In the last article in our Armor of God series, we talked about the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness and the relationship between them. In this article, we will continue to discuss the armor and what it all means and how it fits together. Let’s begin.
We will continue in our main Scripture for this series and talk about Ephesians 6:15-17 which says, “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Let’s talk about the “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”. The NLT puts it, “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared”. In other words, we get this picture of our feet having something on them that comes from the gospel and with it, we are prepared or ready. Let’s think about a Roman soldier for a moment to put this in historical context. A soldier’s feet would have had sharp spikes on the bottom of the shoes to keep balance during warfare. They were made to withstand a battle and keep the soldier upright, balanced, and moving through the battle. Soldiers were always ready for whatever came their way. They were prepared and ready for any and every attack. That is the soldier picture we see and what the feet of a soldier would have looked like. Now let’s look at the spiritual implications.
Our feet represent and still and moving nature of Christians. For the soldier, the shoes kept them on their feet, balanced, and in place. We as Christians must also stand firm as we have been called to do by putting on this armor because satan is always looking to attack. Our “spikes” that keep us in place are in Christ. Christ is our foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). When we stand we should be on solid, firm ground. If we are not, then we might slip or fall. Christ should be our foundation and we should be standing on the foundation of Christ. Not only are our feet meant to stay in place but they are also for moving when needed. When the gospel needs to be preached or taught, we should be ready to do so. 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season”. We should always be ready to share the love and good news of Jesus whenever and wherever it is needed.
Also linked to this idea of readiness is this idea of being ready and prepared to give testimony to our faith. This is a big flaming arrow for satan. He loves to get us at our core and our faith is the core of all of us. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. We must always be ready to give the answer why we have the hope and faith we have. We must be prepared to extinguish the arrows of satan. Linked to this idea of readiness is the idea of defense, offense, and prepared answers for our hope.
Another point we can make about readiness and fitted feet is the source readiness. It comes from the “gospel of peace” or the “Good News”. The message of love, hope, and grace of Jesus Christ is the source for the readiness and preparedness for battle against all evil. There is this sense of peace that comes from the gospel. This is an interesting comparison here. We have this whole armor scenario of putting in armor and going into battle; it is a picture of complete chaos. However, here in the center of this armor description is the idea of peace that comes from the gospel. In the midst of war and chaos there is peace and it is a stopping force of evil. The peace of the gospel ends the conflict with evil and there is peace once again. The Gospel brings peace and our feet should be fitted with it.
Here is where I split the armor into two sections and Paul seems to take a short pause in the description as well. So far, we have the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Then Paul says, “In addition to all this…”. Let’s take notice of something here with this pause. Notice these are all things we “put on”. We put on or fasten the belt, we put on the breastplate, and our feet our fitted. The verb is going to change slightly with these last three elements of the armor. It is going to switch from “putting on” or “fastening” to now “take up” these elements. In the Greek, the words used to describe “taking or take” we see in our english bibles are words that simply mean to “take hold of” or to “hold on” as if carrying or using it. There is a slight difference in what we do with these pieces of armor and they are vitally important to our faith and battles against the evil one. We are taking hold of these items.
Next time, we will continue the last three elements of the armor and define what they are and how they work as well as what we need to do to defend against the schemes of evil.