Q&A: Gospel Shoes

Gospel Shoes

Question

Can you tell me a little bit about Ephesians 6:15?

Answer

Ephesians 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Volumes have been written on this verse. Ephesians 6:15 is part of a larger context of verses 10-18. It is part of the armor of God in Christian living. However, this section of verses is more than just a call to personal piety - it is a command.

In regards to the topic of peace, the letter begins in 1:2 with, "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." It proceeds to Christ being our peace in 2:14 and then to the church being urged to keep the bond of peace in 4:3. So, this theme of peace runs throughout the epistle.

This topic is so vital to our individual and community lives that Holy Spirit teaches that our armor must be firmly footed in Christ's peace. So then, shoes (actually sandals) are a part of armor. Think of the Roman soldier who wore leather straps that held a thick, hardened sole to the bottom of his feet. These shoes were vital to the soldier's mission. The soldier's shoes were for walking, running, climbing, for protecting his feet from traps (sharp stakes in the ground), and for him to maintain proper footing in all types of settings such as differences in weather and terrain. I recently purchased some alleged quality shoes from a department store; however, in less than two months the threading was already coming out of them, making them dangerous to wear. This is not the type of shoe we need for combat or daily living.

When we are Christians, we are going to fight battles! God's kingdom is pitted against the Devil's, therefore we are going to need to be prepared with proper footing (Rom. 16:20). Proper Christian living will not be victorious if fought from our own worldly strength, for it must be "God who works in [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13). The peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:6-9; cf. Rom. 5:1; Heb. 13:20) prepares us for every good work (Tit. 3:1; 1 John 4:4; cf. Num. 6:26) including sharing the very gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15; cf. Luke 10:5), which is full of wisdom (Prov. 3:17), God's provision (Rom. 8:28-39; 1 Pet. 5:7) and protection (Judg. 6-7; Isa. 26:3), and is our perfect grounding for battle.

We live in a war zone called the world. We need to ensure our armor is on. We must be controlled by truth, live in righteousness, and stand firm in the peace of God. Without this firm foundation, we are merely barefooted soldiers fighting on a bed of broken glass.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).