THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 7-29-07
LESSON TITLE: "PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD: HAVING SHOD YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL"
We are excited to have you with us today for the Living Word Program. What a wondrous Lord's Day morning it is.
As always it is an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to join us as we commit this time to the things of God.
It is our hope and prayer this morning that we may each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!
Our first song this morning encourages us to have a pure heart in this life. For as Jesus said, "the pure in heart will see God!" So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Purer in Heart O God."
(SONG # 1)
Whenever we go to buy a new house, car, furniture or virtually anything - the first thing we look at is the outward appearance! Then we immediately begin to consider the quality or the workmanship that was put into making the item. If we see or find a lot of flaws or imperfections in the item, we generally will be less likely to buy it or even want it.
Have you ever considered that you and I as followers of God, serve the same purpose to those who are in this world? Wasn't it Paul that said, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them," Ephesians 2:10. You see, we are God's workmanship, created by Him.
So, what does this tell us about those who live around us and see what we do and say. It is through our actions and words that our workmanship is seen by the world. When others hear what we say or see what we do, then they know that we are either a perfect creation made by the workman, God Himself - or an imperfect creation, not showing forth the glory of He who made us.
I also love what is said here about why we are created - for good works. Do you realize that the very reason we are made by God and like Him, is to do His will. This is something that God planned from the beginning, that you and I would follow Him by doing His will unto good works.
What a beautiful picture of Christ we can present to this world if we allow our workmanship to be seen as spotless, just as the one who has made us. What type of workmanship do you show forth for your God?
A final verse I would like to mention is found in Psalms 139:14. There David the Psalmist said, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." In a few minutes our next song will deal with these very same ideas, as we think to Christ the creator, who has made us so wonderfully and done so much for us.
Well, its almost time to begin our study from God's Word. Our specific topic today will again focus on the Christians armor, and is entitled, "Having Shod Your Feet With The Preparation Of The Gospel." This is our next lesson in the series called, "Put On The Whole Armor Of God." So, please continue with us this morning and in a few minutes we will return with this study from God's Word.
Today we are happy to have brother Chuck Northrop with us as our guest speaker. Brother Chuck is one of the ministers at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ, and he is also a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We appreciate this good brother and thank him for being with us today to lead our thoughts from God's Word. Now let's join in our second song of the morning, the name of the hymn is, "Sinners Jesus Will Receive."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Chuck Northrup
In Ephesians the 6th chapter we introduce the armor of God. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus and he wrote about the armor of God and that we are to put on the whole armor of God. Each individual part of the armor of God is important, but now Paul emphasizes that we are to put on the whole armor of God. Twice he told us to "put on the whole armor of God." In these series of lessons, we're going to look at each individual piece of armor.
Our main concern today is with shodding our feet in preparation for the gospel of peace. In Ephesians chapter 6 verses 14-15, the Bible says, "Stand therefore having your loins girded about with Truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace."
Remember these pieces of armor, these six pieces of armor are really divided into two categories. The first three are things that we already have done. The last three are things that we are to put on as we get ready to go into battle. The first three can be literally translated as having already shod your feet or already girded about your loins with Truth, and having already put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having already shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
Notice also that Paul's analogy is progressive. Not only is the analogy itself progressive, but also what it represents is progressive. It is like putting on clothes. We first gird our loins with Truth and then we put on the breastplate of righteousness and third we put on or shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel. And so it begins with righteousness and that Truth then leads to righteousness and righteousness then leads to peace. Since the soldier then is to stand, he says, "Stand therefore," and so since the soldier is to stand it is extremely important that he have good footwear. It is extremely important that he have proper footwear. Now considering that much of the fighting of the 1st century would have been done by hand to hand combat, the soldier needed that firm footing which is or makes his footwear extremely important.
So as we look at this particular idea, shodding your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, we want to look at first the idea of shodding our feet and then secondly we'll look at the idea of the gospel of peace and then finally we'll look at the idea of some application of those things. Now let's look at the idea of shodding your feet. Shodding means to bind under one's foot, to put on shoes or to put on sandals. The 1st century soldier would have had short boots and with leather straps that would have wrapped around their lower leg and that's how they were to shod their feet. Most of the time these leather sandals, and sometimes having wooden soles, would have been studded, having hob nails driven through them. These type of boots and cleats would have been planted firmly with their feet not given occasion for slipping or stumbling or faltering. We understand that because many of the sports that we play today, football, baseball, golf have cleats that go along with it because of the necessary of being firm-footed. Well, a soldier would have been the same way.
Another aspect that is not mentioned specifically in our text but probably were a part of having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace was the grieves that they would have worn. Grieves were those armors that covered the ankles and the lower leg and possibly the knees. Generally these would have been worn by the Greek soldiers. Often they were custom fitted. They weren't simply bound on their legs, but they were fitted to them. They would have slipped them on and they would have stayed in place by themselves. So that's the figure then that Paul uses in reference to shodding our feet.
