March 24th 2019 – Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints."

Ephesians 6:10-18

By way of introduction to a consideration of the nature of the provision and protection of this part of the gospel armour, we have to say that putting on our gospel shoes does not mean that the assaults of the enemy will stop; but what it does mean is that we will be able to stand against them. The knowledge of, and dependence upon, the gospel that gives peace is the necessary equipment that we need if we are to have a firm foothold in the conflict. This is the preparedness that we require. And to be so equipped is to recognise the completeness of our position in Christ, and what we are in Him, to recognise and to remember, by a lively exercise of faith, where the gospel has placed us. And when we appropriate, and make our own, in practical experience what is already ours in Christ and what He has already given us, we recognise that the victory is ours in Him. There are three thoughts in particular that will prove useful as specific applications of the basic idea of recognising and remembering our position in Christ. First of all, we are given by the gospel of peace the assurance of our heavenly Father's presence with us - an unfailing assurance, for has He not said, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee', and 'When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee'. In the second place, we are given a glorious assurance of our Father's care and love. We should not forget, in this connection, how the Apostle Peter prefaces his warning about the devil as 'a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour' (1 Peter 5:7) with the wonderful assurance of the words 'Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you' (what follows in 1 Peter 5:9 gives practical expression to the putting on of the gospel shoes: 'Whom resist steadfast in the faith ...'). The third consideration we must leave until the next Note.