Armor of God, part 4, The Gospel of Peace
After instructing the believers at Ephesis to stand supported with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, Paul addresses another part of armor in this spiritual war. In warfare, it is critical that the soldier can move freely and quickly when ever necessary. His feet must be protected from extreme heat or cold, and diseases which can develop when trudging through mud and brush.
In the Scriptures we are called to “walk in the light,” to “walk in the truth,” to “walk in the Spirit,” and to not walk in darkness, lies, or the flesh. Life is portrayed as a journey with a wonderful destination — if we choose the right path.
I have always loved and appreciated this line in Proverbs 4:18:
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” NASB
More Good News!
Isn’t it interesting that an important requirement for winning in this spiritual battle is the possession of peace? Paul reveals how our feet, by which we are transported on our way are to be prepared.
Ephesians 6:14-15: “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” NASB
When I was much younger, I heard that Jewish people used the same word for both hello and goodbye. At the time, that seemed strange. I later learned that the Hebrew word, “shalom” actually means “peace.” It is a way of blessing or well-wishing when greeting, or saying fairwell. The full phrase is “Shalom aleichem,” meaning “peace be upon you.” The Hebrew concept of peace often encompasses more than simply tranquility. Along with peace between individuals and countries, it can also mean wholeness, completeness, prosperity, and an overall state of safety and well-being.
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ heralded a new form of government on the earth known as the Kingdom of God. Many who followed Him expected this government to come with violence against the existing Roman authorities. Instead, the Kingdom of God as revealed in Christ suffered the violence of mighty Rome! His disciples were shocked at His death and even more surprised at His resurrection, which proved what Jesus had taught all along. The Kingdom of God, or the rulership of God must first begin with His Gracious work within us!
The power of His resurrection then extended to everyone who repented of their sins and unbelief and trusted in Him to deliver them. They too were filled with the same Spirit that raised Him from the grave! This was the Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy! This peace is first between the individual and God, but it does not stop there. The result of Christ’s death and resurrection was the outpouring of His mercy, love and grace upon an entire community who had gathered from many nations to worship God. That became the Church Jesus said would withstand the very gates of hell! (Acts 2:5, 38-47).
The true peace that came through the Good News of the Kingdom of God was real. It brought reconciliation, wholeness, completeness, prosperity and an overall state of well-being to those who received Him. Without this peace we have no hope of winning the war against the schemes of the devil. We not only stand in the peace of God, but we move forward in the battle against hatred, deception, depression, oppression and every form of evil! Please think about this! Resist the temptation of the enemy to hate other people! Hate only the evil that controls them, and the thing that robs you of your personal peace.
Yes, there is a battle raging, but we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ and His work on our behalf!