Amplified: Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Stand therefore, having girded your loins in the sphere of truth, and having clothed yourself with the breastplate of righteousness, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about in truth, and having put on the breastplate of the righteousness
EPHESIANS 6:10-18 BY WAYNE BARBER
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON THE FALLEN FLESH
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON RESISTING THE ROARING LION
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON THE BATTLE IN OUR MIND
THE METAPHOR OF THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER
THE AMALEKITES: A PICTURE OF PERSISTENT SPIRITUAL WARFARE
STAND FIRM THEREFORE, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH: stete (2PAAM) oun perizosamenoi (AMPMPN) ten osphun humon en aletheia: (Ep 5:9; Isaiah 11:5; Luke 12:35; 2Corinthians 6:7; 1Peter 1:13)
Stand firm therefore - this is the third time Paul calls on believers to stand firm (see notes Ephesians 6:11; 6:13) thus emphasizing the need for immovable steadfastness in the face of a relentless, ruthless foe.
Stand firm (2476) (histemi) means literally to support oneself on the feet in an erect position. It means to take up or maintain a specified position or posture. In context it conveys the idea of digging in (the Roman sandals had spikes for this purpose).
From a practical standpoint one stands firm by living the obedient, Scripture–dominated, Spirit–empowered life - the Spirit in such a state is not quenched or grieved and strengthens the obedient believer to stand firm. The greatest weapon we have in warfare is not what we say to the devil but how we live the ''Christ life''. Obey, surrender, submit for this is your greatest weapon. It's not binding but it's bowing, saying ''yes'' to Jesus and committing to do His Word...at the moment He says it...then at that moment you become a fortress against the devil.
Again Paul like a military general barks out a command to the troops of saints to stand firm. The aorist imperative conveys a sense of urgency. Do it now! Don't delay! The active voice means that we must make the choice to stand firm. God gives us the want to and the enablement but He won't force us to choose to stand.
We must live in light of the fact that just as much as "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life," so it is true that "Satan hates you and has a terrible plan for your life" - we do have an enemy who wishes us nothing but evil
Using the metaphor of a battle, in the military sense to stand firm meant to hold a watch post or to stand and hold a critical position on a battlefield while under attack! The intent of Paul's exhortation is not unlike that of our Lord to the embattled church at Thyatira, whom He commanded, “hold fast (aorist imperative) until I come” (Re 2:25-note). The believer needs to be strengthened in the inner man, letting our mind be affected by the truth, and letting the Spirit of Christ motivate us (Ezekiel 36:27, Php 2:12-note) and live His life through you. Stand firm by being in His word, obeying His word, repenting quickly and returning to your first Love. If you are disobedient you are deceived and a deceived person doesn't even know it! Furthermore when you are deceived you are primed for defeat! That is how good the Deceiver is. Remember his territory is the darkness, this present evil world system, and even though believers have been transferred out of darkness and into God's marvelous light, we can still choose to place ourselves under his domain of darkness when we willingly disobey God's Word.
Therefore (3767) (oun) introduces a logical result or inference from what precedes. Whenever you encounter a term of conclusion, pause to ponder what is the writer concluding? The items of armor appear in the order in which a soldier would put them on and together make up the full armor (panoplia) every soldier had put on before taking the field in mortal combat.
Expositor's Greek Testament - First in the list of these articles of equipment is mentioned the girdle. Appropriately so; for the soldier might be furnished with every other part of his equipment, and yet, wanting the girdle, would be neither fully accoutered nor securely armed. His belt was no mere adornment of the soldier, but an essential part of his equipment. Passing round the loins and by the end of the breastplate (in later times supporting the sword), it was of especial use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the proper soldierly attitude and freedom of movement.” (Ephesians 6 Commentary)
Having girded (4024) (perizonnumi from perí = about or around + zonnumi = gird, gird around especially with a belt) means to gird all around as preparation for work or activity. Figuratively, perizonnumi speaks of readiness for activity while ungirding denotes rest.
This picture derives from the custom of shortening the long flowing garments of Orientals which were pulled up and knotted at the waist for freedom of movement. The idea is to tuck up one’s long garment by pulling it through a belt. From the belt hung the scabbard in which the soldier's sword was sheathed. The belt tied tightly around the waist indicated that a soldier was ready for combat. Conversely, to slacken the belt equated with the soldier going off duty, something that is never to be in a Christian soldier. We are always on duty, for our foe never rests.
