Ephesians 6:15-16: The Armour of God: Part Three
What do we need to be effective for the spiritual war we are in? So far Paul has told us that we need God’s truth, this makes us ready, and helps us against the father of lies. We need to guard our hearts with righteousness, firstly with the truth of our justification; and secondly with a love for holiness as we pursue sanctification. Today we want to look at the next two pieces of armour Paul places before us, the shoes and the shield, v15-16, ‘and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.’ The shoes point to the need to standing and mobility, and to prepare us for battle in this way God provides shoes. Are they the shoes of peace or readiness? We see that they are the shoes of readiness, which can also be translated firmness, and this is given by the gospel of peace. It is vital that we understand this connection because it is the gospel which produces peace which produces our readiness/firmness in spiritual warfare. They are the shoes of Gospel peace-readiness. The shoes are essential to help us stand as well as to help us run. Secondly, we need the full body protection of the shield of faith. The Roman shield was a large 4 foot shield that had a metal covering. Enemies would often shoot arrows that were tipped with rags dipped in flammable fluids. If an arrow hit a target there would be a splash of the fluids that were on fire onto the object that it hit, because of the metal covering the Roman shields did not catch alight. Paul is telling us that the devil shoots these highly damaging arrows at us. If we were fighting in an army to be hit by one of these arrows would remove us from the fray, this is the devil’s ploy as well. However, our faith acts as a shield that pours cold water on the arrows and prevents them from hitting us altogether. We will look first at the shoes and then at the shield.