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Prepared by Peace

The Armor of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Peace prepares you for battle! 4 Progressions of Peace that will help us better understand what it means to be prepared by peace.

Notes & Transcripts
Our series theme verse is
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
This morning we will be looking at and paying close attention to verse 15:
Ephesians 6:13–15 NLT
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
Introduction:
How many of you love shoes? How many of you enjoy shopping for shoes? How many of you just enjoy shopping? Well, Roman soldiers did not have to shop for their shoes. From what I’ve read, footwear was specially made for each soldier. Far from being a humble sandal, the shoe of a Roman soldier was one of the most high-tech and adaptable pieces of equipment he owned. The soles where made from layers of metal and leather. The sole also could have spikes of varying lengths attached to allow the soldier to grip. Some even came with toe-spikes and spurs to allow the shoe to have offensive capability. They had detachable greaves to protect the shin and knee. Another metal covering protected the top of the foot. The invincibility of the Roman Republic Army depended on their ability to engage in battle as well as to travel quickly.
caligae
caligae
These shoes or boots were called caligae. Those shoes that were worn by the ordinary soldiers were so essential that those soldiers came to be known as the caligati.
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These shoes or boots were called caligae. Those shoes that were worn by the ordinary soldiers were so essential that those soldiers came to be known as the caligati.
-Germanicus, was the adopted son of emperor Tiberius and one of Rome’s most beloved generals. When he was among the soldiers he began to put the caligae on his young son, who was appropriately nicknamed “little boots”. So when that boy later became emperor, he was known not by his formal name, but by his nickname, Caligula.
-So Paul uses this image of soldier shoes to talk about standing against the enemy. When fighting, a soldier needed good footing. If he slipped and fell, his enemy could finish him off. So we are talking about having traction for action today. A soldier is not ready for battle or prepared for action if his footwear gives him no traction or protection. -Paul says that this foot-readiness, this traction and protection that helps you stay on your feet, comes from the good news of peace.
Transition: The main thought is simple today: How does the good news of peace protect you and keep you from slipping and falling in battle or losing ground to the enemy? And what exactly is this “good news of peace?” Let’s take a look at how Peace prepares you for battle! As we begin our discussion on the 4 Progressions of Peace that will help us better understand what it means to be prepared by peace, let us first talk about the:
-Today there is a cry for peace from many. You don’t have to look very far to see bumper stickers and signs that say, “War is not working. Peace is the answer.” And maybe you’ve heard or asked the question, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
-Well, that sounds good, but ignores the fact that human beings are not basically good. Without the change of heart that comes from being at peace with God, we are basically selfish people who will go to great lengths to get what we want, regardless of who we hurt along the way.
-The Hebrew word for peace is shalom- completeness, wholeness, to be at rest. The Greek word used by Paul is eirene: “to join together that which has been separated.”
-Paul has already spoken about his readers having been separated from God in the past. In ,
Ephesians 2:12–14 NLT
12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.
Ephesians 2:17 NLT
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.
The word for “preached” here is a special word that is used for proclaiming the gospel. The Greek is euaggelizo which means to bring or announce good news. Jesus came and announced the good news of peace to those who were at odds with God. The good news was that through Jesus God was not going to hold their sins against them. If they rejected that good news, they rejected its work in their lives- forgiveness and cleansing which brought them into God’s favor.
Paul says it well in when he says:
Romans 5:1 NLT
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
-Churches use several different words to describe what happens when a person finds peace with God. Some call it salvation, getting saved, conversion, getting right with God, being born again, finding Christ, etc. Whatever you call it, every person in this world needs it – if they want to find the reason they were put on this planet – knowing God in a close and personal way. We need to have peace with God if we want to have life that goes on and on even after our time on this earth.
-Churches use several different words to describe what happens when a person finds peace with God. Some call it salvation, getting saved, conversion, getting right with God, being born again, finding Christ, etc. Whatever you call it, every person in this world needs it – if they want to find the reason they were put on this planet – knowing God in a close and personal way. We need to have peace with God if we want to have life that goes on and on even after our time on this earth.
-Peace with God changes us. Peace with God changes our standing, as we talked about last week. It changes our character. It changes our outlook/attitude. Peace with God changes our motivation – we don’t live for God based on guilt, but based on gratitude. We are at peace with Him. We no longer need to appease Him to avoid His wrath. Jesus appeased God’s wrath once and for all! Peace with God changes our convictions – we don’t budge when the enemy attacks!
-The best thing about peace with God is that it is readily available to you now! You don’t have to place an order or get on a waiting list. No purchase necessary because the price has already been paid by Jesus Himself when He died for my sins and yours.
-Those who have peace with God know where they stand and they stand firm! Peace with God allows you to dig in and keep fighting because greater is He who is in you than the enemy who is in this world!
I love the verse found just before the last book of the Bible.
says:
Jude 24 NLT
24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
God has given us the shoes of peace so we can stand firm, knowing that He is standing with us. He is able to keep us from falling! Some people fall from discouragement, forgetting the blessings of peace with God. Some fall from feelings of guilt and unworthiness, thinking that God is not at peace with them. Others fall for various reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they lose their peace. The God of peace is able to keep us from falling if we stand firm in His grace and stay connected with Him through prayer and trust.
