Lessons 1-3 Knowing our adversary: who he is and what he does, his plans for those lost in the world and his strategy against God's people.
Lessons 4-5 The armor of God: Paul tells us how we can stand fast in our God even though we have a powerful enemy. In Ephesians 6:10-20 we get directions from the Lord on how to put on this armor and to stand fast in our faith. So far we have looked at the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness in regards what they are and what they mean to us in terms of our protection in the battle.
The third piece of armor to be worn at all times along with the belt and breastplate is the shoes for our feet. The next three pieces of armor after this were not designed to be constantly worn but rather kept nearby and quickly picked up when needed. But the shoes were always to be worn.
1. [Eph 6:15 NKJV] 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The importance of protecting our feet is crucial, in our day and in Roman times. No matter how good your breastplate is, or how strong your belt is, if you slip and fall you are done. Shoes provide protection and give us stability.
2. God is interested that you keep your footing string and/or balanced. How many times does Paul tell us to stand or withstand in Ephesians 6:10-14? __________
A Roman soldier was a battler fighting in the first century and needed to keep himself on his feet because the minute he went down with his armor he could not get up - he is done for! He was someone who fought to the death and shoes were absolutely essential for a couple of reasons:
a) for protection; whether he was in the jungle or on rocks many things could hobble him. Roman shoes were often sandals with very thick soles which made them very stable. They had metal studs, like cleats, attached to the bottoms. This allowed them to stand on the side of a hill with very good stability.
b) You would wear them for mobility. They were light weight, even though they were thick; this allowed the soldier to move quickly yet stand his ground.
God's desire is that we have good footing and that we are protected.
Word study (Ephesians 6:15)
[Eph 6:15 NKJV] 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
This verse is not designed to speak of evangelism as some have sought to make it. In the context, it speaks to us as God's people and the armor He has provided to keep us from succumbing to the wiles of the enemy.
Peace with God and the peace of God. Romans 5:6-11 is Paul's description of what we were and where we were, before Jesus came into our lives; weak and ungodly, unrighteous and not good, sinners and the object of God's wrath, enemies of God at war with Him.
[Rom 5:6-11 NKJV] 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only [that], but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
3. Yet when Jesus came into our lives He made peace for us with God through His blood.
[Col 1:20 NKJV] 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
4. I now become His child, purchased and adopted into His family. The was has ceased!
[2Co 5:19 NKJV] 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Read Philippians 4:6-9 - As we learn of Him, another peace fills our hearts; the peace of God. Knowing Him allows me to live that way, resting in His care, power, provision and promise. Don't worry, be happy works for God's people.
[Phl 4:6-9 NKJV] 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things [are] noble, whatever things [are] just, whatever things [are] pure, whatever things [are] lovely, whatever things [are] of good report, if [there is] any virtue and if [there is] anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
5. It is a supernatural peace found in the knowledge of God and fellowship with Jesus Christ and it will keep our hearts and minds in the battles we face with the enemy of our soul.
[Rom 8:28 NKJV] 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.
Peace with God is immediate; the peace of God fills our hearts as a process of sanctification. Paul writes in Romans 12, as much depends on you live peaceably with all men. If we have peace with God the enemy can't get to us there. He can't tell you God hates you or is not for you or is not going to forgive you; all of those are lies. So our peace with God is established and concrete. Unless He changes that doesn't change, and He never changes! God is for us not against us. He will never leave us or forsake us. This brings us now to peace with others.
Peace with others is unique to the saints who have been delivered from the old nature of selfishness and self-centeredness. When we begin to walk with God He will give us a love for one another. Peace with others is possible because of the new heart we have, and the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.