The second idea is the Gospel of Peace. Notice again the secession, the Truth, that is girding about your loins with Truth leads to righteousness, the breastplate of righteousness which leads then to peace, the Gospel of Peace. Now in this passage, the same Truth is taught. The Gospel of Peace means that objective of the Gospel which brings about peace. Peace then is the product that the Gospel brings. Now as we think about peace, we know that peace can be used with reverence to reconciliation. I think in this case it could be used in reference to reconciliation with God. Peace between God and man is normally referred to as reconciliation. Reconciliation is simply the restoration to God's favor and it comes by the atonement of the blood of Christ.
2 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 18-19, listen to the words of the apostle Paul. He says, "All things are of God and have reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and have given us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." So it is through that word of reconciliation, the Gospel of Peace, that we then have been reconciled unto God and come to knowledge of the blood of Christ, and we come to know how we might obey in order to have that reconciliation.
In Romans chapter 5 and verses 1-2, Paul again wrote, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice and hope of the glory of God." And so we have reconciliation back with God.
But a second type of reconciliation or peace that we have is reconciliation with God's people. Paul, to the church at Ephesus, in Ephesians chapter 2 talked about this reconciliation that we have with the people of God. Remember the church at Ephesus was made up of Gentiles mostly, but also of Jews, and then Paul in Ephesians chapter 2 talked about the fact that he had made both Jew and Gentile one in Christ and that the Gentiles who were without reconciliation, out of Christ, without the covenant of promise, that they were strangers to that covenant, having no hope and without God that they were reconciled with the commonwealth of Israel that they became the children of God. And so God then reconciled both Jews and Gentiles together, bringing them together as one people in the church. So in verse 16 it says that, "He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off and to them that were nigh." Those that were afar off were the Gentiles and those that were nigh were the Jewish nation.
Then also if we think about peace, we can think about tranquility or peace of mind or sometimes we might say serenity. You see, once we have reconciliation with God and once we have reconciliation with God's people, then the next natural thing is to have peace of mind. You see, peace of mind and tranquility of mind and serenity of mind is all based upon having that reconciliation back to God. Once we have been restored by the blood of Christ and restored back into God, we can have peace of mind. Thus, we are at peace in order that we might war and because of this peace, we are zealous in our battle against Satan and his forces. Because of this peace, we know what God is and that God is for us and who can be against us? Because of this peace, let us then march into battle knowing that we will be victorious.
In our last point, we would like to make some application of the things that we have learned. Now as we think about the application, it's important for us to recognize that one of the most basic purposes of the armor is the fact that it is for protection. Obviously, the first and foremost purpose of that armor is for protection. The Roman soldier's footwear would have offered the protection he needed for that soldier to march into battle and for that soldier to battle within the battle itself or during the battle. Now this is an appropriate figure when we consider that Christians take the Gospel into the world, they take that Gospel of Peace.
I'm reminded of Romans chapter 10 and verse 15 where Paul wrote, "And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace and bring glad tidings of good things." And so that preparation of the Gospel of Peace is that idea of shodding our feet, taking the Gospel into the world.
But a second idea is preparedness or preparation. You know the main application I think of this passage is the idea of preparedness. Preparedness comes or preparation really carries several ideas. It can mean to make ready as a mother prepares a meal or it can mean to make arrangements as a bride prepares for her wedding. But it can mean the idea of a state readiness or preparedness. Probably this is the idea that Paul was using in our text. The Christian then is to remain ready, eager to go into battle with that Gospel of Peace. His readiness is aroused by the Gospel itself. Remember Christians do not lunge into battle against Satan, but Christians then are defended themselves against the fiery darts of the evil one.
But I think really one of the main applications we need to consider is sure-footedness. A sure foundation is really a sub-theme, an underlying principle of application in our text. Christians must lay a firm foundation which is Christ. Paul writing to the young evangelist, Timothy, in 1 Timothy chapter 6 and verse 19 said, "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come that they may lay hold on eternal life." There lay up a good foundation. Later on in 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 19, Paul would write, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standing sure, having this seal..." Notice the seal that he's talking about. He says, "Having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." The sure-footedness is so important as the Greek soldier would go into battle and we understand it is the same thing in our lives. The firm foundation will assure us of our purpose in the heat of battle.
Well now a last passage to consider. A foundation that's not built upon Christ will fail. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 10-13, listen to the words of Paul. He says, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." And so that foundation is so important.
We recognize that as Jesus came to the end of His "Sermon on the Mount." Jesus gave the idea of the man that built his house upon the sand and the man who built his house upon the rock. One was wise and the other foolish. And the wise man was the one who built that sure foundation upon rock.
Christians must be prepared for battle. In preparing for battle, we must gird our loins with Truth. We must put on the breastplate of righteousness. We must shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. In Ephesians 6 verses 14-15, he says, "Stand therefore having your loins girded about with Truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace." When we have done this, we stand in readiness to battle against the foe of Satan and his forces. Since the soldier of Christ is to stand, it is extremely important that he pay close attention to his footwear, the Gospel of Peace.
(SONG # 3 - "Stepping In The Light!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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Have you clothed yourself with the Gospel of Christ? Furthermore have you prepared to follow it daily and to teach it to others? How blessed we are to have God's complete truth in the Gospel!