Ephesians 6. We've been going through the armor of God. We must always remind ourselves that it is the armor of God. Not own own armor. As we remember that, it helps us to understand what each of the pieces are for. We've already covered the belt of truth, we've covered the Breastplate of Righteousness. Ephesians 6:15:
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace ...
Shoes are important. I didn't know that when I was a kid. At home, we used to run around all over the place with no shoes on. We'd run up a rock driveway and play outside and go play in the creek. As I got older, I realized that sometimes shoes have their place. As Paul was looking at the Roman soldier as he'd seen them all his life, he noticed that they had wore a certain kind of shoe.
It was a little different than the sandals that everyone else wore because when you're going to wear shoes for a job, you need the right shoe for the job. I mean it would be hard to run the Boston marathon in army boots. It'd be hard to run the Boston marathon in flip flops. You have to have the right shoe. So, the Roman soldier, as Paul looked at their shoes, saw that their sandals were built for war. The leather soles were a little thicker than what normally people would wear.
That way they were able to walk over rocks and not hurt their feet. But more than that, the enemy would sometimes lay traps. They would bury little sharp pointed sticks in the ground where soldiers were going to be travelling. Now many time, soldiers in some armies would walk barefoot.
So these little sharp sticks would stick up into their feet and cause a lot of damage. If you're feet get hurt and you're a soldier, that's a problem. So they had to protect their feet, so their shoes had thicker soles to protect them from the dangers of walking. But also in the bottom of their shoes, they had what was called hobnails. They were little short metal things that would stick out on the shoe. What these would help with is to give them sure footing to keep from sliding when they were walking.
If you've ever tried walking in some wet grass with shoes that have real slick soles or try to walk up a hill side, it's hard. These little hobnails would be sort of like having winter tires with the studs in them. It'd give them more grip.
So their shoes were important. Because their shoes were important, Paul wrote about them. Here's a truth. You can have the best armor in the world, but if you're not wearing the right shoes and your feet get damaged and you slip and you fall, you're an easy prey for the enemy to get to you. So when he's talking about our feet being shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, he's saying that what this is is a foundation to stand on.
One that will allow you to move. One that will allow you to do what is necessary in your spiritual life.
II. Friendship with the world
But it says it's the preparation of the gospel of peace. That's an interesting term. In fact, Paul uses it numerous times. The gospel of peace. Why do we need peace? Because prior to salvation as sinners, we need peace because we're enemies of God. Just one verse talks about this. James 4:4:
...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Throughout the New Testament, that word enmity against God is used several times. What enmity means is hostility or opposition.
Wow, “Friend of the world. Enemy of God.” He doesn't say you can be both [a friend of the world and a friend of God]. Even Jesus said, you can't serve God and mammon. You have to choose. So the gospel of peace starts with realizing that we are enemies with God, and we need a peace treaty with Him.
That's what Jesus Christ did. Jesus Christ came as we read those verses in Ephesians. It says Jesus in Ephesians 2:14, 15:
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace ...
III. Peace with God
We forget that sometimes. Now there's two things with peace, we've discussed these before. I just want to remind everyone, there's the peace of God and peace with God.
They're different. The peace with God is what we make when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Prior to that, we're His enemies. Some of the nicest people you know that are not believers are still an enemy of God. I want to tell you, that's a hard thing for us to understand because we look at people of different religions or different denominations who have not accepted Jesus Christ by the way the Word says to.
They are some of the nicest people and just because they call themselves Christians doesn't mean they are one. Sometimes we get deceived saying, well they're a nice person, they have to be a believer. But they are still an enemy with God because they never made peace with Him. There's only one way to have a peace treaty with God, and that's to do things God's way.
You know, if you were an army going up against a bigger army and they defeat you or it looks like they are going to defeat you and you're going to suffer consequences of being defeated - you want to make a peace treaty with them. Why? Because they're the victor. They're the ones who are going to be making the rules. So you want to make a peace treaty with them.
Some people say, 'Well God needs to make a peace treaty with me.' No He doesn't. God is the Creator, amen? God created us as human beings, so we fell from Him with Adam and Eve and we continue to fall and we're born sinners. We need a peace treaty with God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So once we have peace with God through salvation, then we can have the peace OF God which will keep our hearts and mind. That is the peace that Jesus was talking about, 'the peace I leave with you.' Not the kind of peace the world gives, but the kind of peace that only God can give. And we know we have that peace because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us that should be reminding us [of that peace].
And why is it important to feel this peace? Because otherwise you're going to worry yourself to death. That's the problem today in our current COVID-19, but there's been other reasons throughout the years. When people start worrying about things instead of going to God and saying, 'God, just give me the peace to do the right thing. Give me the peace to know everything is going to be allright.'
We don't have to fear, we don't have to worry. Over and over every time His disciples failed, what was the first thing Jesus said? 'Fear not, where's your faith?' And we don't have to fear if we have the peace of God, He'll keep your hearts and minds. We don't have to worry.
So many times, I'm not going to ask for a show of hands. But probably all of us would say, 'Yeah, I've been worried about things before.' If you have the peace of God, why worry? In Scripture that word 'anxious' is used a lot. Worry will become a God if you're not careful. We start to worry, then our whole being is centered around the worry and not centered around God almighty. But if we would just remember we have the peace OF God, we don't have to worry about anything.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
We don't war against God anymore, but Satan wants us to believe that God doesn't like us and God's fighting against us. But God wants to give you peace. He gives you peace through salvation, He wants to give you peace so you don't have to worry. You don't have to fear. You don't have to be centered on what could be when you should be centering on what is. The truth is, you're saved if you know Jesus Christ as your savior.
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