14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
My feet I think it’s safe to say – are not beautiful. Nevertheless my hammer-toes feet can take me to a place where people worship, or the highways and by-ways where I can share the gospel. My feet suddenly are saw to be beautiful if I share the gospel.
In previous posts I hope I say it like it is. Say it like it is – concerning this old world we are living in.
Affirming that we do not need to look far to see the mess.
But what do we read here (above)?
…the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Gospel means good news. The Gospel is a message. A good news message.
A good news message offering peace. We have all heard the saying: “Peace be with you”.
And of course there is no peace without the peace-giver. No spiritual peace that is.
When the irate father rebukes his child and shouts: “Give my head peace!”, and the child subsequently remains silent. You could say the father’s head has found peace.
But of course this is not a true description of Peace.
There are other glad tidings mixed in with this message of peace. The Christian gospel is a message carried by beautiful feet to those who will listen, i.e. to those who realise there is a problem and the message is sent to cure it. Otherwise the feet of the message carriers, have an aroma of death…
16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
Those desiring true spiritual life welcome the refreshing message of sins forgiven to all receivers of Christ. Sweet sounding feet indeed.
There are many ways to try and acquire peace of mind, peace of spirit but only Christ supplies true peace – He gives peace to the human heart.
We are made that way, i.e. made to need this peace. It is a peace that is difficult to describe to those who are in turmoil and have not as yet experienced it – and that’s because it is a PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING’ –
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This peace comes when the conscience comes into line with Christ’s forgiveness, and by faith we take Him at His word, receiving His peace for the forgiveness of confessed sin.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
This gospel of peace brings news of this peace that passes understanding. But it is to be experienced to be fully appreciated, as it is not just the understanding of it’s existence that confirms it – but actually allowing God to impart it to us.
Sin destroys and is synonymous with death. It can be pleasurable, but only for a short time, as the conscience will raise it’s objections to it, and there is only one way to silence those objections – through the forgiveness of God offered to us all, if we will turn away from sin and turn to Christ.
The conscience can operate instantly before we misbehave or with delayed reaction, after we have sinned, if ignored in exchange for the pleasure of sin for a season, it will return and smite us.
I know what it is to be ‘smitten’ for my mistakes many times, but after failing – I have turned to Christ and He has imparted His peace again, to the satisfaction of my inner need.
If we ignore Christ speaking to our conscience, we can eventually end up fitting this description:
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
But the conscience (if not seared) can also lie dormant until awakened by Jesus Christ.
With a dormant conscience, folks either don’t see there is a problem – or set about solving the problem by telling themselves “I’m a good person”.
What they mean is their intentions would be – to be good.
Other folks quickly find fault with them, find things that are not so good, and there is a vice-versa reciprocation in such exercises, and suddenly it isn’t enough to want to be a good person.
God says ‘There is none good but God…’
We are told to worship God ‘in the beauty of holiness’.
And holiness is of The Lord.
Holiness never gets a mention in the vocabulary of post-modernism. There is largely never talk of becoming more holy, except when comedians or playwrights want (as they seem to always want) to mock ‘Holier than thou’ Pharisaism. So that becomes their total perception of what Christianity is.
In order to find Christian Peace – we need to recognise where the cause of all disturbance in the human frame comes from.
It comes from that mysterious ‘virus’ called sin.
The reason that the feet of those who carry the gospel message are beautiful is [to quote scripture again]:-
…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
It is the good news of the gospel of peace to all who will receive it and it’s author – Christ Jesus Himself.
Therefore my desire is that all would know…
Ephesians 1/2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.