Feet Fitted With The Gospel
December 28, 1994 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos
We come now to the 3rd
piece in “the full armor of God” which God provides to Christians in fight in this world against the devil, against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Unlike the use of belt today, people use the shoes for more functional purpose rather than just decoration. Shoes are put on for different types of activities. We have dress shoes, work shoes, sports shoes. There are shoes for every type of sport. You don’t use golf shoes for basketball. Even in tennis, a player might wear one type of shoe on a concrete court, another kind on clay and still another on grass. An athletes shoes is an important element to ones mobility.
Ex. Basket with slippers.
Or with sipa.
For a soldier, shoes are more important than for an athlete because his very life could depend upon it. I have watched a film where even the armies morale has been affected by their shoes. They would be lazy in training. They kept on grumbling, complaining, and so many other things. They were discouraged. They has no confidence in fighting. In fact, there are some wars in history that were lost only because some armies had bad foot gears. Boots with holes in the soles who had to fight during winter time.
Illustration: Lloyd Jones
Paul was thinking here of a Roman soldier. Their shoes for war was a certain type of sandal, not boots, but a sandals which consisted essentially of a sole with straps which help firmly on the foot and had kind on spikes underneath.
- The sandal provided the Roman soldier with firmness of hold to prevent his sliding, slipping and falling hence the bits of metal or nails that function as spikes to give him greater traction as he climbed a slippery cliff and greater stability us he fought.
- But the sandals were also for protection. The Roman soldier needs protection for his feet as he marched on rough, hot roads, climbs over jagged rocks tramples over thorns, and wades through streambed of jagged stones. And more importantly he needs to be protected from the pieces of wood or stick chiseled to a narrow point that were fixed to the ground by the enemy. The sharp point stuck up slightly above the surface, almost invisibly so that when the enemies came running along, if he had no sandal’s on, those spikes would suddenly penetrate the sole of his foot. This would not only cause sever pain, it would also cause bleeding, and it might also become infected and put the soldier entirely out of action.
A soldier whose feet are blistered, cut or swollen cannot fight well and often is not even be able to stand up- a perilous situation in battle. He cannot very well handle his sword or shield and cannot advance rapidly or even retreat.
Illustration: JAPAN’S WINNING MARGINS
- The third reason for these sandals is mobility.
Japanese and a American were in an expedition in the forests of Africa and then suddenly they hear a lion roar towards their direction.
The American suddenly runs away from the direction of the lion, while the Japanese changes into running shoes.
The American looks back and sees his companion change and he shouts. “Suzuki, run for your life. No time to change shoes. You will never outrun the lion.”
Suzuki in his mind is thinking, I know I cannot outrun this lion but with these shoes I can outrun you.”
“A Christian’s spiritual footwear is equally important in his warfare against the schemes of the devil. If he has carefully girded his loins with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness, but does not properly fit his feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, he is destined to stumble, fall, and suffer many defeats. ( MacArthur)”
- Now what does this passage mean?
- Some take Eph 6:15 to mean “Being ready to preach the gospel of peace and salvation. We should be ready to evangelize, always ready to obey the command, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” Be engaged in missionary activity. (Of course their support comes from the supporting verses given in the margin of the bible, Ro 10:15 that quotes Isaiah 52:7).
We must be careful with that kind of studying the bible. We must always check the context.
Because Paul quoted Isaiah 52:7 in the context of preaching the gospel (“How beautiful are the great of those who bring good news of good things Ro 10:15). Many commentators also interpret Eph 6:15 as a reference to preaching. But in the Ephesians text Paul is not talking about preaching or teaching but about fighting spiritual battles. And he is not talking about traveling about but standing firm (vv.11,13,14). His subject is not evangelizing the lost but fighting the devil”.
- And so since Paul is speaking about our fight against the devil, our interpretation and application must go something like this:
When you go out and defend your ground… when you go out in this world and face the enemy in battle, make sure you do not rush into the fight with bare feet. Put on sandals with spikes. Make sure they are well fitted. Make sure you do not suddenly find your shoes slipping from your feet or else…
-you cannot have firm footing.
-you cannot quickly maneuver when you have to.
-you cannot stand.
-you cannot protect yourself from things that will hurt your feet.
-you cannot fight effectively.
- Now with what kind of shoes does one stand firm?
It says, “the gospel of peace” This gospel of peace brings a readiness to fight. It gives an assurance. It gives confidence. It gives protection. It gives mobility.
In this passage, the gospel of peace refers to the good news that believers are at peace with God. (Ro 5:1,2). Take not that this is the first blessing of justification: PEACE WITH GOD and not peace of God. The sinner is powerless, (Ro 5:6-10) ungodly, unrighteous, bad, a sinner, under God’s wrath, God’s enemy. (See Col 1:21-23).
