August 25, 2014

Armor Mondays: Feet fitted with the Readiness of the Gospel

The last couple of weeks we have concerned ourselves with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.  Today we will be looking down at our feet:

... and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  Ephesians 6:15

Soldiers wear foot gear.  A foolish soldier would enter the march and the battle with bare feet!  The Christian, likewise, is foolish to engage the enemy without proper footwear.  What does Paul suggest we need to put on our feet?  He says to fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

The Gospel of peace makes a Christian ready to stand firm in the battle against the spiritual forces of evil.

But what does that mean, the gospel of peace?  Well, the Gospel is the good news that despite the fact that we have turned our backs on God and can never return to Him in our own power, He loves us so much He made a way for us to return to Him, at His own cost.  Our sins needed to be atoned for so we could have a relationship with God and Jesus was that atonement!  He made him who knew know sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

Because of the Christ-bridge, which is crossed by faith and trust that He is the only way of forgiveness and life with God, we can know peace with God. Paul says it this way at the beginning of Romans 5,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Reconciliation is complete!  The warring against God is over!  In Christ, you are no longer dead in your transgressions, an object of wrath, or an enemy of God.  Hallelujah!

That is the good news, the gospel, of peace.  However, by becoming a friend of God, we pick up His enemy.  Thus we find ourselves needing to be ready for battle, and God equips us well for it: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and now the blessed gospel of peace to secure our footing and to help us march far.  We do not despair or cower before our new enemy, because our present and future and even our past are safe and secure in the hands of Almighty God!

The strength for battle comes from the Lord -be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Eph 6:10  All the pieces of armor point us to Christ and point us to grace!  Strapping the Gospel of peace on our feet each day makes us ready stand firm, and it is purely a gift of God for those who believe!  (Does your jaw drop like mine does sometimes when you think of the wonder of it all?!)

Amazing Grace!

One final note before closing today.  I believe from the context of the passage, that we are to think mostly about how the Gospel enables us to stand strong in spiritual battle.  But strapping on the Gospel-boots, also readies us to open our lips to declare salvation not only to shut satan up and make him stand down, but also to invite others to know reconciliation with God.  Paul says it well in 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, which is a great way to wrap up today's reflection.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The old has gone, the new has come; this is for all who will believe.
Have you got your shoes on so you won't forget it?*

Walk in His way.

*Alistair Begg asks a similar question in his sermon on the Armor, which you can find here.

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