Intro. As a general rule when you go to cross reference this scripture you are usually led to Romans 10:15
where Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7
. 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! This may have been in Paul's mind, but the context would seem to indicate that we are talking about different things. One is the spreading of the gospel of peace, whereas here in Ephesians it is getting prepared to battle against the forces of Satan.
I. "AND YOUR FEET SHOD."
A. The Roman soldiers had a special sandal for battle.
1. One of the defensive weapons that they used in warfare were sticks that had been sharpened to points that they would bury upright in the ground with the points barely visible. If you would step on them bare-footed you would be disabled. They were sort of the land mines of ancient warfare.
a. Thus it was very important to have heavy soles on your feet when going into battle.
b. The sandal of the Roman soldier was mainly a sole with straps that went up around his ankles and calf holding the sandal tight to his foot.
2. These sandals also had spikes on the bottom much like a golf shoe so that you might have solid footing.
B. I believe that Paul is saying that we need to have a balanced life on solid footing.
1. In the context of standing it is so important that we have solid footing.
2. Many people are so wishy washy that you don't know where they stand on issues.
a. I know of pastors that talk out of both sides of their mouths so that you never really know where they stand on an issue.
b. If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.
3. There are many who are not standing today, but are being carried about with every wind of doctrine, being deceived by the cunningness and wiles of the devil.
4. We see people willing to compromise the truth for the sake of unity.
5. We here the gospel of good thoughts being promulgated.
a. I had a grandmother who used to say to us, "Every day and in every way, the world is getting better and better, and better."
b. That was the theme of what used to be known as moral rearmament.
6. Are you ready to stand?
a. For the inspiration of the scriptures.
b. The deity of Christ.
c. For the virgin birth.
d. For the work of the Holy Spirit.
7. In this day of political correctness the politicians never want to let you know just where they stand.
a. President Clinton is a prime example of this.
b. He will espouse conservative causes verbally, and turn right around and promote the most liberal agenda that can be imagined.
c. A interesting bumper sticker reads, President Carter is no longer the worst president we have ever had.
C. Are you ready to stand today?
1. God is looking for men that will stand in the day of battle.
2. Remember that Gideon told all those who were fearful to go home. Why? They were the ones that in the midst of the battle when times really got bad might turn and run.
D. In this context Paul speaks of the wiles of the devil, to the Corinthians he declares that we are not ignorant of his devises.
1. Sometimes he comes like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
2. Other times he comes like an angel of light in order to deceive.
a. Sometimes he attacks the scriptures.
b. The next time he will be quoting scriptures.
3. What makes a false prophet dangerous is that he doesn't look or sound like a false prophet.
4. They can be very loving and affirming.
a. The Los Angeles Church of Christ is very deceptive. They are presently seeking to proselytize in this area.
b. They do not really seek to reach the lost, as much as to feed off the church.
c. They declare that their's is the only true baptism, and teach baptismal regeneration.
d. They lure people in with their seeming deep devotion for the Lord.
e. They shower attention on every new visitor and continue to do so until you are in their clutches, then they seek to hold a person by fear, since they are the only true church, if you leave them you will be lost.
f. It has every earmark of the mind controlling cults.
II. THE PREPARATION OR READINESS.
A. One of the great problems of the church today is that it has become very inflexible.
1. This I see as one of the principal problems with the major denominations.
2. They all began with a special move of the Spirit which was important and relevant for their day, but they became locked into that was needed for that particular time. Times have changed, but they have not changed with the times.
3. They still hold to the distinctives that brought them into existence, but those distinctives are no longer relevant.
4. They are much too slow to change, they lack mobility.
B. Many people go to church purely out of habit today. It is the proper thing to do. Our family has been going to this church for five generations. My great grandfather helped raise the roof on this chapel.
1. They have no first hand relationship with the Lord.
2. They are spiritually dead, church has become a comfortable place to relax and sleep.
3. People can get much more enthusiastic about a sports event than they do going to church.
a. They wouldn't miss the play-off game for anything.
b. They want to get there plenty early and find the best seat in the house.
c. What if they had the same enthusiasm for the Lord as they did for sports?
III. THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.
A. First of all peace with God.
B. Peace with yourself.
C. Peace with others. "Live peaceably with all men."
D. A contentious fighting Christian is a denial of the gospel of peace.