Intro: As we continue to study “the whole armor of God,” we continually need to be reminded why this is such an important topic. Verses 10-13introduce the subject of spiritual warfare. We are told that the saints of God are engaged in a great cosmic battle against a powerful, relentless enemy. Our enemy is called “the devil,” v 11. Our enemy is said to employ “wiles,” v. 11. This word refers to “the tricks, schemes, and methods” the devil uses to undermine the faith of the saints, and to attack the glory of God.
God’s command to His people is that they “stand” against the attacks of the enemy, vvs. 11, 13, 14. The word “stand” is a military term. It means “to hold a critical position during a time of enemy attack.” It is the image of “a soldier refusing to yield even one inch of ground to an attacking foe.” It is not the image of someone on the offensive, but rather, it is the picture of a soldier on the defensive, protecting the ground that has already been won.
God had given His people some very precious possessions. He has given us truth, His church, His Word, His grace, His salvation, His blessing, etc. And, the devil wants all of it. He will stop at nothing to take everything we have been given by the Lord.
If we are to keep what we have received from the Lord, we must “stand” and hold on to the critical ground we have received from the Lord. To do that, God says we must “put on the whole armor of God.” This passage tells us about the pieces which constitute this armor. We have already discussed The Belt Of Truth, and The Breastplate Of Righteousness.
The Belt Of Truth refers to a life of total commitment to the Lord. It refers to a life that is built upon faithfulness to the Word of God and to the God of the Word. It speaks of truth in testimony and truth in living. This “belt of truth” will provide the Christian soldier stability, and it also provides a place for the other pieces of the armor to rest. Without the “belt of truth” the soldier of God will find the other pieces of the armor useless.
The Breastplate Of Righteousness refers to power of a holy life. A holy life, that is, a life that is lived according to the teachings of God in His Word is a powerful defense against the attacks of the enemy. When we allow sin to dwell in our lives, we give Satan a “beachhead” from which he can attack us and exploit us, Eph. 4:27. Holiness closes the door to the devil, and it helps protect us from his attacks.
Today, as we continue to discuss Spirit-Filled Warfare, we want to consider The Boots Of Peace. Let’s examine what Paul means when he says that we are to “stand” with our “feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.”
III. V. 15 THE BOOTS OF PEACE
I. WHY THESE BOOTS ARE DESIRED
We take shoes for granted, but they are a very important part of our apparel. We have different shoes for nearly every kind of activity. I have dress shoes, casual shoes, work shoes, and shoes that I wear when I go walking. I have lots of shoes. My wife has lots more shoes than I do. What I plan to do on a given day determines the type of shoes I put on.
I don’t often think about my shoes, but I am grateful for them. They protect my feet from the dangers of walking around barefooted. They keep my feet warm, dry, and safe. When I was a child, I rarely wore shoes between May and September, now I can’t imagine going anywhere without them. Shoes are an important component of our wardrobe.
Think about how important shoes are to certain professions. Construction workers would be crazy to try and do their job without proper footwear. Could you imagine a football player walking onto the field without his cleats. Could you see a baseball player doing that? What about a tennis player. No, it doesn’t happen because athletes understand just howe important the right shoes are to what they do.
As important as shoes are to an athlete, a construction worker, a business man, a housewife, or even a toddler, they are even more important to a soldier.
• The soldier’s life could depend on his shoes.
• Soldiers are required to march long distances, fight battles in all types of environments, walk through jungles, over rocks, cross stream beds filled with sharp, jagged rocks, slog through the snow, and cross burning deserts.
• If a soldier’s feet become swollen, tender, cut, or blistered, that soldier would be greatly hindered in the day of battle.
• That soldier might not be able to stand and fight.
• He might not be able to march.
• He might not be able to properly handle his weapons.
• He certainly could not advance on the enemy.
• Sore feet would undermine the soldier’s ability to stand firm.
The Roman soldier, the image Paul is using to illustrate “the whole armor of God,” wore leather boots that protected the feet and ankles. These boots, called the “caliga”, were a half boot that allowed the soldier to advance toward the enemy undistracted about what they might step on. This piece of the armor was essential to the Roman soldier’s “preparation” for battle.
These boots usually had hobnailed soles, which means they had bits of metal, or nails, driven through them. These hobnailed soles gave the Roman soldier great traction as he climbed hills, and fought on uneven terrain. The boots worn by the Roman soldier gave him great stability as he engaged the enemy.
If we are going to stand against “the wiles of the devil,” we must have on the proper spiritual footwear. We can be “girt about with the truth,” and we can have on “the breastplate of righteousness,” but if we neglect to have our “feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace,” we are destined to stumble and fall.
I. Why These Boots Are Desired
II. WHAT THESE BOOTS DEPICT
The word “preparation” refers to “being ready.” This same word appears in Titus 3:1, which says, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” A soldier’s boots allows him to be ready for whatever he faces. A good pair of boots makes him ready to march, to stand, to climb, to fight, or whatever else he may be called on to do. That same readiness should mark the people of God.