In the middle voice perizonnumi means you yourself have to fasten on the belt, wrapping yourself around. No one can accomplish this girding for you.
Salmond notes that...
Vine summarizes the uses of perizonnumi writing that it means...
There are 31 uses of perizonnumi in the Septuagint (LXX) (Exod. 12:11; Jdg. 3:16; 1 Sam. 2:4, 18; 2 Sam. 3:31; 20:8; 21:16; 1 Ki. 20:32; 2 Ki. 1:8; 3:21; 1 Chr. 15:27; Ps. 18:32, 39; 30:11; 45:3; 65:6, 12; 93:1; 109:19; Isa. 3:24; 15:3; 32:11; Jer. 1:17; 4:8; 6:26; 49:3; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 7:18; 44:18; Dan. 10:5; Joel 1:8, 13) Here are some representative uses...
There are 7 uses of perizonnumi in the NASB...
Roman Soldier's Belt (click figure to enlarge) or cingulum militare (soldier's belt) was not the most noticeable piece of the armor but was a soldier's badge of office, worn with the tunic at all times and formed the central piece of his armor holding all the rest securely in place. The belt was broad and composed of sturdy leather. From it hung an overlapping skirt of leather straps almost like an apron on which were decorative rivets. Also from the belt hung specialized hooks and holders on which to secure the scabbard that contained the dagger ("pugio"), the quiver which held lances, and an apparatus on which to rest the large battle shield. Also, on the belt were clips with which to hold the breastplate in its proper place. Supplies of bread, oil and water were also on the belt.
Roman soldiers wore at least one of 3 belts or girdles: (1) The breech-like leather apron worn to protect the lower abdomen; (2) the sword-belt which was buckled on together with the sword as the decisive step in the process of preparing one's self for battle (3) the special belt or sash designating an officer or high official
Ray Stedman - The officers in the Roman army wore short skirts very much like Scottish kilts. Over them they wore a cloak or tunic that was secured at the waist with a belt. When they were about to enter battle, they would tuck the tunic up under the belt so as to leave their legs free and unimpeded for the fight. Belting one's waist (or, as many older translations put it, "girding the loins") was always a symbol of readiness to fight. That is why Paul mentions this item of armor first. You cannot do battle until you have surrounded yourself with the belt of truth. What does this mean in practical, everyday terms? Simply this: When you are threatened by discouragement, depression, spiritual apathy and coldness, and similar moods, you fight back by remembering that you first became a Christian by surrounding yourself with truth. You remind yourself that in coming to Jesus Christ you found the truth behind all things, you found the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the secret of the universe, the final reality! (Ray Stedman. Spiritual Warfare - recommended!)
Loins (3751) (osphus) (see additional note) or "hip" (as used in classic Greek according to the TDNT) refers literally to the general area of the body between the ribs and the thighs, the midsection between the upper and lower body that includes the hips, the small of the back, the waist, and the reproductive organs. Osphus refers to the lower region of the back, which is the region of the 5 lower vertebrae of lumbar region, the part of body where the girdle was worn. It is the region of the hips as opposed to shoulders and thighs.
Jews considered osphus as the place of the reproductive organs and so we find the phrases ''to go forth from someone's loins'' equated with ''to be descendant''. Finally, In the NT girded loins signified that a man was ready for service or heavy battle. Osphus was used figuratively to describe a state of alertness or readiness.
Girding the loins was a symbolic way of saying that one was standing firm or exercising self-control. The picture derived from the fact that Orientals would often tuck their long flowing robes in their belt around their loins , with a view to greater mobility for work, for travel, for battle etc. Thus girded one would thus be enabled to move unimpeded and be less likely to be hindered or tripped.
The expression “to gird up one’s loins” means to belt the garment which is worn ungirdled in the house or in times of relaxation, with a view to greater mobility for work, for travel, for battle etc
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament notes that in the Septuagint (LXX = Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) osphus...
"is a common figure of speech for “power,” Deut 33:11 ("LORD...shatter the loins of those who rise up against" Israel); Daniel 5:6 ("Then the king's face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together")
One of the most famous illustrations of this custom is found in Exodus where Moses records God's instructions to Israel on the night of the Passover...
"Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins (LXX = osphus) girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is the LORD'S Passover." (Exodus 12:11)
In a description of the Messiah's readiness for conflict (which Paul quotes in his exhortation to the Christian "soldier" in Ephesians 6:14), Isaiah records that righteousness and faithfulness are His preparation, declaring that...
"righteousness will be the belt about His loins (LXX = osphus), and faithfulness the belt about His waist." (Isaiah 11:5) (Here is the LXX translation - And he shall have his loins girt with righteousness, and his sides clothed with truth.)
In Ephesians 6:14 believers are to gird their loins with God's truth including His manifold promises which reminds one of C H Spurgeon's comment regarding the physical (and spiritual) warfare Joshua was about to encounter in the promised land. Spurgeon quipped that Joshua...
"was not to use (God's) promise as a couch upon which his indolence might luxuriate, but as a girdle wherewith to gird up his loins for future activity”
As Warren Wiersbe put it "God’s promises are prods, not pillows!"
Marvin Vincent - The loins (osphus) encircled by the girdle form the central point of the physical system. Hence, in Scripture, the loins are described as the seat of power. “To smite through the loins” is to strike a fatal blow. “To lay affliction upon the loins” is to afflict heavily. Here was the point of junction for the main pieces of the body-armor, so that the girdle formed the common bond of the whole. Truth gives unity to the different virtues, and determinateness and consistency to character. All the virtues are exercised within the sphere of truth." (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 3, Page 1-408)
Vine writes that osphus in Ephesians 6:14 is used metaphorically and that the girding of one's loins with truth refers to...
bracing up oneself so as to maintain perfect sincerity and reality as the counteractive in Christian character against hypocrisy and falsehood. (Vine, W., Vine's Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words)
Wiersbe - "The loins are the place of action, mobility, and direction. A soldier with a broken hip would not be worth very much! Unless we are motivated and directed by truth, we will be defeated by the enemy. If we permit any deception to enter our lives, we have weakened our position and cannot fight the battle victoriously." (The Strategy of Satan: How to Detect and Defeat Him )
Osphus is used 58 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (Gen. 35:11; 37:34; Exod. 12:11; 28:42; Lev. 3:9; 7:3; 8:25; 9:19; Deut. 33:11; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Ki. 2:5; 12:10, 24; 18:46; 20:31f; 2 Ki. 1:8; 4:29; 9:1; 2 Chr. 6:9; 10:10; Neh. 4:18; Job 12:18; 38:3; 40:7, 16; Prov. 31:17; Isa. 5:27; 11:5; 15:4; 20:2; 21:3; 32:11; Jer. 1:17; 13:1f, 4, 11; 30:6; 48:37; Ezek. 1:27; 8:2; 9:2f, 11; 21:6; 23:15; 24:17; 29:7; 44:18; 47:4; Dan. 5:6; 10:5; Amos 8:10; Nah. 2:1, 10)
Osphus is used 8 times in the NT (note the NAS and NIV do not always translate osphus separately thus some of the verses below are in the KJV)...
Kenneth Wuest commenting on "girding one's mind for action" in 1Pe 1:13 (note) has an excellent practical comment...
Expositor's Greek Testament comments that truth "is simplest and most accordant with usage to take it so here (in the sense of candor, sincerity, truthfulness). And this plain grace of openness, truthfulness, reality, the mind that will practice no deceits and attempt no disguises in our intercourse with God, is indeed vital to Christian safety and essential to the due operation of all the other qualities of character. “As the soldier covers his breast with the breastplate to make it secure against the disabling wound, so the Christian is to endue himself with righteousness so as to make his heart and will proof against the fatal thrust of his spiritual assailants.” (Ephesians 6 Commentary)
Truth (225) (aletheia from alethes = true in turn from a + lêthô = that which is hidden or lanthanô = conceal, this combination meaning out in the open, containing nothing that is hidden) describes the body of reality (facts, events, etc) or the content which is true, or which is in accordance to what actually occurred. Truth is the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter. Truth is the correspondence between a reality and a declaration which professes to set it forth. Words are true when they correspond with objective reality. Persons and things are true when they correspond with their profession. Hence a truth is a declaration which has corresponding reality, or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since God is Himself the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His nature is pre-eminently the Truth. Obviously whatever God says is "the truth", and in fact "the Truth" is actually embodied in the Person of Christ Jesus!
