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The Armor of God, Part 3: The Gospel of Peace
“and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
Ephesians 6:15 NASB1995
The next article of clothing for the spiritual warrior in Ephesians 6:15 is for the feet. During the time that Paul wrote this, he likely observed many times the dress of Roman soldiers. Although my image is of very protective modern-day boots, the caligae that those soldiers wore were heavy leather sandal-boots with cleats that allowed for long marches (comfort) and gave stability to “dig in” when in a battle situation.
Anyone who has worn uncomfortable shoes attempting a long hike knows that pain and soreness in the feet will hamper your activities and even cause long-term problems. You can get blisters (which can become infected), tendon issues and other foot problems if your feet are not properly shod and prepared. Paul is using this analogy to tell Christians that all the armor in the world is likely ineffective if your foundation is weak. Our spiritual armor’s foundation is the Good News (Gospel) of peace that comes from our Lord, that makes us prepared and mobile. Again, commentary from David Guzik in the Blue Letter Bible:
i. Preparation is a word meaning “a prepared foundation.” The gospel provides the footing for everything we do. However powerful the rest of your body is, if you are wounded in your feet you are easy prey for the enemy.
ii. On the shoes: “Josephus described them as ‘shoes thickly studded with sharp nails’... so as to ensure a good grip. The military successes both of Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar were due in large measure to their armies’ being well shod and thus able to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain.” (Wood)
iii. Paul had Isaiah 52:7 in mind when he referred to having shod your feet: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
iv. The idea of preparation is really readiness. We must be mobile, flexible, and ready with the truth. This is a place to have in the Christian life, to live in constant readiness and flexibility.
So always walk and stand in the comfort and strength of the foundation of the Gospel of Peace as you go through the darkness, turmoil and attacks of the enemy!
The next devotional will examine Ephesians 6:16, the Shield of Faith.