Christian Churches of God
Feet shod with the Gospel of Peace
(Edition 1.0 20080728-20080728)
In this paper we will look at the concept of what it means to have our feet shod with the Gospel of Peace. We will review just what the Gospel is and whose responsibility it is to preach and live the Gospel.
††Feet shod with the Gospel of Peace
We know that God and His Law never change. We also know that Christ is the same yesterday and today and, yes, forever (Heb. 13:8). Not the smallest letter of the Law will change or pass away until all is accomplished (Mat. 5:18); therefore, we know the Gospel is the same and is tried, tested and true.
We are now like the ancient Israelites when they were wandering in the desert for 40 years. We are wandering in a spiritual wilderness sowing the seeds of Godís Plan, preaching the Gospel to the world prior to the 2 Witnesses and Messiahís return.
The Bible is Eloahís ďinstruction bookĒ. Philippians has a very good comment on how we should be living our lives.
Philippians 1:27 Ö only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (NASV)
Let us now look at what the Gospel actually means and what it involves.
From the Blue Letter Bible, Gospel (SGD 2098) means:
1) a reward for good tidings
2) good tidings
a) the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom. After the death of Christ, the term comprises also the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for the men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of God
b) the glad tidings of salvation through Christ
c) the proclamation of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ
d) the gospel
e) as the messianic rank of Jesus was proved by his words, his deeds, and his death, the narrative of the sayings, deeds, and death of Jesus Christ came to be called the gospel or glad tidings.
We see that it is through Christís perfect sacrifice we can be restored to the Father providing we repent, are baptized and keep Eloahís Laws.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE) supports that concept. We see that the ISBE states:
gosí-pel (to euaggelion): The word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word which meant "the story concerning God." In the New Testament the Greek word euaggelion, means "good news." It proclaims tidings of deliverance. The word sometimes stands for the record of the life of our Lord (Mr 1:1), embracing all His teachings, as in Ac 20:24. But the word "gospel" now has a peculiar use, and describes primarily the message which Christianity announces. "Good news" is its significance. It means a gift from God. It is the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins and sonship with God restored through Christ. It means remission of sins and reconciliation with God. The gospel is not only a message of salvation, but also the instrument through which the Holy Spirit works (Ro 1:16).
What is our role and responsibility with the Gospel?
The Gospel needs to be simple enough for all to understand. We should be teaching our children from an early age to understand the Scriptures (2Tim. 3:15). At Passover, in 2008, there was a song and dance routine spontaneously developed by 10 and 7 year old girls after reviewing the lesson on the duties of priest. Those two little ones will not forget the duties of the priest, yet many adults may have to stop and think what the priestly duties are.
The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached for a witness to the entire world before Messiah can return (Mat. 24:14). Let us now look at the two goals of the Church.
The first goal of the Church is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as it was given to Jesus Christ (Mat. 4:17, 10:7, 11:1; Mk. 1:38-39; Mk. 3:14, 16:15; Lk. 4:43, 9:60).
The Church is to preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, open the prison to them that are bound (or bruised) (Isa. 61:1), and the recovery of sight to the blind (Lk. 4:18), and to heal the sick (Lk. 9:2). There are untold thousands of people that are sick, depressed, abused and hurting. Yet once we know and understand Godís Plan, repent and receive the Holy Spirit, Godís healing powers come upon us and we can go on to do many great things. Christ charged his disciples to preach the Gospel of repentance, giving them authority over the demons or unclean spirits (Mk. 6:7,12; Lk. 10:1,17-20). We, as the Church, have this same charge placed upon us.
Letís look at an example of one man. Saul was present and stood by and did nothing while an innocent man, Stephen, was stoned to death (Acts 8:54-60). By the laws of America Saul would have been considered an accomplice or co-defendant on a first-degree murder charge. However, once Saul was called and learned of Godís Plan he was baptized and went on to be a great Apostle, who had his name changed to Paul. Rather than watching others be killed, Paul was then helping, caring, and teaching people to live Godís ways; it was a total change in thought and action.
Another thing the Church is responsible for is to preach the Acceptable Year of the Lord (Lk. 4:19). This means making all the planet aware of Eloahís Calendar and commanded days of worship. Each and every individual of the Church helps show people the days we worship since we are not at school, work, in the stores or shops on Godís Sabbaths.
The Church is to show people that it was Christ who was ordained of God, selected and elevated or raised above his brothers (Ps. 45:7; Heb.1:9) to be the judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).
The second goal of the Church is the caring and teaching by the Elders or ministers (Acts 20:28). These men attempt to teach everywhere in every Church (1Cor. 4:17). Today, while there are many uses and abuses of the Internet, it can be a very effective means for the Gospel to be taken to the entire planet. The Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, selects and announces where Eloahís commanded assemblies will occur. The Internet is a quick and easy way to send a note or check in on someone.
Though there is one body with many members, the gifts of 1Corinthians 12:28 are used to assist the development of the Church. These spiritual gifts are to be developed with zeal, diligence and eagerness to aid in the development of the Church (1Cor. 14:12). Time is drawing close to when we will not be able to labour and work. We must all be faithful servants working in the Holy Spirit to get the Gospel out to the entire planet. We, as the Church, must do our part to complete our work prior to the arrival of the Witnesses. The ways people rule or govern their own lives or houses is a guide to the effective caring and leadership of the Church of God (1Tim. 3:5).
For more details see the Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Church of God.
Let us now look at what Romans 10 has to say about those that bring the Gospel of peace.
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Beautiful is Horaisos (SHD 5611): beautiful, from hora (5610) hour. Time indicating timely, fair, proper, good timing (only in Mat. 23.27; Acts 3:2,10; Rom. 10:15).