To what does this kind of readiness refer? In one sense it means that the child of God must always be ready to be about the business of sharing the Gospel with a lost world. We are to be to move at the Lord’s command, going from place to place preaching the Gospel to the lost and telling them about Jesus. There is a sense in which all believers are to be actively engaged in the business of evangelism. Peter said it this way, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” 1 Pet. 3:15.
When God saved us, He commanded us to tell others what He has done for us, and what He can do for them, Mark 16:15. He has given us His Spirit, and the Holy Spirit has equipped us for the work of evangelism, Acts 1:8. The very heart of our duty to the lost is that we “go and tell.” That is The Great Commission. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,”Matt. 28:19–20.
I believe that sharing the Gospel with the lost advances the kingdom of God.
I. Why These Boots Are Desired
II. What These Boots Depict
III. WHAT THESE BOOTS DELIVER
In my opinion that isn’t Paul’s primary emphasis in our text, is not on “going” but on “standing.” Paul is not talking about sharing the Gospel, he is talking about fighting Satan. The “Gospel of peace” refers to the glorious news that, through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we are at peace with God.
It wasn’t always that way. Before we were saved, we were the enemies of God, Rom. 5:6-10. When God saved us, He reconciled us to Himself, v. 10-11. When He did, He declared us to be at peace with Him. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom. 5:1. Now, in Jesus, the saints of God are at peace with God. Col. 1:21-22 says, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciledIn the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
Beloved, “the Gospel of peace” Paul refers to here is the marvelous news that in Christ we are at peace with God. It is the glorious truth that we have been made one with the Lord. So, having our “feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace” means that we stand in the absolute confidence that God loves us, that He has forgiven us, that we are united with Him, that He fights for us, and that all is well with our souls. It is the confidence that we are saved. When we have that confidence, and when we possess the peace of God in our hearts, we are “ready” to “stand” against any enemy that comes against us.
Example of this kind of peace abound in the Bible.
• The children of Israel, under the leadership of Gideon, witnessed the Lord reduce the size of their army from 32,000 to 300. Those 300 men placed their confidence in the Lord and followed Him into battle. They saw the Lord defeat an immense Midianite army without the use of a single weapon. All those men did was break clay jars, allowing a lamp inside to shine, blow a trumpet, and cry “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” Their faith in the Lord’s promise gave them the confidence to stand, Judges 6.
• In 2 Chron. 20 the people of Judah were about to be invaded by the powerful armies of the Ammonites and Moabites. They were afraid. But, the Lord spoke to King Jehoshaphat and said, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s,” 2 Chron. 20:15b.
Verses 18-23 tells us what happened next, “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.”
Judah experienced a great victory because they took God at His Word and stood in their confidence in Him.
• Simon Peter drew his sword against the soldiers who came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He did this because he had just seen the whole group fall to the ground when they asked Jesus if He was the one they sought. He replied, “I am He,” John 18:6. In that moment, Peter felt like he was invincible, and he was ready to take on the whole army.
The redeemed child of God, who stands in the Lord’s power, and in full assurance of the Lord’s salvation, does not have to fear any enemy, even if that enemy is Satan himself. When we are attacked, we stand on the firm, unchanging ground of the Gospel of grace. The same Gospel that converted us from sinners into saints. The same Gospel that changed God from our enemy to into our protector. We who were one on the outside, are now the sons of God. He is our heavenly Father, and we are His children. Everything we need to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might,” v. 10, is at our disposal.
Our confidence in the day of battle does not rest in our own power, but in the promises of God. Here is what He promises His children:
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:31–39.
Those promises, those truths, are the shoes that give us the ability to stand in “the evil day.”
• The truth that we are loved by the Lord gives us the confidence to stand.
• The truth that we are saved by His grace, gives us the confidence to stand.
• The truth that we are His children gives us the confidence to stand.
• The truth that we in His tender care, and that He has promised to stand with us, to protect us, to keep us, and defend us, gives us confidence to stand.
Conc: So, the question here is this: Are you ready to stand? Do you have absolute confidence in your heart that God has saved your soul, forgive your sins, and adopted you into His family? If you have the kind of confidence, you can stand regardless of what the enemy throws at you. If you don’t have that deep, settled confidence in your heart, you will be unstable in all your battles. Unless you are grounded in absolute assurance of salvation, the enemy will have little trouble knocking you off your feet.
You can be sure! You can have confidence that all is well. You can know Him, and His power to stand. You can be stable, strong and sure. To have that stability you need to be sure you are saved. When you are, the enemy will have a hard time with you, because you “will be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.”
Do you have on the right shoes today? If the Lord has spoken to you about this matter, please come to Him and let Him have His way in your life.
I. The Belt Of Truth
II. The Breastplate Of Righteousness
III. The Boots Of Peace