We must faithfully hold the truth of God’s word, but it is also necessary for the truth to hold us. We must apply it to our daily lives and test everything by comparing it to the plumbline of God's Word of truth.
Since Satan is a liar, we must oppose him with God’s truth. In Paul's day the people wore belts or girdles to bind up their flowing garments and hold everything together. It is God’s truth that must hold everything together in our lives. As Christians, we must love truth and live truth. It is therefore not surprising to see John write to his spiritual children...
Warren Wiersbe - Unless we are motivated and directed by truth, we will be defeated by the enemy. If we permit any deception to enter our lives, we have weakened our position and cannot fight the battle victoriously. The girdle of truth is not an offensive weapon; it is for protection. When the believer has what I call “an attitude of truth” in his life, this protects him from Satan’s attacks. It does not prevent these attacks; it keeps the believer from being harmed by them. (Wiersbe, W: Strategy of Satan: How to Detect and Defeat Him)
Marvin Vincent has this note about truth in Ephesians 6:14 writing that it is...
MacDonald wisely comments that Christian soldiers...
Ray Stedman relates a story regarding truth which you may have heard...
Truth is mentioned 7 times in Ephesians and thus is a key thought...
Wayne Barber explains girding your loins with truth...
Ray Stedman (ibid) explains truth by noting that...
AND HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: kai endusamenoi (AMPMPN) ton thoraka tes dikaiosunes: (Isaiah 59:17; 1Thessalonians 5:8; Revelation 9:9,17)
IMPUTED AND IMPARTED
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness - When we first believed the Gospel we were justified (declared righteous) by faith which describes positional righteousness. What Paul is referring to in this passage is not so much our position of righteousness but our daily practice of righteousness, living rightly before God and man as we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Phil Newton comments on the breastplate of righteousness "The Puritan writers called this both the "imputed and imparted" righteousness of Christ for our lives. Inattention to the law of God in our obedience will flatten us before the enemies. And even more so, forgetting your dependence upon the imputed righteousness of Christ so that you put confidence in the flesh will leave you open to doubt and discouragement." (Sermons from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians)
Jerry Bridges explains that he begins each day with God...
David Guzik adds that the righteousness Paul is describing in Eph 6:14 "is not our own earned righteousness, not a feeling of righteousness, but a righteousness received by faith in Jesus. It gives us a general sense of confidence, an awareness of our standing and position. (He quotes Lloyd-Jones who says) "Thank God for experiences, but do not rely on them. You do not put on the ‘breastplate of experiences’, you put on the breastplate of ‘righteousness." . We are sometimes tempted to say to the devil “Look at all I’ve done for the Lord.” But that is shaky ground, though sometimes it feels good. It is shaky because the feeling and experiences and doing is so changeable (Ed: And to a degree it is performance based). God’s righteousness is not. The breastplate of righteousness is your best defense against the sense of spiritual depression and gloom that comes against your gut." (Ephesians 6)
To summarize, although positional (justifying) righteousness is necessary for us to even enter the fight, Paul is saying that it is our practical (sanctifying) righteousness that must be worked out (relying on the Spirit) in fear and trembling (Php 2:12-note, Php 2:13-note). Someone has well said that
Put on (1746) (enduo from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to put on) means literally to clothe or dress someone and to put on as a garment, to cause to get into a garment (eg, Lk 15:22 where the father says "quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him...").
Aorist tense indicates this putting on is a past completed action and includes the idea that this action was decisive. In the middle voice (as in Col 3:10) it means to clothe oneself with something, in this case the "new man", who is clothed in the robes of Christ's righteousness and now needs to practice what this privileged position entails, i.e., to manifest His righteousness each day toward God and toward men in everyday life.
Luke uses enduo figuratively describing clothing with spiritual power...