So we see the text of Romans 10:15 could be stated:
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How timely are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
For those that are suffering and deceived we can understand why they would see that someone living, explaining, teaching, and keeping the Gospel would bring huge blessings and benefits.
The comments in Vineís Dictionary on beautiful are as follows:
Describes "that which is seasonable, produced at the right time," as of the prime of life, or the time when anything is at its loveliest and best (from hora, "a season," a period fixed by natural laws and revolutions, and so the best season of the year). It is used of the outward appearance of whited sepulchres in contrast to the corruption within, Mat 23:27; of the Jerusalem gate called "Beautiful," Act 3:2,10; of the feet of those that bring glad tidings, Rom 10:15. In the Sept. it is very frequent, and especially in Genesis and the Song of Solomon. In Genesis it is said of all the trees in the garden of Eden, Gen 2:9, especially of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Gen 3:6; of the countenances of Rebekah, Gen 26:7, Rachel, Gen 29:17 and Joseph, Gen 39:6. It is used five times in the Song of Solomon, Sgs 1:16; 2:14; 4:3; 6:3,5.
Feet are interesting and a strange concept in scripture. Remember, from the Lesson: Ministering with Bare Feet (No. CB67), the priests served in the Tabernacle and Temple with bare feet. Men were told to take their shoes off since the place where they stood was holy. The Israelitesí sandals did not wear out for 40 years while they travelled in the wilderness. The same needs to be said for us spiritually; we need to continue to take the Gospel to the entire world so the end of this current evil rule by Satan can come and Messiah can usher in the period of Just Rule.†
It is interesting to think of our feet and how important they are. They hold us up, they move us from place to place, and they help us to balance. Our feet are our foundation; if even a small part is hurt it affects the entire body. Most of us would remember how much it hurt when we stubbed our toes at some time. For some facts about feet that are just interesting to think about in relation to God and His direction for priests to minister barefoot, or for baptized members to participate in the Lordís Supper yearly see the Lesson: Ministering with Bare Feet (No. CB67).
Letís actually read more of Romans 10:8-22.
All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, "The message is as near as your mouth or your heart." And this is the same message we preach about faith. So you will be saved, if you honestly say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others. The Scriptures say that no one who has faith will be disappointed, no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. All who call out to the Lord will be saved. How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord? The Scriptures say it is a beautiful sight to see even the feet of someone coming to preach the good news. Yet not everyone has believed the message. For example, the prophet Isaiah asked, "Lord, has anyone believed what we said?" No one can have faith without hearing the message about Christ. But am I saying that the people of Israel did not hear? No, I am not! The Scriptures say, "The message was told everywhere on earth. It was announced all over the world." Did the people of Israel understand or not? Moses answered this question when he told that the Lord had said, "I will make Israel jealous of people who are a nation of nobodies. I will make them angry at people who don't understand a thing." Isaiah was fearless enough to tell that the Lord had said, "I was found by people who were not looking for me. I appeared to the ones who were not asking about me." And Isaiah said about the people of Israel, "All day long the Lord has reached out to people who are stubborn and refuse to obey." (CEV)
Here we see that Eloah keeps His word; He continues to educate, teach and warn His people. He would bless the people if they obeyed yet all too often the people are stubborn and refuse to obey. We all have our job to do to get this Gospel out to the dying planet. We all need to work hard while we are still able to.
Now letís look at the different names that the Gospel is referred to.
We see the Gospel referred to as the
∑ Gospel of the Kingdom (Mat. 4:23; 24:14);
∑ Gospel of God (Rom. 1:1; 15:16; 1Thes. 2:8; 1Tim. 1:11; 1Pet. 4:17);
∑ Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Lk. 16:1);
∑ Word of God (1Thes. 2:13);
∑ Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mk. 1:1);
∑ Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16; 1Cor. 9:12,18; Gal. 1:7; Phil. 1:27; 1Thes. 3:2);
∑ Glorious Gospel of the Christ (2Cor. 4:4);†
∑ Preaching of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:25);
∑ Mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4); and
∑ Word of Christ (Col. 3:16).
The Gospel is also referred to as the
∑ Grace of God (Acts 20:24);
∑ Gospel of Salvation (Eph. 1:13);
∑ Gospel of Peace (Rom. 10:15; Eph. 6:15);
∑ Word of salvation (Acts 13:26);
∑ Word of reconciliation or bringing us back to the Father (2Cor. 5:19);
∑ Word of Truth (2Cor. 6:7; Eph. 1:13);
∑ Word of Faith (Rom. 10:8); and
∑ Word of life (Phil. 2:16).
It is a doctrine according to godliness (1Tim. 6:3) and forms sound words (2Tim. 1:13).
The Gospel is also compared to a variety of things
The Gospel is compared to these living things: a mustard seed (Mat. 13:31,32; Mk. 4:30-33; Lk. 13:18-19); a good seed (Mat. 13:24-30; 36-43); leaven/yeast (Mat. 13:33).
We also see the Gospel compared to valuable items: a pearl of great price (Mat. 13:45-46; Lk. 13:20-21); a treasure hidden in a field (Mat. 13:44).
Lastly, the Gospel is compared to people or events with people: a householder (Mat. 20:1-16) or a feast (Lk. 14:16-24).
From these many comparisons we can see different facets or components of the Gospel are emphasized.
Letís now consider the key concepts: we must work while there is time; we do not want to be counted as unprofitable servants when Messiah returns; and we do not want to delay Messiahís return because we have not done our part in taking the Gospel to the world.
We must use our talent. God will make up the difference for what we think we lack and richly bless us for our efforts.
We are to do what we can to help get the Gospel out to the world and take care of the Church.
Let it be said of all of us as Romans 10:15 states:
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!