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. Full armour (Shoes for feet)

THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD

SHOES FOR OUR FEET

 

Today we continue with the armour of God. I am not going to recap anything from the weeks gone by. I will do a summary sermon at the end of this series where we tie all the ends together in one argument.

 

However, I need to remind you however that Satan is a defeated foe. Now while we know that Satan is a defeated enemy, we know that we still struggle against Him and that we must therefore put on the whole armour of God.  That is why we can talk about experiencing the power of the cross, over the devil”.

 

Just a reminder on Hebrews 2:14 (ESV) 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”

 

1 John 3:8 (ESV) says: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Paul reminds the Christians in Rome in Romans 16:20 (ESV) 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” At the cross Satan was rendered powerless. His abilities are completely confined and limited by the sovereign purposes of God. He is the victim, not the victor and 1 John 4:4 teaches us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

 

I read an interesting article a while ago of a lioness that charged a little girl while tourists were out on a game drive. Fortunately, the game ranger had his wits about him. He jumped in between the charging lioness and the terrified guests, looked her in the eye and shouted "Stop! Stop!" He also threw a coffee cup at her before slowly backing off. Fortunately, the lioness turned around and ran away. Obviously was not a coffee drinker. Now sadly this is not going to work with the devil. You are going to need a little bit more than a coffee mug and shouting “Stop! Stop”.

 

We are all engaged in a conflict with the enemy of God, the enemy of Christ, the enemy of our souls and the enemy of truth, that roaring lion that goes around seeking whom he may devour. That conflict is inevitable because we who are part of the Kingdom of God, we who are the slaves of Jesus Christ, we who are the soldiers of Christ, as it were, are in enemy territory. Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the ruler of this world. He and his minions, his demons which constitute a third of the angels, run their wicked anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-truth, anti-life system through this world. As long as we are here, we are engaged in that battle. That’s why we read in verse 10 & 11: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

 

Let us look at a few short clips just to show us how evil man has become.

The armour of God, it’s just another way to pull all the components of the Christian life together in a memorable fashion, in a mental image of a soldier. We have the best outfitted army ever. We have the best Commander in Chief; we are the most powerful force that’s ever walked on the earth. But if you go out without your armour, you’re going to be vulnerable. Put it on and you can handle anything the enemy brings. So, let’s look further at the armour.

 

In my last two sermons we looked at the first two parts of the armour which was the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. So let me resist my desire to say more on that and let us march on to the next two parts of the armour.

 

Armour Part 3:  Shoes for your feet.

 

Ephesians 6:15 (ESV) 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”

 

Now if it comes to wearing the right shoes on the right occasion our ladies can tell us all about it. Some of them are shoe mad. I discovered the importance of proper shoes years ago. I ran a 42 km marathon from Nelspruit halfway to Sabie and back. However, we were a poor family and I ran the marathon with Tiger Tekkies bought from OK Bazaars. The end result was I won a gold medal, but at the end of the race I had the biggest, bloodiest blisters on my heals that you could dream of. It took me weeks to recover.  Now if they are important for a lady’s night out, and if they are important for a sport event, they are even more important for hand-to-hand mortal combat.

 

The Romans understood that. They understood that the armour of a soldier meant nothing without proper shoes. You could be the best sword fighter, but if your feet were cut up due to the terrain or you could not climb up hills or descend properly, you could become vulnerable and die in battle. If you’re not firm on the ground, it doesn’t matter what you can do, your whole body will be immediately debilitated. Shoes are vital, if you want to stand firm when the day of evil comes.

 

Now the Roman soldiers generally wore a very tough sandal made from very tough leather with straps holding it firmly on. And what they did was to pound nails from the inside through the bottom, very much like the studs today built onto our sport shoes and that gave the soldier the ability to stand firm in his footing as he was engaged in the fight, to run up a hill and to run down a hill without slipping and sliding.

 

And Paul sees a spiritual parallel to this very familiar part of a soldier’s uniform, or armour. So, he says in verse 15, “having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” The feet are to be prepared. The feet are to be equipped for the battle like all the other vital parts.
Many Christians believe this text has to do with evangelism based on verses like Romans 10:15 that says: 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

 

Now while that is true and while it is important to go into the whole world to preach the gospel, it is different than the context in which Paul is writing here. This is not evangelism, this is war, the issue here is taking a firm stand in a battle against the devil as he assaults our lives. It’s like what we read in 1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV) 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” The idea here is that our feet need to be equipped to stand firmly when the attacking blows come. So, what is it that allows a believer to stand firm, unflinching, never slipping, never sliding in the attack?

 

The answer is very simple. It is the gospel of peace. At other places it is called the gospel of Christ or the gospel of God. So, what is the gospel of peace for us then? It is the good news that you have made peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that because of the saving grace that has come your way, because of the peace of God which passes all understanding that protects our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, God is not your enemy anymore, God is your strength and that is why you can stand firm with the full armour of God. The fact that you are saved means that the rest of the armour has value.

 

Look again at the concept of standing as we read it in Ephesians 6:11, 13 & 14 (ESV) 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” So Paul really goes back to all of this, stand, stand, stand…. that we see in the previous verses.

 

So, you realise today that the fact that you are redeemed by the gospel of peace is in a sense all you need to stand firm. If you have Christ, you can stand against everything Satan has to bring. If you go into the battle with Satan and if you’re not sure where you stand with Christ, if you’ve got doubts, you’re very vulnerable. When people ask you if you fear Satan and if you fear hell, your answer is simply to this: I have nothing to fear, why? Because the Word of God teaches me in 2 Timothy 1:12 (ESV): “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” Christian, if you are in Christ you are invincible.

 

Romans 8:35-39 (ESV) says: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

It is this kind of realisation that gives us the security to hold our ground. I take the Word of God at face value, I take the gospel of Jesus, the gospel of God, the gospel of peace, the gospel of my salvation at face value, and I stand firm. I stand in my security which is based on the perseverance of the saints. Jesus promised in John 6:39-40 (ESV) 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

 

We were all born in rebellion against God, but while we were enemies, God loved us and while we were enemies, Christ died for us, and He redeemed us through the gospel of peace. And we have made peace with God and God is on our side and all the power is ours. So, stand firm in your knowledge that God and you are at peace, and that is sufficient. The forces of hell cannot take that away from you.

 

Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!

Logos Community Church: 17 July 2022