Putting on the Sandals of the Gospel of Peace

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:7-9, NIV)
 
…your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace… (Ephesians 6:15, HCSB)
 
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1, HCSB)
 
Just as the Breastplate of Righteousness built on the Belt of Truth, the Sandals of the Gospel of Peace builds on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Because God has made us righteousness, we can have peace. And just like truth and righteousness, peace ultimately comes from Christ:
 

“I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly. You heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, but I’m coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. I’m telling you this now before it happens. When it does happen, you will believe. The ruler of this world has no power over me. But he’s coming, so I won’t talk with you much longer. However, I want the world to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father has commanded me to do.” (John 14:27-31, GW)

Who are we at peace with?  What is the Good News (Gospel) of Peace?

Since Christ’s blood has now given us God’s approval, we are even more certain that Christ will save us from God’s anger. If the death of his Son restored our relationship with God while we were still his enemies, we are even more certain that, because of this restored relationship, the life of his Son will save us. In addition, our Lord Jesus Christ lets us continue to brag about God. After all, it is through Christ that we now have this restored relationship with God. (Romans 5:9-11, GW)

God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ. God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross. Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame. This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains. You’ve heard this Good News of which I, Paul, became a servant. It has been spread throughout all creation under heaven. I am happy to suffer for you now. In my body I am completing whatever remains of Christ’s sufferings. I am doing this on behalf of his body, the church. I became a servant of the church when God gave me the work of telling you his entire message. In the past God hid this mystery, but now he has revealed it to his people. God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery—which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory. We spread the message about Christ as we instruct and teach everyone with all the wisdom there is. We want to present everyone as mature Christian people. I work hard and struggle to do this while his mighty power works in me. (Colossians 1:19-29, GW)
 
So from now on we don’t think of anyone from a human point of view. If we did think of Christ from a human point of view, we don’t anymore. Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21, GW)
 
You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else. But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness that saved you.) God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him. He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come. God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:1-10, GW)
 
Because we are found righteous in Christ, we are now at peace with God. This is the Good News of Peace. While this seems obvious, many believers live in an unhealthy fear of God. This freezes them in their spiritual maturity. As we disciple spiritually young believers, we have to teach them that they are at peace with God. Who else are we to be at peace with?
 
But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. So he is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart. He brought an end to the commandments and demands found in Moses’ Teachings so that he could take Jewish and non-Jewish people and create one new humanity in himself. So he made peace. He also brought them back to God in one body by his cross, on which he killed the hostility. He came with the Good News of peace for you who were far away and for those who were near. So Jewish and non-Jewish people can go to the Father in one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13-18, GW)
 

Because we are a peace with God, we should be able to be at peace with fellow disciples. There is no place for hostility between fellow believers who are imitating and obeying Jesus as His disciples. If we are struggling to get along with other disciples, either they or we are being deceived and we need to revisit the Belt of Truth. After deception and accusation, Satan’s next attack is disunity. This is achieved through deception and accusation, but it is a more open obvious attack. The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace is our protection against disunity.

Not only are we at peace with God and to be at peace with other believers, but we can also be at peace with unbelievers.
 
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are. Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” But, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:16-21, GW)
 
Try to live peacefully with everyone, and try to live holy lives, because if you don’t, you will not see the Lord. Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you. (Hebrew 12:14-15, GW)
 
Also, make it your goal to live quietly, do your work, and earn your own living, as we ordered you. Then your way of life will win respect from those outside {the church}, and you won’t have to depend on anyone else for what you need. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, GW)
 

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace is the fact that we are at peace with God and therefore are to be at peace with all men. We are to live peaceful lives and speak with peaceful conversations which enable us to deliver the message to all men that they can be at peace with God. All of our relationships with other humans can be divided into two relationships. The first is working with other believers to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The second is to try to love unbelievers into the Kingdom of God.

 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces the good news, “All is well.” He brings the good news, announces salvation, and tells Zion that its God rules as king. (Isaiah 52:7, GW)

 

But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells {the Good News}? How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.” (Romans 10:14-15, GW)
 
In all honesty, this is where we have believers in the immediate context of His Words His Ways Fellowship have struggled in recent history.
 
Instead of having peaceful conversations with unbelievers in an effort to love them into the kingdom of God, we have only had antagonistic, condemning conversations with them.
 
Currently at His Words His Ways Fellowship, we are teaching a mini-series in our Life of Christ series on having Christ-like Conversations, that is taken from the sermon on the mount.
 
 
If you would like to learn more, please join us on Sundays at 10:00 am. Here is our location…
 
 
If you would like to learn more about why it is so imperative that we obey and imitate Jesus as His disciples, please start here and follow the links at the end of each page…
 
 

The Four Principles of Discipleship…

 

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