“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” Ephesians 6:14-15
What are the shoes of the gospel of peace?
Roman armor footware consisted of heavy-soled, sandal-like shoes. Ironically, they looked similar to what girls wear now for fashion, gladiator sandals, but they were obviously sturdier, and had closed toes. Soldiers wore these specific shoes for support, protection, and health of the feet. They were used as the foundation of the rest of the armor, giving the soldier “firm footing” (source 1 for armor + source 2 for armor).
The English Standard version of this passage says, “and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” What we’re really putting on is readiness and preparation for battle which are given to us by our shoes, the gospel of peace. 1 Peter 3:15 says:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”
What gives us this readiness is the good news of Christ — the gospel. The good news is that Christ came! He came and sacrificed Himself on the cross for you and me and our brothers, sisters, friends, acquaintances, enemies, and anyone else who is (or isn’t!) in our lives because we were all sinners. He then rose from the dead after three days of being in the tomb. He lived, died, and rose so that all people would have the opportunity to be saved. There is a Kingdom of God in heaven that’s coming for all those who heed this news and are saved. That is the gospel of peace, and praise God for it! (see the whole New Testament and this page).
Shoes help our feet stay safe when we’re walking, running, or in this case, fighting in a war. These gospel shoes are going to support and protect us (save us) from being lost in battle. They’re the foundation for every other part of armor we wear.
Why do we need them?
1 | They protect us
If we wear the spiritual shoes, we’ll be protected from losing our souls among the violence of the spiritual war. They’ll give us “firm footing” so that we can stand against the devil and his adversaries without wavering. Having and living out the gospel keeps our minds focused on the goal and watch for imminent danger.
2 Corinthians 4:9-10
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
2 | They keep us healthy
Roman soldiers’ shoes were designed in a way that would prevent blisters and other foot ailments that inevitably hindered the soldiers while they fought. The gospel is a foundation that can’t be moved or harmed. With the gospel as our foundation, we can avoid a weak, crumbling foundation; not only will the gospel not hinder our fighting, it also won’t let our fighting be hindered through spiritual blisters or diseases if we focus on it.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
3 | They save us
Just as in the story of the Philippian jailer and his family in Acts 16:25-31, the gospel also gives us the knowledge that we have a way to come to repentance and be in the presence of God when our time on earth is over. With the knowledge of the good news, we can take the necessary steps toward salvation and a life in Christ — because if we didn’t first know of Christ and His sacrifice, we wouldn’t know that or why we need saving. Once we have salvation, we can truly know Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”
How do we use them?
First of all, we need to be proactive when we learn the gospel, before we even put on the shoes. That means believing it, understanding it, being baptized for the remission of sins, salvation, and working toward being a faithful servant of God & follower of Christ. If we don’t do this first, we will in no way be prepared with the gospel — because we don’t have the gospel in our hearts! (If you haven’t heard of some of these things or want to know more about it, or even if you disagree, that’s why I’m here! I’d love for you to ask me about it.)
Once we do these things, we can push forward into the battlefield with our shoes on.
1 | Have an ever-present consciousness of the gospel
We need to be constantly thinking about what Christ did for us and living for that. After all, our souls depend on it even though we didn’t deserve it. So, as we’re following Christ, we must always remember that we don’t save ourselves. Christ does. This is what will keep our foundations firm and protect us from Satan’s lies.
2 | Spread it to others
If we have this firm foundation, surely we want other people to have it too. We need to be telling our fellow humans about this good news! This comes from a heart of love. If we love both Christ and others we won’t hide our new shoes. 😉 We’ll wear them and show them off, and we’ll want other people to have something that keeps us this safe and healthy. Because we know that God and Christ love us that much, we should follow their example and love others the same.
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
3 | Live like Christ
Jesus Christ was and is the perfect example of a godly life — the gospel is truly all about Him! As always, the best way we can both live out the gospel, spread it to others, and live faithfully is to live as Jesus would live. This comes from having a conciousness of the gospel; if we’re always concentrated on the gospel, we’ll live more like Christ every day. It’s what Christians are called to do, and what will magnify our walk with Him.
This is part three of my 6-part Armor of God series. I’ll post one installment each week, with the Sword of the Spirit and Prayer combined (it should wrap up around Thanksgiving).
Thank you for reading! I hope you’re always encouraged to be like Christ and learn more about God’s word when you’re on my blog. If you want to see more like this, feel free follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. For thoughts and questions, comment directly below or click the Contact Me tab (here) to send an email! Have a blessed day.