wesley’s dying words were ‘The best of all is, God is with us’.

D.L.Moody said on the day of his death ‘This is my coronation day’.



Summary:

We can only be ready for the attacks of the enemy if our feet are firm.  Our feet must be prepared with the Gospel of peace.

1      The enemy seeks to attack our assurance of salvation.  The Gospel of peace enables us to stand firm in regard to our salvation because we know that we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ

2      The enemy seeks to attack our relationship with one another in the body of Christ, our feet must be protected by the Gospel of peace.  There are no barriers in Christ.  We must be protected from everything that would divide the body of Christ.

3      The peace of God must be the umpire in our daily lives.  The peace of God will keep us from anxiety and fear.