“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” Ephesians 6:15 NLT
“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.“
Ephesians 6:15 NIVUK
Paul glances at the feet of his fellow occupants in the prison cell. They were wearing shoes, and he proceeded to muse about their potential spiritual equivalent. What do Christians wear on their feet, he wondered? What was it that pilgrims everywhere need to be prepared for in their journeys onward and upward? And then he had a light bulb moment (well, he would have had, had light bulbs been invented in those days!). He had a new revelation of the Gospel. Now, that’s something we can stand firm on. It’s something that will always confuse the devil’s attacks because he knows that the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus and all that He did for us, is truth. The devil may ask us a difficult question about our faith, or tell us a lie as he did with Eve in the garden. He may bring doubts into our minds, but us pilgrims can just respond with the truth we know, that regardless of anything he says, the devil can never deny the truth of the Gospel. He thought that he had defeated the Son of God, by getting Him crucified on a cross, not realising that it was all God’s plan, and that Jesus would rise again on the Sunday morning, the third day after.
So we are ready. Shod with the Good News. And we bring it right up to date with our messages of hope, our testimonies of what God has done for us, all founded on His amazing plan. We have Good News to tell a world absorbed by bad news. We can share our hope for the future with a society that has no hope even for the present. A counter-cultural message that will pierce the enemy’s darkness with a shaft of pure light, penetrating and exposing his lies. I can just imagine Paul getting quite excited in his cell, as he realised that regardless of his situation, or the fragility of the early churches he founded, the power of the Gospel was insurmountable. And, folks, it still is today.
In another letter, this time to the Roman church, Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life”“. The Gospel. The Good News. And it’s not a wishy-washy statement, just a few boring words. Paul said that, “It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes”. And he was exactly right. He spoke the truth. And the devil keeps well away when we stand on the truth of the Gospel. He knows he can’t touch us.