With this marvelous truth, we stand in the confidence of God’s love for us, His union with us and his commitment to fight for us. When a Christian knows, understands and experiences the reality of the peace with God, then whatever happens, he can continue to stand.
What are some of the things can cause us to fall: troubles, hardship, persecution, famine, sadness, danger, death, uncertainties of life, demons, powers, future etc… (Ro 8:35-39).
Ex: A Christian can easily succumb to compromise when money, security is talked about. (e.g Heb 13:5,6) How easily we can be paralyzed to inaction because of so many fears. Fears of this present world… Living in RP which is a War Zone according to US travel Advisory… or fear of future etc…
But to know that God is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us because we are His children and we are at peace with Him can make a difference.
III. How Do You Fit or Stand Your Feet with the Gospel of Peace.
- Understand the gospel. Come to a knowledge of the truth.
- Experience the reality of the peace with God. (Ro 8:16)
- The importance of knowledge of the truth. (1Ti 2:3,4) I believe in my heart that one of the reasons why so many so called Christians fall from the faith, backslide or carefully stood their feet with the gospel of peace which I mean as being IGNORANT OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.
Ex: Saved my music. Emotions
Saved by warm fellowship.
Saved by a quick decision.
Saved by a bandwagon acceptance
Saved by a emotional manipulation
Saved by wrong motives: Food, shelter, trip to America.
Saved by a moving film.
Attending because they were born to a Christian family or because they have Christian school.
Attending because of tradition.
Attending because they have a relative who is a pastor or elder or deacon…
Saved because their movie idol received the Lord.
Saved because marami sila doon at enjoyable. May lechon pa.
Saved because maganda ang building.
Attending because maraming facilities doon. Body bldg, swimming pool, basketball court, girls, free medical check up, free clinic, free day care center…
See Matthew 13:18-21 Here are persons who have not understood or else have just been impressed by the presentation or enjoyed the blessings promised. They never understood the gospel of peace. ( I Like Persecution… It reveals the heart)
The gospel is be understood. We do not just make a decision. I am a little afraid of bedside conversions. Pressure from loved ones. They never experience assurance. (Of course it is not impossible like the robber beside Christ at the cross). But the bible says it is coming to the knowledge of the truth ( 1Ti 2:4). This is why Paul refers to Himself as a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. (1Ti 2:7). See Eph 4:20-22; Ro 6:17; Acts 4:18 (8-12); 5:17-20,21,28,42, 13:12; Heb 5:12-6:3).
There is too much confusion now. Sometimes even the church does not know its message. It does not know its priority.
Ex: Look at the confusion about Christmas.
- Peace on earth among men.
- Peace on earth (Pax Romana, Tower of Babel)
- It is reconciliation between man and God.
Some preachers forget about the message.
-It is not just moral reformation. Not just to look decent and respectable.
-It is not just to change the country. It is not nationalism.
-It is not primary to help the poor.
-It is not politics.
-It is more heavenly. It is reconciliation with God. Man is an enemy of God. So what if he is good is well fed if he dies he will go to hell.
Illustration: There were 3 who came to me to ask me to visit their loved ones who they
Feel may die.
- a) One had old parents
- b) One had a brother who had been bedridden for 2 years.
A doctor at GSIS.
- c) Another was really dying. What message did they need to hear.
Do you think that others who are not sick need another
message. Last few days died very young.
- The Importance of Experiencing the Truth. ( Jn 16, Ro 8:16) Mental Assent, Not enough (2Co13:5)
There are some who say they have understood that and they had a mental assent to it but that doesn’t mean that they have put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. There is need to experience its reality. And this is what I am convinced of. A person who has not realized that he is a sinner and convicted of sin is not yet at peace with God. One cannot receive the Lord casually. He comes to the Lord humbled. Humble like a child. Morning for sin because the Holy Spirit has convicted him of sin of righteousness and of judgment.
And then he has come to see that Jesus Christ was sent by God to die for his sins. Then he sees that Christ is the only Savior from the wrath of God. Only His righteousness will avail. Then he was seen that what he really need is to be reconciled to God…
Then that person who has trusted with his whole heart because of that and experience regeneration is at peace with God. He has the experience. Anyone who says that he knows but has no experience need to check himself to see if he is really in faith.
False assurance will fail when Satan attacks.
If more of the brethren are to experience this then;
- Preachers will need to go back to prioritizing the preaching of the gospel and not politicking or just moralizing. We should not be ashamed of the gospel.
- Preachers should ask the Holy Spirit to come with power so that the gospel will be received.
- Those who hear must seek to enter by the narrow gate. They must seek God with their whole heart. They must seek to understand and experience the gospel of peace.