Tying on the Gospel Shoes
William J. Brown
Tie on those Gospel Shoes!
In Ephesians 6:15 Paul says...
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Why is this so important? Let's find out...
For the Roman soldier of Paul's day, shoes held an important place. He needed them because having healthy "wheels" is so important. Without feet, the soldier could not do battle. In fact, a soldier with bad feet would have to be left behind or his disability would slow down the march for his brothers-in-arms.
To keep a soldier's "wheels" working then, he strap on shoes that were composed of two parts. The first part was thickly soled sandals.
Sometimes enemies would set traps of sharply pointed sticks in the way of an advancing army. If a soldier stepped on those spikes with the wrong kind of footwear, he was done-for. So the Roman soldier wore sandals with thick soles that would stop such traps from harming him.
The second part of his shoes consisted of the greeves. These were glorified "shinguards" constructed of metal or some other hard substance. These kept the soldier's legs under him in the heat of battle. If the enemy could knock his legs out from under him, the soldier had no chance of winning. The greeves protected the Roman soldier from such a fate.
And the Gospel Shoes are our spiritual feet's protection in battle. We're given these shoes when we come to Christ. Whether we wear them or not is our choice.
This isn't speaking of our salvation. Paul isn't speaking to the unsaved. He wants those who are already believers to put on these shoes. So we can be assured the gospel (also called the Good News) of Jesus Christ affects us all through our lives...from the time we are saved...until we meet Christ face to face.
So how are the Gospel Shoes like the footwear of the Roman soldier...
First, they give us a firm foundation. When we put our trust in Christ at salvation, He gives us shoes for a firm footing. When we forget to wear those shoes, we slip and slide in battle which will lead only to a thorough thrashing by the devil. But with these shoes on, we are always ready for him.
Second, the Good News of Jesus Christ influences us to recognize we can't do anything in our own power. We came to Christ with nothing. He gave us everything. And it had nothing to do with anything we did. So the Gospel Shoes provide humility by showing us it was all God.
And humility is one of the most important aspects of winning the battle. If we are focused on Christ and what He has done, we will have no problems falling into the same pride that caused Satan to fall. So these shoes protects us from pride.
Finally, the Good News protects us by giving us something that allows us to focus on others. Christ gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20.) This is a command for all believers to share their faith. And I have to say that if we are sharing our faith with others, we'll have little time to get ourselves in trouble or cause problems in the lives of others. The Good News of Christ protects us by giving us an object of focus...a goal.
But the biggest concept that amazes me about this verse is that these are the Gospel Shoes of peace! Peace and war...in the same verse?
This may not make sense until you know what "peace" is. It isn't the absence of war. Not at all. Peace is a quiet heart...even in difficult times of the fiercest battles. A heart fully resigned to what God says. It's obedience to our Masters voice. No matter what we think, we do what God asks. And through that we find a quiet rest that only God can give.
But to have such a restful outlook, we must strap on those Gospel Shoes. Without them, we will surely fall to the enemy. If we want peace and success in our lives we must tie those shoes tightly and ready ourselves for battle.