Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:14-15 (ESV)
People wear many different kinds of shoes. There are shoes made for athletic teams and some sports may require more than one type of shoe. Various occupations require certain types of shoes. The military also requires a certain type of boot; one that is conducive for situations encountered in combat. So, it’s no coincidence that Paul mentioned shoes when he spoke of the armor of God. He knew that to stand our ground against the devil we would need a certain type of shoe; the shoe of the gospel of peace.
What is the gospel of peace? It is the “good message” that God, through Jesus Christ, is reconciling sinners to himself. People who were enemies of God and separated from him can be made at peace with God and dine with him at table through the blood of Christ (Colossians 1:19-20; Romans 5:10). Jesus came to preach the gospel to both and Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:17) and all those who are justified by faith in him will have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
These shoes of the gospel of peace are weapons against the schemes of the enemy when we preach this message to those whose eyes have been blinded by the god of this world. They become offensive weapons as we invade the kingdom of the enemy to tear down his gates (Matthew 16:18). This good message of peace with God through Jesus Christ alone is a weapon that dispels the lie of the enemy that says there are numerous ways to have peace with God. We can stand firm in this message when we are assailed with insults or suffer other types of persecution for the sake of Christ. We should always be ready to preach this message (2 Timothy 4:1-2) and make a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15; Romans 1:16).
These shoes can also be defensive weapons. When the enemy comes to make accusations such as “You’re no Christian, you sinned” or some other guilt trip he might use to confuse us (1 Corinthians 14:33). Even though we once were enemies of God (James 4:4), he reconciled us to himself through Jesus when we believed on his name; thus we have peace with God (John 14:27). We can know that the Lord of peace has given us peace with God (2 Thessalonians 3:16). We can have peace in Christ even in the midst of tribulation (John 16:33). These shoes cause us to stand firm in our faith.
Spiritual peace is not the absence of conflict. If that were the case Paul would not have included the shoes of the gospel of peace as part of God’s battle armor. However, in the midst of conflict Jesus is the Prince of Peace and is himself our peace (Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 2:14-15). We can go to God in prayer and his peace that surpasses understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ (Philippians 4:7). And in the end the God of peace will crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20).
Do you have peace with God? Are you preaching the good message of peace?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Timothy 2:22