November 14, 2019 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Paul’s words, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood,” are well known among Christians, but do we truly live mindfully of spiritual warfare? It is far too easy to allow our sight and physical realities to command our attention. The call of Scripture, however, is to be battle ready for spiritual warfare. Through this multi-week series, we will consider what Scripture teaches about this spiritual struggle. This is part seven.
The third piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is shoes. Perhaps we do not naturally think of the importance of shoes when doing battle. Just imagine, though, having to march and defensively maneuver with bare feet. We would never get far in the battle. The same is true for our spiritual battle with Satan.
Paul looks again to the Old Testament for this piece of armor. In Isaiah 52:7 we read, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” This herald with beautiful feet gives us the backdrop to Paul’s instruction: “And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15).
The primary focus of putting on the gospel as shoes is the readiness to proclaim the gospel. Isaiah 52 celebrates the herald of good news that the Lord delivers his people from the tyranny of sin and death. This readiness serves as part of the armor of God in at least two ways:
- To be a herald of the Good News, one must have personally experienced the Good News. Putting on your gospel shoes entails hearing, understanding, believing, and delighting in the gospel. If you do not love the gospel you are not ready to herald the gospel. Paul loved the gospel. That’s why, while he is writing his letters, he breaks out into spontaneous praise. I see Ephesians 2:1-10 to be a rabbit trail off the main topic of his letter to celebrate the good news of the gospel. He saw the reality that he was dead in his sin, but God, out of shear mercy, made him alive with Christ. Do you know that Gospel story as your own? Do you love that story and the power of God in your life? Without the experience with the Gospel, you will never be ready to be a herald of the Gospel. And you will not be equipped with the armor of God.
- Readiness to herald the Good News is part of the church defense system. Remember that the instructions and commands of Ephesians 6 focus on the plurality of the church. The church stands against the schemes of the devil by hearing, believing, and growing in the gospel. The church needs to put on the gospel as shoes. The church will stand or fall based upon her readiness in the gospel. Therefore, we aim to keep the gospel central in all we do and each member has the responsibility to contribute to the gospel proclamation of the church.