God has given us the shoes of peace so we can stand firm, knowing that He is standing with us. He is able to keep us from falling! Some people fall from discouragement, forgetting the blessings of peace with God. Some fall from feelings of guilt and unworthiness, thinking that God is not at peace with them. Others fall for various reasons, but they all have one thing in common – they lose their peace. The God of peace is able to keep us from falling if we stand firm in His grace and stay connected with Him through prayer and trust.
Transition: Well, let’s look at the next area of Peace that flows out of our Peace with God:
When we have peace with God and are no longer separated from Him because of our unclean lives and offenses against Him, then we will have a peace within our own hearts and minds. God’s peace will help you be at peace with yourself.
When we have peace with God and are no longer separated from Him because of our unclean lives and offenses against Him, then we will have a peace within our own hearts and minds. God’s peace will help you be at peace with yourself.
-So many ugly things can happen in this life. Some of those ugly things happen to us through no fault of our own. Due to someone else’s sin and selfishness we may be left with inner wounds and ugly scars that make us feel unloved and unvalued. Or perhaps you’ve gone through deep sorrow or had a major disappointment that was not really anyone’s fault, but it still hurts! Let me tell you that God’s heart aches for you in the midst of your pain – but not from a distance. The only distance that exists between you and God is distance that we put there. He cares how we feel and wants to bring His soothing, healing peace into our hearts.
-When we have peace with God, we can know the peace of God in our lives! In the next book written by Paul called Philippians, he talks about the peace of God.
Specifically in Paul writes:
Philippians 4:6–7 NLT
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Do you need something? Ask for it, showing gratitude and trust that God will do what He promised and take care of you.
-Remember, Satan loves to attack our minds and emotions. But the peace of God is greater than our own self-loathing or fearful thoughts, and will guard how we think and how we feel, as we stay close to Jesus.
Transition: Peace with God leads to peace within. And when we are at peace with God and with who we are in Him, we are going to find another step in the progression of peace. That next step is:
If the devil can get us to fight with one another, he knows it will affect our walk with Christ and our ability to stand firm against him. Remember what Paul said in verse 12 of our passage?
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Satan is out to steal your peace so you don’t have shoes to stand firm in. If he can stir up strife and break the unity God has given us with one another as members of His family, then he wins the round.
-No wonder Paul wrote what he did in chapter 4 verse 3:
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
He is talking about relationships between believers. In his next letter to the Philippians chapter 4 verses 1-3, Paul tells his friends to work out their differences and get along.
Philippians 4:1–3 NLT
1 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. 2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
Apparently there were differences between these 2 ladies, and it was threatening the unity of the church family. So Paul says to work it out. It does take effort to be at peace with others. Quite often the problem comes back to not really being at peace with ourselves. Fear of losing something or being slighted can cause us to lash out and disturb the peace God has given us. Selfishness disturbs the peace within us because it is contrary to God’s nature who lives in us.
Apparently there were differences between these 2 ladies, and it was threatening the unity of the church family. So Paul says to work it out. It does take effort to be at peace with others. Quite often the problem comes back to not really being at peace with ourselves. Fear of losing something or being slighted can cause us to lash out and disturb the peace God has given us. Selfishness disturbs the peace within us because it is contrary to God’s nature who lives in us.
says,
James 4:1 NLT
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
There are a myriad of desires that may surface in the human heart.
There are a myriad of desires that may surface in the human heart.
And often we might not see them for the threat they are. Even the desire for affirmation and acceptance can lead us to do or say things that do not honor God or build up others. So what can we do to have peace with others?
-1. Reaffirm that you are at peace with God. If you’ve allowed sin to creep into your heart or life, confess it and turn away from it. 2. Ask God to give you what you need (). If you need affirmation, let God affirm you with His amazing love. Find your value from Him, not from the fickle opinions of others. 3. Ask God to help you see others the way He does. Identify something positive and valuable about that person you are having difficulties with. 4. Pray blessings on them. It is hard to be mad at someone you are praying good things for.
Transition: We’ve talked primarily about relationships with those in God’s family, although these principles apply to all human relationships. But let’s conclude the progression of peace by turning our focus outward and talking about:
The footwear worn by Roman soldiers weren’t just made for standing. They were made for walking. This may not be Paul’s primary point here, since he is talking about standing firm and having good footing. However, the implication, along with some of Christ’s last words to His disciples, shows us that the good news about having peace with God should not and must not stop with us!
-Yes, we are to stand firm in the peace we have with God, but we are also to pass the peace along. What do you do with good news? You tell it! You share it! You get the word out! Not because you have to, but because you are enthused about it! When something cool happens to you, you can’t wait to share it with the people you care about. You want them to be excited with you and share in your joy. When we share the gospel of peace, however, it isn’t just about us! It is about every human on this planet! It is about other people finding peace with God too!
-Look at the effect we could have if we devoted ourselves to bringing one person to the Lord each year. If we invested in someone’s life and helped them find peace with God and they learned to pass it on to others, the number of people who came to know Jesus would astound you.
Year Number
11 22 34
48 5 16 6 32 7 64 8 128 10 512 15 16,384 20 524,288 21 1,048,576
-Jesus said in ,
Mark 16:15–16 NLT
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:15–16 NLT
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
Conclusion:
Peace with God, Peace within (of God), Peace with others, Peace to others. Get your shoes on! Stand strong in Christ!
[Use Break Down the Wall video at end of sermon]
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