Put On Your Boots!
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Intro: This passage describes the importance of the armor of God for the believer.
We can learn several things from these verses.
But when we get to the feet, it is worded in an interesting way.
There are three prepositional phrases to consider.
- Our feet are not shod with peace.
- Our feet are not shod with the gospel of peace.
- Our feet are shod with the PREPARATION of the gospel of peace.
PREPARATION: the condition of a person or thing so far forth as prepared, preparedness, readiness
SHOD: to bind under one’s self, bind on
The Bible is clear that a person’s feet is key to spreading the gospel.
- Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Feet that have been traveling over long distances and rough terrain is not beautiful.
I did some research on why soldiers wear boots. The answers were very enlightening.
1. Comfort. Wearing boots when marching or climbing is simply more comfortable than wearing nothing.
2. Durability. Barefooted soldiers wouldn’t last long.
3. Stability. Boots are designed to keep you from slipping.
4. Protection. Boots protect your feet from many painful encounters.
There’s a saying – an idiom in the English language that says, “I want to die with my boots on!”
It simply means we are busy doing our job; our duty when it comes our time to die.
Why our feet must be shod:
We are nothing more than barefooted soldiers if our feet are not shod with the PREPARATION…
I. Prepared for the Adversaries of the Gospel – vs. 11 …the wiles of the devil; vs. 12
These verses are filled with references; directly or indirectly to opposition and adversity.
One thing is for sure – our adversaries are prepared. The question is, are we?
If you and I are not prepared for the opposition; the fight; the battle, we won’t make it.
This whole passage is about the armor.
The oxymoron in this verse is the usage of the word “peace” in the context of war and battle.
The entire message of the gospel is shrouded with the message of PEACE.
- Isaiah 9:6 calls the coming Messiah “…the prince of Peace.”
- The heavenly host cried from the sky “…Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
- Jesus told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:…” (John 14:27)
- Paul wrote of “…the peace of God, which passeth all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7)
- 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
- 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
- 15 Having 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;
- 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
- 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
The Gospel brings peace to the discouraged, the depressed, the deceived, the distressed, the diseased and dying.
The Gospel brings peace to the tired, the thirsty, the troubled and the tormented.
The Gospel brings peace to the hurting, the hopeless, and the haunted.
The Gospel brings peace to the addicts, the abused, and the abandoned.
It is because of the incredible peace that the Gospel can bring that generates the incredible opposition.
II. Prepared with the Answers of the Gospel
- 1 Peter 3:15 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:
People have questions. Lots of them.
We need to have the answers.
The answers need to be salty. Create desire.
- Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
The only reason you and I will not have the answers is lack of preparation.
Before we can be effective messengers of peace, we must be prepared.
We need to familiarize ourselves with the Word of God and the teachings of salvation.
Getting the message of salvation wrong has eternal ramifications.
Notice the Philippian Jailer:
- 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
- 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Good thing Paul and Silas had the answer to that question!
Notice Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch:
- 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
- 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
- 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
- 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
- 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
- 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Imagine if Philip had said, “Well you’ll have to call the pastor. I’m just a deacon. I don’t know what Isaiah was talking about. That’s Old Testament. That doesn’t really apply to today. Besides, I’m not in Isaiah in my morning Bible reading…”
It is a good thing that Philip had answers for the Ethiopian eunuch’s questions!
He had his boots on!
He preached Jesus to him in that chariot according to Acts 8:35.
- But he was preaching Jesus back in verse 5.
- And in verse 12, he preached the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.
- And he was testifying and preaching the Word of God in verse 25.
- And he was preaching the gospel in many villages in verse 25.
Imagine how embarrassing it would have been if he’d been trying to put his boots on in that chariot!
I can hear Philip now if he was the average Baptist church member.
“Hang on here just a minute Mister Eunuch. I’ve got a set of commentaries on Isaiah back at the house. Give me your address, and I’ll go back home and study this passage and then I’ll mail you an answer.”
Or… “Let me pull up my Bible app here on my tablet. This might take a minute. You’re not in a hurry are you?”
III. Prepared for the Advancement of the Gospel
The main reason a soldier wears boots is to allow them to continue forward unimpeded.
A barefooted soldier will encounter rough terrain and soon become fatigued and disabled.
You might can last for a short while, but you won’t cover a lot of ground barefooted.
The Gospel of Peace was meant to go INTO ALL THE WORLD.
That is a lot of ground we need to cover.
That will require preparation.
You don’t go on a long trip without planning.
Illustration: Before we go out of town on a long trip, we get the vehicle serviced.
We fill up with gas. We pack food, clothes, etc. We plan our trip based on the traffic, the weather, etc.
- If we are going to reach Every Nation, it will be on purpose!
- If we are going to put a church planter in Every State, we need to prepare our hearts and minds for the work!
- We need to plan to give; budget to give; save money to give; allot money to reach the world.
- We cannot preach the Gospel to every creature if we are barefooted!
- We need to make sure our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace!
- Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Conclusion: When it comes to the PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, God’s people need to:
1. Experience the Benefits of the Gospel. You must first know firsthand what the Gospel can do!
2. Explain the Blessings of the Gospel. You must be able to tell others what the Gospel can do.
3. Expect the Battles of the Gospel. You must be prepared to fight battles for sharing the Gospel.
4. Expand the Boundaries of the Gospel. You must be passionate about spreading it around the world.