Shoes of Peace

22 April 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:15 – Armour18 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Two painters were asked to paint a picture illustrating peace. The first painted a beautiful evening scene in the foreground of which was a lake, its surface absolutely calm and unruffled. Trees surrounded it, meadows stretched away to the distant cattle gently browsing; a little cottage, the setting sun-all spoke of perfect rest.

The second painter drew a wild, stormy scene. Heavy black clouds hung overhead; in the centre of the picture, an immense waterfall poured forth huge volumes of water covered with foam. One could almost hear its unceasing roar, yet perhaps the first thing to strike the eye was a small bird, perched in a cleft of a huge rock, absolutely sheltered from all danger, pouring forth its sweet notes of joy.

It is the second painter who could describe the peace that passeth all understanding which only the Lord Jesus Christ can give. One can stand against the wiles of the devil ONLY if he has peace with God and the peace of God.

Transition: The armour of God that we are going to consider this evening is the shoes of God’s peace. To help us put on those shoes, we must first answer three important questions about this armour.

1.        Of what Significance were Shoes to the Soldiers?
a.         Roman soldiers wore special sandals in battle
1)         The soldier’s sandals were made of thick leather, with straps that tied to his lower leg.
a)         “Shod,” means to under bind one’s feet.
b)         I our day we would say “put on your combat boots.”
2)         The soles were often studded with nails for better grip. This was to give a firm grip and foundation especially during hand-to-hand combat.
b.         Often greaves were part of their foot armour
1)         These were shields of brass fitted to the lower leg. Greaves added protection for his feet. If wounded in the foot or leg the soldier could not stand against his enemy nor run to safety.
2)         One Bible example of this is in Goliath’s armour. “And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.” (1Sa 17:6)
2.        How Does God Apply Putting on Shoes to Spiritual Warfare?
a.         To win the battle against temptation, you must be able to stand firmly.
1)         “Stand therefore (v.14)…having your feet shod” is your personal responsibility.
a)         As with the belt and breastplate, shoeing the feet is also in the middle voice and aorist tense making it a personal duty done before combat begins.
b)         You have to put on your own spiritual combat boots.
2)         The word “preparation” is a key word here.
a)         It is a noun that describes the act of preparing or readiness or firm-footing. Vincent
b)         We are prepared or made ready for battle by the Gospel of peace. “The idea seems to be that the mind is to be steadied, kept from fear and flutter, by means of the good news of peace.” Pulpit
b.         The Christian’s firm-footing is the gospel of peace
1)         Remember, this armour is God’s not our own (Ro 10:15)
a)         God clearly told us that the source of our protection was the Person, power and panoply of God. The demonic enemy is too powerful for us.
b)         Because this armour is defensive, I believe it is speaking of the peace the Gospel gives, rather than the Christian’s witness as some interpret.
²   “The Christian who does not have a “firm-footing” in the gospel message is totally unprepared.” Dunagan

2)         The word “gospel” literally means good news.
a)         The NT Gospel is that Christ died, was buried, rose again to pay for our sin and give us eternal life.
b)         Peace with God is a fact of the Gospel. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1)
c)         Peace of God is a fruit of the Gospel. (Galatians 5:22) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
3.        How Can We Put on the Shoes of Peace?
When we trusted Christ, the Gospel gave us peace with God. That is a settled fact of salvation that does not change. However, we may not always have the peace of God that quiets and comforts our hearts and provides sweet fellowship with Him. When we sin we are miserable and do not have the peace of God. The Gospel enables us to rest in the peace of God, but we must daily put on that peace.

a.         Here are five steps to help you daily put on the peace of God.
1)         Reclaim the peace of God through inspection and confession. (Psalms 139:23-24) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Proverbs 28:13) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
2)         Rejuvenate the peace of God by spending time with the Lord. (Psalms 119:165) “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Offend = stumble
3)         Replenish the peace of God by trusting the Lord for victory.  (John 16:33) “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
4)         Retain the peace of God by focussing on the Lord. (Isaiah 26:3) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
5)         Reinforce the peace of God through meditating on God’s promises. (Colossians 3:15) “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Psalms 119:97) “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”
b.         When Satan attacks, give your burdens to the Lord.
1)         Do as the Psalmist who wrote, (Psalms 56:3) “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
2)         Claim God’s promises of peace when you are afraid. (John 14:27) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
3)         If we carry our burdens they worry us and weaken our footing. When we give God our burdens, He gives divine peace. (Philippians 4:6-7) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Conclusion: Many of Satan’s attacks strike us in areas that should be protected by God’s armour. He gets us to think things that are not true because we do not wear the belt of God’s truth. He defeats us by reminding us of our sinfulness because we do not wear the breastplate of God’s righteousness. He causes us to slip and slide with worry and fear because we fail to put on God’s shoes of the Gospel of peace.

At salvation, God forgave our sin, reconciled us to God, and gave us peace with God. Now, we can have peace during Satan’s attacks if we will daily put on the peace of God (review 5 steps above). We can rest in the peace of God during the storms of life if we will give our burdens to the Lord.

Are you wearing the spiritual combat boots of God’s peace this evening? If you lack peace with God, you probably have never truly received Christ’s salvation. You need to trust Him as Saviour. If you lack the peace of God, you need either to get right with God or to put on His peace as we have just outlined.

Lacking God’s peace is like going barefoot into battle.

Song: It is Well with My Soul 256 (vs. 1-3)