Ray Stedman gives the following illustration:
Expositor's Greek Testament comments on the breastplate writing that "As the soldier covers his breast with the breastplate to make it secure against the disabling wound, so the Christian is to endue himself with righteousness so as to make his heart and will proof against the fatal thrust of his spiritual assailants.” (Ephesians 6 Commentary)
Breastplate (2382) (thorax) describes either the chest area or part of the body covered by the breastplate or the protective covering of this area as utilized in combat. Polybius tells us that it was known as a heart-protector. Usually it was made of bronze but the more affluent officers wore a coat of chain mail. The front piece was strictly the breastplate, but a back piece was commonly worn as well.
Isaiah prophetically describes Messiah wearing the breastplate of righteousness, recording (in the context of a tragic description of sins by Israel) that...
Thayer describes the armor writing that it was...
There are 10 uses of thorax in the Septuagint (LXX) (1 Sam. 17:5; 1 Ki. 22:34; 2 Chr. 18:33; 26:14; Neh. 4:16; Job 41:13, 26; Isa. 59:17; Jer. 46:4; Ezek. 38:4).
TDNT - In Greece we find various forms of armor from leather doublets (with metal studs) to bronze armor conforming to the body. The Romans also use coats of mail combining lightness and strength. Armor comes into Egypt from abroad. Goliath the Philistine wears a heavy coat of mail. In Israel armor is at first a privilege of the nobility but comes into general use under Uzziah...The OT. The biblical metaphor originates in Isaiah 59:17 (see above) with its statement that God has put on righteousness like a breastplate, i.e., that He will deploy His full moral integrity to destroy evil and bring salvation in the sense both of justice (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
There are 5 uses of thorax in the NAS...
Righteousness (1343) (dikaiosune from dikaios = just, righteous = root idea of conforming to a standard or norm) is derived from a root word that means “straightness.” It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative standard or norm and so is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is the definition and source of all righteousness. God is totally righteous because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of human beings is defined in terms of God’s. Righteousness in Biblical terms describes the righteousness acceptable to God and thus which is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Rightness means to be as something or someone should be.
In short, the righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides (through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfectly Righteous One.)
We are positionally righteous by grace through faith
The Psalmist writes...
In a prophecy of the Messiah (see Messianic Prophecies), Isaiah records that...
Isaiah goes on to explain why men need to receive the righteous garments of Messiah that...
In Revelation 12:10 John describes the devil's activity as...
As MacDonald rightly observes that
David (in the context of spiritual and literal warfare as Saul sought to take his life) in verses 3-4 of Psalm 7 is not boasting but offering a statement of assurance that he had acted righteously toward men and thus had in essence put on the practical breastplate of righteousness
Wuest explains it this way...
Marvin Vincent adds that...
Ray Stedman explains the breastplate of righteousness as follows...
Lehman Strauss notes that the breastplate of righteousness is a
Wayne Barber explains the breastplate of righteousness...
In Romans 6 Paul speaks of righteousness as a believer's weapon writing...
Amplified: And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: and having sandalled your feet with a firm foundation of the good news of peace; (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and having the feet shod in the preparation of the good-news of the peace;
AND HAVING SHOD YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION: kai hupodesamenoi (AMPMPN) tous podas en hetoimasia: (Dt 33:25; Song 7:1; Hab 3:19; Lk 15:22)
This phrase is the most difficult of the descriptions of Christian armor to explain and there are a variety of interpretations. Radmacher, et al, summarize the two most likely views...
Having shod (5265) (hupodeo from hupó = under + déo = to bind) means literally to bind under and thus means to bind under one's feet and so put on shoes or sandals.
In order to stand firm the soldier must have have secure footing.
Having shod is an aorist middle participle, which means do it on your own accord. You don’t need someone else to make you feel guilty if you are not doing it. Do it because Jesus is your Captain, your Lord, your Life. Do it because you have a high view of salvation. Do it because God says to do it in order that you not lack any piece of God's full armor.
Paul uses the plural here so is speaking to the church as a whole, composed of Jew and Gentile. Remember that as a result of listening and receiving the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation, the Gentiles have been brought near and are now at peace with Jewish believers through the blood of Christ. So however one interprets this piece of spiritual armor, it is important to remember that the peace that the gospel established results in an army of individual believers who are united under one Head and are to march forward being diligent to preserve that unity in the bond of peace. If Satan can disrupt and divide the foundation of the the Christian army which was wrought by the gospel of peace, then he increases his chances of defeating us in individual battles.
