Posts Tagged gospel

Shod

Ephesians 6: 15

Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

What a funny word, “shod”. Of course it means having put on shoes. Shoes are part of the armor of God, part of what protects us as we stand firm against the enemy. This piece of armor, though, seems to be the most misunderstood of all. Let’s see if we can unravel the meaning in this verse and gain a functional revelation.

The key question, I have found, is, “How do I put on the armor?” Today’s verse actually reveals the answer. We shoe our feet by preparing ourselves in the gospel. Do you see that? The shoes are not shoes of peace. They are armored shoes but the way you obtain and wear them is by preparing yourself through time and attention given to the Word of God.

Shoes may seem rather mundane but think of it this way. Our feet are the one place where we come in contact with the world. We need insulation from the world and its ways. We need a barrier between us and worldly influences. Our shoes provide that protective barrier. Also, if one is to “stand” firm then not only are our feet the point of contact but they are also our foundation. Feet are required for standing so the feet are a focal point.

So far we have considered our belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. We discovered that Jesus is the truth, and that he is our righteousness. So, what do you think about the gospel? John 1: 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Are you seeing a recurring theme here? Jesus is our victory. He has prepared our armor so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Our part is to put on Jesus. In the case of our shoes, it is done by spending time in the Word. This isn’t a magic pill. The truth is that the Word just arms you for battle. It prepares you to stand. Your confidence is found in the Word.

Why, though, do you think Paul called it the gospel of peace? Several reasons really but the main one for this application is that peace is what we are desirous of. We do not put on the armor of God because we like to fight or want to fight. We are not aggressors. We don the armor of God because we want peace. Jesus has provided the means by which we can live in peace. It begins with truth wrapped around us like a belt, followed by a layer of protection over our hearts called righteousness or being right with God. Then we put on shoes or protection from the ills the world would invade our lives with by spending time with Jesus in his capacity as the Word. Your preparation in the gospel of peace will ground you. It will give you good, solid footing. You will not stumble when you have prepared yourself in the gospel. Invest your heart and some time in the Word. It will stand you in good stead.

Stocked Refrigerator

Mark 1: 14

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

This comes from the very early days of Jesus’ ministry. This is one of those cases where reading the footnotes is as enlightening as the verse. The notes reveal that what Jesus was communicating to the people there was that the Kingdom of God had come near them. It is at hand, or maybe better said, it is here. Jesus told them that the time they had look forward to was fulfilled and the kingdom was no longer a promise but rather, a reality. Well, if it had come to pass 2000 years ago then we certainly are not waiting for it today.

There is another interesting footnote. Jesus said to repent and believe in the gospel. The fullness of what he was saying about belief is in the word “trust”. Jesus told them to trust in the gospel. What does that mean? How does he intend that we “trust” in the gospel? Is this something our heart does? Or, does it perhaps involve our actions as well? Either way, I think Jesus is telling us, even as he spoke to those saints 2000 years ago, there is something we are supposed to do now that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Jesus told people several times that the Kingdom of God had come near them. It was right within their grasp. The same is true for us. Everything Jesus is has come within our reach. There is an action involved, however, and that is the part which so often trips us up. We must reach out and grasp all that Jesus won for us. I wish it would just rain down on me and I wouldn’t have to lift a finger. I don’t want to do the emotional and spiritual work necessary to receive his Kingdom victories but I guess that is just laziness. It is like someone has stocked the refrigerator. I want a drink. I want the benefit that drink will give me but I don’t want to get out of my chair and go get it.

Some of us just didn’t realize Jesus has stocked the refrigerator for us. We are dying of thirst when there is every kind of drink waiting for us. We have to learn to trust this gospel and expect the refrigerator to be loaded. We should begin to expect that the coming of the Kingdom brought with it life-altering properties. Certainly, this would be a great subject for our walks with Jesus. You can ask him to tell you exactly what he meant by, “repent and trust in this gospel.” I don’t want any of us to miss out on the Kingdom or its resources. The time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is here. Repent and trust in the gospel.

Gospel of Good News

Mark 16: 15

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Glory to God, the message of God, the message of the cross is good news. Did you know that “gospel” means good news? In fact, many Bibles translate this passage with the use of the words “good news” instead of “gospel.” One example is the Common English Bible which reads, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature”. The story of Christ, his coming and his ultimate victory is good news indeed. Think about this also, what are the first four books of the New Testament called? The gospels, right? They are the good news about Jesus, the Messiah.

I have a great exercise for you and I think it will change some passages for you and maybe even the context of the New Testament. Go to your Bible, if it has a concordance, or a search engine like www.Biblegateway.com and search the gospels in the New American Standard for the word “gospel.” It produces 20 verses. Then read that list substituting the word “gospel” with the words “good news.” I believe you are going to feel good after you do this little exercise.

Here is the point I really wish to make though. People talk about a vindictive God. I hear them saying how God took their loved one, caused some bad thing to happen or other doom and gloom pronouncement. I think not. If He is such a vindictive and harsh God then why is His news good news? We have good news to take to people. When humanity was in its fallen state from its own actions, God sent a savior. This good news savior came to rescue us from the pit and restore our earthly and eternal lives to ones of glory and joy. That is good news brother.

I wrote in yesterday’s Word of the Day on Isaiah 52: 7 that beautiful and blessed are the feet of those who bring good news. I also posited that this idea is the perfect evangelistic model. Read today’s verse again. Jesus did not tell us to go into all the world and tell people that they are sinners and that they are doomed to hell. He said to tell them that a savior has come. I saw a car in my hometown which was plastered with damnation messages and it grieved my heart. Really? Is that the love of God on display? Is that the love that put Jesus on the cross for us when we were full of sin and rebellion? Is that the message that saved you? How do we read John 3: 16 and manage to miss out on the word “love?” “For God so loved the world . . . .”

Go into all the world or, everywhere you go, tell the good news of Jesus, our Christ and our beloved. Give away the joy of the Lord. He is not damning people to hell, He is saving them. Glory to God!