Summary: Not to be neglected of the armor of God is the Sandal or Boot of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Are you wearing it?
Christian Warfare - Pt. 7
In our study of the Christian warfare, we have come to the understanding that we are engaged in a mighty conflict against Satan and the forces of evil in this world which is his kingdom. Even though the forces of evil are mighty, we have been encouraged by the fact that God has granted us armor to withstand the enemy’s assaults and weaponry to defeat his schemes and works.
Today, looking at Verse 15, we are going to look at the last piece of equipment to be put-on - our military footwear.
I. The Military Boot.
On the Roman soldier’s feet, he wore the elaborate military boot (caliga). They were heavy sandals with thick soles studded with hollow-headed hob-nails These boots were strong, allowing the soldier to stand firmly and cross safely on most any terrain. They were comfortable enough to allow the soldier to march at least 20 miles (and not infrequently upwards of 50-60 miles) per day. The caliga were vital pieces to the soldier’s combat wear.
II. Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
Paul says our military footwear is "the preparation of the Gospel of Peace." The key to understanding what Paul is teaching us, here, is found in the meaning of the word translated "preparation". This word has two different meanings -
A. The first meaning has the idea of ‘steadiness’. With this meaning, Paul says we are to have our feet grounded firmly in the Gospel of Peace That is, the Gospel brings peace of mind because it provides sure footing in a world of slippery places and shifting sands. Whether we march through high rocky terrain or through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear not because the sure promises of the Gospel bring inward peace and comfort.
B. The second meaning of "preparation" is ‘to be in readiness’. With this meaning, Paul would be saying that we are to always have our sandals on; that is, always ready to proclaim the Gospel of peace throughout the world.
Of these two possible interpretations, I believe the latter one to be the true sense intended. I confidently assert this because Paul is actually quoting a portion of Isaiah 52:7, "How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation." Without question, Isaiah was prophesying of the coming of the Gospel and its proclamation to the world. Thus, our boot is ‘the readiness to proclaim the Gospel of Peace.’
III. Proclaiming The Gospel of Peace.
We have here a direct command to share the Gospel of Peace with others. Why is the Gospel called the Gospel of Peace? This is because the Gospel announces the terms by which peace can be restored between God and sinful Mankind.
Paul says, in Ephesians 2:12, that prior to Christ Jesus, we sinners had "no hope" and were "without God in this world." We did not have a friendly relationship with God because, being holy, God could not fellowship with us due to our sins. We could do nothing about our sins; therefore, we had no hope of a relationship with God in this life and in the life to come We were totally helpless and hopeless. We were spiritually dead. What we could not do ourselves, God did through the giving of His only Son to die for us.
Remember the words of the angel to the shepherds, recorded in Luke 2:10-11, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord."
Romans 5:6, 8-10, 1-2, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life….Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."
God laid the penalty for our sin upon the sinless Jesus. His blood washes away all our sins. Without our sins, we are justified or acquitted and, thus, allowed to be reconciled to God. We have a peaceful relationship with God once again