A common military practice of the Roman soldiers was to plant sticks in the ground which had been sharpened to a point, burying them just beneath the surface of the ground so that they could not be easily seen. This tactic was potentially debilitating to the enemy because, if the soldier’s foot was pierced, he could not walk and if he could not walk, he clearly could not fight. The thick soled sandals protected their feet from this catastrophe.
Wood has an interesting note on the Roman soldier's shoes writing that...
Wuest explains this somewhat difficult to interpret piece of armor this way...
Barnes notes that..
There are 3 uses in the NT, the first 2 literal and the one here in Ephesians 6:15 figurative...
Feet (4228)(pous) refers to the foot, the terminal part of the vertebrate leg upon which an individual stands. The Roman soldier wore sandals called caliga, which were thickly studded sandals with cleats on the bottom of them. The cleats were to dig in and stand in the face of battle.
Paul advises Christian converts to "put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph 6:11)...feet shod with the preparation [firm footing for the foundation] of the gospel of peace" This intimates the firm and solid knowledge of the gospel in which the believer may stand firm and unmoved like soldiers in their military duty.
Preparation (2091) (hetoimasia from hetoimos = ready, prepared) means readiness, fitness for, alacrity or preparedness. Preparation in the active sense of making ready. A state of preparedness whether external or internal (Ps 10:17).
Note that hetoimasia can also signify a prepared foundation or base, as frequently used in the in Septuagint (LXX) (see several representative uses below).
Here are some uses of hetoimasia which is found 10 times in the Septuagint (LXX)...
Expositor's Greek Testament feels this means "readiness, preparedness of mind, the preparedness which comes from the Gospel whose message is peace." (Comment: This interpretation would be in agreement with the peace believers that they have with God because of the gospel being like a foundation providing firm footing in warfare.) (Ephesians 6 Commentary)
Vincent writes that hetoimasia is found...
The Amplified Version chooses to translate this verse in a way that favors preparation as indicative of a firm foundation the Christian soldier now experiences as a result of the gospel of peace...
Other versions translate it with a similar thought concerning hetoimasia...
Charles Ryrie agrees writing that...
Wayne Barber comments that...
Take My Life and Let It Be
A CONCISE DESCRIPTION OF
1 Now I make known to you [since it seems to have escaped you], brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain (does not teach that true believers are in danger of losing their salvation, but it is a warning against non–saving faith -- could be translated "unless your faith is worthless" -- holding fast was the result and evidence of genuine salvation). 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (See Notes)
Gospel (2098) (euaggelion from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) is literally good message and was in common use in first century indicating good news of any kind. A common question must have been “Have you any good news (euaggelion) for me today?”
As in the OT so among the Greeks, euaggelion was used for the proclamation of news of victory and the death or capture of the enemy! Ponder this in terms of our enemies!. Often the news was sent in a letter, but also came from the field of battle by ship, by horse, or a swift runner, who proclaims to the anxiously awaiting city the victory of the army, and the death or capture of the enemy.
Others uses of euaggelion included being gladdened by the birth of a son, by news of an approaching wedding, or of the death of someone.
The Cult of the Caesar was the state religion of the Roman empire, in which the emperor was worshipped as a god. When the announcement of the emperor’s birthday was made, or the accession of a new Caesar (gives rise to our English Kaiser & Czar!) proclaimed, the account of either event was designated by the word euaggelion or “good news.” The NT evangelists appropriated the word, take it out of the secular usage, and applying it to the message of salvation as the "best news" a man could ever hear!
In the context of Paul's description of the Christian's armor his allusion to the gospel is not simply referring to how people get saved which is how some interpret this verse. Paul is reminding us to become strong in the faith and ready for battle by keeping our feet firmly planted in the truth of the Good News. We must have a solid grasp, a sure footing so to speak, in regard to what the Good News teaches, specifically that we can live daily in the victory of Christ's life (Col 3:4). Too many Christian's "feel" saved and yet experience no victory.
Spurgeon - Rough roads grow smooth when these blessed gospel sandals are on your feet. A little stone in the shoe will make the pilgrim’s progress a very wearisome and painful one, so try to keep out all the stones, — everything about which you have any scruple, or that you think may be wrong; and walk in the safe and narrow way set forth in the gospel of peace.
