Faithlife Sermons

Put On Your Shoes!

VICTORY: Living a Bold & Victorious Life!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor 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, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Again we deal with a piece of armor that is less noticeable, but extremely important. The soldier must be able to stand to fight. He may be called upon to stand guard against the enemy’s approach for extended periods of time. It is impossible to stand without properly protecting and providing for the feet.
The Roman soldiers of Paul’s day had interesting footwear. A soldier wore special sandals or military shoes that protected his feet without slowing him down. Roman soldiers had special shoes made of durable leather, having pieces of metal or nails placed in the soles, ensuring traction and sure footing on treacherous slopes. This allowed them to march farther and faster as well as giving them facility of motion in battle—they could dig in and hold their ground when in hand-to-hand combat. The soldier enjoyed confidence in his ability to stand due to the grip of his shoes. In essence, the soldier was well grounded.
We too must be well grounded. We must be able to stand when faced with the enemy. Our lives must be settled in the Lord, grounded in what we believe and whom we believe. Many today are not grounded in their faith. There is little depth in their Christian lives. They are prone to wander or led astray by the doctrines of this world. It is essential that we know what we believe and why we believe it if we are to stand the assault of the devil.
Therefore, Believers also need special “shoes”— the readiness given by the gospel of peace. The Word of God is the gospel, or Good News, that brings peace. In other words, believers are ready for battle because “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
They can stand firm, with peace, even in hand-to-hand combat, because they know that they are doing right and that they are on the winning side. Christians are in the battle both with the inner peace Christ has already given and the desire to produce that peace in the hearts of others. This can only happen as they share this “gospel of peace” with those who have not yet heard and accepted it.
The Shoes, Paul describes are a personal belief and acceptance of the Gospel and also a readiness to spread the Good New of the Kingdom of God! Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task—the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the footgear God gives us enables us to proclaim the true peace that is available in God—news everyone needs to hear.
When the enemy, the deceiver (Revelation 12:9), offers false ways to peace or tries to get us to focus on our concerns and fears, we Christian soldiers can stand up to him. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 ESV
The Christian soldier must be certain of his or her salvation before they are ready for the local/global battle of sharing the Gospel of Jesus. We must be settled in the fundamentals of our faith. When we stand shod in the gospel of peace, we have peace in our hearts and with the Lord, even in the midst of a raging battle. A soldier who is grounded in the Lord will be able to stand against the enemy.
But you and your personal battle with the enemy in your life is not the only one to be considered, the shoes have another broader significance. We must be prepared each day to share the Gospel of peace with a lost world. The most victorious Christian is a witnessing Christian. Satan has declared war, but you and I are ambassadors of peace (2 Cor. 5:18–21); and, as such, we take the Gospel of peace wherever we go.
Soldiers weren’t only expected to just stand around. There are times they had to march long distances, over difficult terrain, to obtain victory. They were called to serve their country at all costs.
The Christian is called to a life of service as the Lord’s ambassador and witness. As we go in service to the Lord, facing the assault of the enemy, we must have our feet shod with the gospel of peace, desiring to share the gospel with others as we go.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 ESV
We are engaged in a spiritual conflict today. The enemy is relentless in his attacks. We do not have to face the battle unprepared. If you are here unsaved, you do not have the benefit of Christian armor. You are forced to face the struggles of life alone. You don’t have to live in defeat and hopelessness. Christ gave Himself a ransom for your sin. He paid your debt on the cross. You can be saved today if you will respond to His gracious offer.
Paul’s great summary of the gospel is laid out in Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (ESV).
The gospel is that we weren’t just drowning in a sea of our sin. We were dead, floating face down in a sea of our sin, and Jesus came and pulled our lifeless bodies into the boat and breathed eternal life into our lungs.
Salvation was not a reward for good behavior. It was not because we were “less bad” than someone else or had a good heart or had great potential. It’s not even a reward for showing faith. “Grace” means that it was based on nothing good or meritorious about us; it was a gift of God.
Notice that little word “this” in verse 8. What does “this” point to? In Greek, the “this” refers back to the entire earlier phrase, including both salvation and faith. God didn’t just offer salvation as a gift; he also freely gave us the faith to believe in the first place.
Saving faith is not simply a religious feeling or becoming more “Christian.” Faith is the hand that lays hold of Jesus. It’s the belief that Christ has accomplished it all, just like he said he did, and simply resting our hope on that. God has already (past tense) completed the purchase of our salvation. When we claim that as our own in faith, it becomes ours. When you become a Christian, you reach out to the Lamb of God and say, “I believe you came for me. You died for me. And there is nothing I can do to save myself. I am putting my faith in you completely for my salvation.
On the other hand, you may already be a Christian, but through time you have let your armor fall into bad shape and it stands in need of repair. Many today have been wounded in battle and need someone to encourage them. If there are elements in your armor that are weak, why not come to the Lord and allow Him to strengthen and clothe you in His might. May we do our part as faithful soldiers of the cross!
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