Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 33 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to continue our 7 part series on the armor of God with piece number three, The Gospel of Peace.  Ephesians 6:15 reads, “and your feet sandaled with readiness for the Gospel of peace.”

 

The Roman soldier's sandals known as caligae were thick-soled cleats with small nails used to create grip.  While that would have been great on dirt or grassy turf, the historian Josephus reportedly tells the story of a Roman soldier who slipped and fell to his death in the temple in Jerusalem due to the lack of grip the nails in his sandals created on the marble floor.  Unfortunately, of all the commentaries and entries in study bibles, I could get my hands on, none of them could offer any real insight into why Paul would have chosen the Roman soldiers sandals to represent the readiness, or preparation, of the Gospel of peace.

 

We do, however, have some scriptures we can cross-reference to help us understand what the “readiness of the Gospel of Peace” is.  We start in Romans 10:14-18, “[14] How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? [15] And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. [16] But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? [17] So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. [18] But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

 

“Faith comes through what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”  We find that message about Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (Well, we find the message about Christ all over the New Testament, but here specifically in this section of scripture it reads), “[18] Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. [19] That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: "Be reconciled to God." [21] He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 

However, the harder I focus on the “readiness of the Gospel of Peace” the louder this voice In my head gets reminding me of two and a half year old Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, seven year old Jakelin Caal Maquín, eight year old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, ten year old Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle, sixteen year old Juan de León Gutiérrez, and sixteen year old Carlos Hernandez Vásquez.  Children who have died in U.S. custody starting from September of 2018 through May of 2019. I’ve seen a lot of blame passed around with no one stepping up to take responsibility. As I see it, we are all, every U.S., Mexican, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran citizen, responsible and should be crying out to God for this and the countless other innocent deaths that have happened during our lifetimes.  For those listening abroad, I’m sure you can quickly conceive of the lives of innocents taken on your watch that you should be crying out for as well.

 

As Christians, the Gospel isn’t just a piece of the armor of God but something that we’re called to share and make disciples of, and in fact here in the list of armor were told to prepare or ready ourselves with the Gospel.  In Luke 4:18 Jesus reads to us from the scroll of Isaiah just what that Gospel in action should look like, “[18] The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,”  and In the 2nd chapter of James we read, “[14] What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him? [15] If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food [16] and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed," but you don't give them what the body needs, what good is it? [17] In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

 

Don’t hear the stories in the news, shake your head, blame someone else, and move on.  Let your heart be broken and cry out to God to find out what you should do about it. Let’s take the next two and a half minutes or so in silence for so many innocent lives lost and cry out to God in our hearts on their behalf. 

 

 

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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