Peace (1515) (eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again. Peace contrasts with strife and thus denotes the absence or end of strife.
Why is it called the gospel of peace? Because of Adam's sin entering the world and affecting every man (Ro 5:12-note), all men are hostile toward God and at war with Him. It is only the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of peace, which can bring about reconciliation of man to God and establishment peace. Therefore the gospel of peace pertains to the good news that, through Christ, believers are at peace with God and He is on their side (Ro 5:6-10). It is this confidence of divine support which allows the believer to stand firm -- he knows that he is at peace with God and God is his strength (see Ro 8:31, 37, 38, 39).
Expositor's Bible Commentary writes that this verse...
is not altogether easy to understand. Literally it reads: "and having shod yourselves as to the feet in readiness of the gospel of peace." But what is this readiness or preparation? It can mean preparedness, for the term is applied to a ship's tackling. Part of the Christian soldier's equipment is his readiness to go out at any moment to announce the Good News to others. As in Ephesians 2:17-note, the apostle may be recalling Isaiah 52:7 with its reference to the feet of the herald. Hetoimasia can also signify a prepared foundation or base, as frequently in Septuagint (LXX). In that case the sense would be that the gospel of peace with God through which the believer himself has already been reconciled (Eph 2:17-note) affords him a sure foothold in the campaign in which he is engaged. This second interpretation is more suitable to the context and had been adopted by the NIV in its first edition "with your feet fitted with the gospel of peace as a firm footing." (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing) (Bolding added)
Henry Morris - Satan would bring doubt and rebellion and death, but the whole gospel, from creation to redemption to consummation, brings assurance and peace and life. (Defenders Study Bible) (Comment: It is this victory of Christ that gives us a safe and solid standing as we fight the devil. Wherever we walk, we stand on victory ground!)
J Vernon McGee - Shoes are necessary for standing. They speak of the foundation. We need a good, solid foundation, and preparation is foundational. I remember in hand-to-hand combat we were taught to make sure our feet were anchored. Are your feet anchored on the Rock? Christ is your foundation in this world. No other foundation can any man lay but the one that is laid, Jesus Christ (1Cor. 3:11). We are to put on Christ. Oh, how we need Him today as we face a gainsaying world and also spiritual wickedness in the darkness of this world! (Ephesians 6:14-15 Mp3)
Hoehner makes an excellent point observing that...
This verse does not speak of the spreading of the gospel, for Christians are pictured in vv. 10-16 as standing, not advancing. Instead this refers to a believer’s stability or surefootedness from the gospel which gives him peace so he can stand in the battle. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Blaikie - "The metaphor becomes somewhat difficult to follow; the feet have to be shod or armed as with military sandals, and the sandal is the preparedness of or caused by, the gospel of peace. The idea seems to be that the mind is to be steadied, kept from fear and flutter, by means of the good news of peace—the good news that we are at peace with God; and “if God be for us, who can be against us?” The Roman sandal was furnished with nails that gripped the ground firmly, even when it was sloping or slippery; so the good news of peace keeps us upright and firm." (Ephesians 6 Commentary)
John Eadie says - the possession of peace with God (as a result of the Gospel) creates blessed serenity of heart, and confers upon the mind peculiar and continuous preparedness of action and movement. There is nothing to disconcert or perplex it, or divide and retard its energies. Consequently it is an error on the part of many expositors, from Chrysostom down to Conybeare, to represent the meaning thus—“preparation to preach or publish the gospel of peace,” for it is of defensive armour alone the apostle is now speaking. (Commentary on Ephesians)
Expositor's Greek Testament writes that the peace here is...
doubtless peace with God (Ro 5:1-note) which alone imparts the sense of freedom, relieves us of what burdens us, and gives the spirit of courageous readiness for the battle with evil. The phrase "the Gospel of peace" is elsewhere associated with the idea of the message preached (Isa 52:7, Nahum 1:15, cf. Ro 10:5-note). Here, however, the readiness is not zeal in proclaiming the Gospel, but promptitude with reference to the conflict. The preparedness, the mental alacrity with which we are inspired by the gospel with its message of peace with God, is to be to us the protection and equipment which the sandals that cover the feet are to the soldier. With this we shall be helped to face the foe with courage and with promptitude. (Ephesians 6 Commentary) (Bolding added)
MacArthur agrees with Expositor's Greek Testament writing that...
