For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
— Isaiah 9:6
The Greek word for gospel is euaggelion, which means good news. So what is the good news that we are to wear on our feet, which makes us prepared for battle?
The good news Paul refers to is the gospel; the news of the Kingdom of God, the news about Jesus Christ, the news about freedom from the penalty of sin, and the news about God’s plan to bring true peace to the world.
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. (Acts 10:33-40)
When Adam sinned, the peaceful relationship with God was destroyed. We became enemies with God. The gospel of peace is the good news of redemption; it is the news of God’s grace being able to restore that beautiful and intimate relationship with Him, of victory over the penalty of Adam’s sin and of the death it brought into the world.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Romans 5:1-2a)
The gospel of peace is also the promise of peace that believers can have in their hearts through a relationship with God through Jesus.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Colossians 1:18-25)
This is the gospel of peace we are to take into a world that knows no peace.
The Church of Christ is continually presented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of a peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel. Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering. (Charles H. Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit [Pilgrim Publications], 5:41)
Questions for reflection and discussion: Where do you see spiritual battles in the world taking place? Where do you see spiritual battles in your life? What do you think is at stake?