“Fit your feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” is a bit of a mouthful. And obviously not as straightforward as, “pop your shoes on”.
At this point in the journey through the full armour of God, we find ourselves buckled into truth and encased in righteousness. And now it’s time to lace ourselves into boots of peace.
Boots of Peace?
Ephesians 6:15 doesn’t specify a particular type of footwear, but rather, the need to “fit out feet”. However, I’ve called them Boots of Peace because the Roman soldier’s kit included boots.
Actually, they wore half-boots called Caliga.
Fitting their feet with the Caliga was an essential part of a soldier’s preparation. Legionnaires had to fight on all sorts of terrain, and at times they had to march day and night to get there. Obviously, arriving with feet intact was important. Furthermore, in battle, soldiers needed to focus on what opposed them, rather than what was under them.
Whilst the boots wouldn’t stop a spear, the hobnail soles gave traction. And they had the added bonus of helping the fallen to stay down with a well-placed stomp.
Fit your feet
In addition to the Roman soldier Paul was shackled to, he again drew inspiration from the prophet Isaiah.
7 How beautiful on the mountainsIsaiah 52:7
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
In the Ancient Near East, runners – highly trained, brave men – ran miles to deliver critical information. We see evidence of this in 1 Sam 4:12; 2 Samuel 18:25, 2 Samuel 18:26.
Like the herald in Isaiah, we too have good news to share; the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul argued there is only one Gospel, the Word of God:
- Christ died for our sins
- Was buried
- Rose on the third day
- Appeared to his disciples 1 Cor. 15:1-5.
The gospel of peace?
The term, “gospel of peace” appears only in Ephesians 6:15. Yet, perhaps more than most, Paul understood the dangers a herald of the Gospel faced.
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;Romans 8:35-36
we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”
And Jesus Himself taught,
13 You will be hated by all men for My name’s sake.Mark 13:13
He promised insults, rejection and suffering on account of the gospel as well.
So, where’s the peace?
Just because the response to the Gospel may not be positive, doesn’t mean the news itself is negative. Because we also read:
- The Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes Romans 1:16
- Our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10
- And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13
Paul summed up his argument in Thessalonians:
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.2 Thessalonians 3:16
Jesus is our peace.
The good news is, through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we now have peace with God, and by extension, each other.
Our enemy doesn’t want the world to hear this transformational message. But again, Christ has the final word.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Similar to the heralds of the Ancient Near East, as messengers who deliver the good news of Jesus Christ – fitted with boots of peace – we advance God’s army against the enemy.
- Stand on the truth. Above all, remember we wear God’s armour, not our own; God’s truth is our assurance, foundation, security and identity.
- Fit your feet. As much as we wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, we wouldn’t go to war without our boots fitted. Be prepared.
- Keep running. Our battle is not against the physical, but within the spiritual. As Christ’s soldiers, we are on active duty … constantly.
- Experience God’s peace. Our enemy doesn’t want us to share the good news or receive its peace. First, we fight the battle within acknowledging Christ is Lord over all.
- Use those hobnails. Our warrior God fights for us and soon He will crush Satan under your feet.
- What does “readiness” look like?
- Where does the stamina to “keep running” come from?
- How are boots of peace used to fight the internal struggle?