many commentators also interpret Ephesians 6:15 as a reference to preaching. But in the Ephesians text Paul is not talking about preaching or teaching but about fighting spiritual battles. And he is not talking about traveling about but standing firm (Ep 6:11, 13, 14). His subject is not evangelizing the lost but fighting the devil. In this passage the gospel of peace refers to the good news that believers are at peace with God...The gospel of peace is the marvelous truth that in Christ we are now at peace with God and are one with Him. Therefore, when our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, we stand in the confidence of God’s love for us, His union with us, and His commitment to fight for us...The believer who stands in the Lord’s power need not fear any enemy, even Satan himself When he comes to attack us, our feet are rooted firmly on the solid ground of the gospel of peace, through which God changed from our enemy to our defender. We who were once His enemies are now His children, and our heavenly Father offers us His full resources to “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)
Boice on the other hand asks...
Does Paul want us to be shod with the gospel, with peace, or with the readiness to make the truth known?In my judgment the emphasis falls upon readiness to make the gospel known. Any Christian already knows the gospel; he would not be a Christian if he did not. So this must go beyond mere knowledge and appropriation. It must involve readiness to share the good news with others. Moreover, Paul links the gospel to the soldier’s boots or sandals. Shoes carry us from place to place, and it is as we go from place to place that we are to be ready to speak about Jesus. (Boice, J. M.: Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary)
Ray Stedman draws an analogy with the plight of England in WWII noting that...
In the dark days of England during the blitz, while bombs rained down on London and Coventry, the situation was truly desperate. Then Winston Churchill would come on the radio and speak to the English people when their hearts were filled with defeat and discouragement. At times they would be almost ready to quit. But that one man's voice would ring out and the nation would take heart again. The morale of an entire people would be elevated and strengthened. That is what Christ does. He speaks courage and peace to our hearts.
You see, it is not a battle against people at all, is it? It is an inner fight, a battle in the realm of the thought life and attitudes. It is a battle in the realm of your outlook on the situation in which you find yourself. This is the place to start. Remember that you wear the belt of truth. (Ray Stedman. Spiritual Warfare - Available online and highly recommended!)
In Colossians Paul explains that
you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col 1:21, 22-notes)
Paul adds in Romans 3 that outside of Christ no man is righteous, not even a single one ...
AND THE PATH OF PEACE HAVE THEY NOT KNOWN." (Ro 3:17-note)
Paul then explains the path of peace writing...
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Ro 5:1,2-notes)
Later in Romans, Paul explains the importance of feet shod with the gospel of peace exulting...
how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" (Ro 10:5-note)
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7)
Comment: Here the good news is the announcement of the captive exiles' return to Jerusalem from Babylon but Paul applies this verse to messengers of the gospel.
Now those who have received the gospel of peace are at peace with God and the war is over because the peace treaty had been irrevocably "signed" in blood, the precious blood of the Lamb. Because of this unbreakable, immutable new covenant in His blood, believers can be at peace.
Peace is defined by Cremer as "a state of untroubled, undisturbed wellbeing.”
Illustration of Peace - Jim Walton was translating the NT for the Muinane people of La Sabana in the jungles of Colombia. But he was having trouble with the word peace. During this time, Fernando, the village chief, was promised a 20-minute plane ride to a location that would have taken him 3 days to travel by walking. The plane was delayed in arriving at La Sabana, so Fernando departed on foot. When the plane finally came, a runner took off to bring Fernando back. But by the time he had returned, the plane had left. Fernando was livid because of the mix-up. He went to Jim and launched into an angry tirade. Fortunately, Walton had taped the chief's diatribe. When he later translated it, he discovered that the chief kept repeating the phrase, "I don't have one heart." Jim asked other villagers what having "one heart" meant, and he found that it was like saying, "There is nothing between you and the other person." That, Walton realized, was just what he needed to translate the word peace. To have peace with God means that there is nothing--no sin, no guilt, no condemnation--that separates us. And that peace with God is possible only through Christ (Ro 5:1-note). Do you have "one heart" with God today?
Outside of Christ there is no peace
Only those in Christ know peace