The Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14-19, "Stand firm then, with the belt of
truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate
of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with
the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition
to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the
helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with
all kinds of prayers and requests. With this mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for
me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so
that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare
it fearlessly, as I should."
Of the two articles of our armor we'll look at today, the belt
of truth was an article used to secure the soldiers armor and
weapons. To have a lose belt would be to fight with your pants
down, so to speak. There are two interpretations for the belt,
but since the word of God is the sword of the Spirit, the second
one seems to apply.
The Word of God
The true sincere life without hypocrisy. A hypocritical life
will lead to spiritual defeat. You're an easy target for Satan
if you're a hypocrite. Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren." (Rev.
12) Don't give him ammo!
1 John 1:1-8, "That which was from the beginning, which we
have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
at and our hands have touchedthis we proclaim concerning
the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify
to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with
the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we
have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with
us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus
Christ. We write this to make our [Some manuscripts your]
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim
to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do
not live in the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in
the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood
of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth
is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and
his word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:1-8 either gives
you confidence that you are in the Lord, or as hypocrite, with
your pants down around your ankles! Our heart should be to do
the truth. God is not into lip-service. He is into life-service.
1 Peter 2:11-12, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers
in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against
your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though
they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and
glorify God on the day he visits us." What Peter is saying is
that obedience is important in warfare, especially spiritual warfare.
When the Church is girded in disobedience it is broken down and
Psalm 119:1-16, "Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who
walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep
his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing
wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down precepts that
are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying
your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider
all your commands. I will praise your righteous laws. I will obey
your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to
your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from
your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might
not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great
riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I
delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."
For a Christian, Jesus defined the law of God right down to it's
spiritual intent in Matthew 5:17-48. Read this section and meditate
on it. This is the heart and core of God's law that we are to
live by and fashion our lives around. Living by this law girds
the belt of truth to us firmly. Meditating on it fastens
it into our minds if the Spirit of God dwells in us. Stop right
here and turn to Matthew 5:17-48 and read it through meditatively.
Do so for a week and see what happens. You are fastening the mind
of Christ in you. Follow what you read and hypocrisy will flee
you. The belt is tight now. Now gird on the sword of the Spirit.
A Roman's belt also held the famous Roman short-sword. This sword
was a superior weapon in close combat situations. Let's see Jesus
himself in action with his spiritual Roman short-sword which he
used against Satan. We find Jesus led of the Spirit into the desert,
where he fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-2). When
you fast like this, you're hungry. For the first two or three
days you are hungry, and then that hunger goes away. Then when
you are about to die (some time after forty days if you're real
strong or have a lot of fat on your bones), the hunger comes back
with a vengeance. Satan hit at this time, trying to defocus Jesus
and refocus his attention on the physical. Jesus defense was this
offensive statement. He took a particular part of Scripture and
used it to destroy Satan's plan and temptation. Verse 3-4,
"The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God,
tell these stones to become bread.' [Satan was also tempting Jesus
with pride, with the statement, "If you are the
Son of God."] "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live
on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of
God.' [Deuteronomy 8:3]
Verses 5-7, "Then the devil took him to the holy city and had
him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the
Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down, for it is written:
'He will command his angels concerning you, and they
will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike
your food against a stone.' [Psalm 91:11-12]
Jesus answered him, 'It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord
your God to the test.' [Deuteronomy 6:16]
Verses 8-11, "Again the devil took him to a very high mountain
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
'All this I will give you,' he said, 'If you will bow down and
worship me.' Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is
written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" [Deuteronomy
6:13.] Satan is not only the "accuser of the brethren" but the
great tempter. The sword of the Spirit can be used successfully
against the temptations of both Satan, his demons, and the world.
We will cover this weapon in a later study with some more Scriptural
The breastplate of righteousnessJesus in you is the breastplate
of righteousness. It's not our own righteousness, but his. Jesus
is also the shield of faith which has the special ability to quench
the flaming arrows of Satan.
Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty
II Chronicles 14:2-15, "Asa did what was good and right in the
eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the
high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah
poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers,
and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places
and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was
at peace under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah,
since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during
those years, for the Lord gave him rest.
'Let us build up these towns,' he said to Judah, 'and put walls
around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours,
because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he
has given us rest on every side.' So they built and prospered.
Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah, equipped
with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty
thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows.
All these were brave fighting men.
Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army [Hebrew with
an army of a thousand thousands (i.e. a million man army!)],
and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. Asa went
out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley
of Zephathah near Mareshah.
Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there is
no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help
us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have
come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let
man prevail against you.'
The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites
fled, and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. Such
a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they
were crushed before the Lord and his forces. The men of Judah
carried off a large amount of plunder. They destroyed all the
villages around Gerar, for the terror of the Lord had fallen upon
them. They plundered all these villages, since there was much
booty there. They also attacked the camps of the herdsmen and
carried off droves of sheep and goats and camels. Then they returned
to Jerusalem." Then read II Chronicles 16:1-14. Asa stopped relying
on God but tried to rely on his own wit and schemes. God was testing
the heart of Asa. He knew previously that he couldn't stand against
that million-man army without a divine miracle, but this problem
wasn't so bad, so he reasoned that he could figure a way out on
his own without relying on the Lord. Verses 8-9 of II Chronicles
holds the key. "Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army
with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied
on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes
of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose
hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish
thing, and from now on you will be at war." As a church and as
individuals, we have to "be strong in the Lord."
Ephesians 6:15, and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace " Shoes, or army
boots, or in Paul's case, Roman military sandals, were defensive,
giving a sure foothold to the soldier wearing them. If the enemy
can knock you over or off balance, you're an easy kill. The gospel
of peace, if you rest in the gospel of peace, the gospel of Christ,
you can't be toppled over. [Romans 1-8 is the clearest description
of the gospel of Christ ever written.] Psalm 94:18, "When I said,
'My foot is slipping,' your love, O Lord, supported me."
Psalm 34:17-22, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to
the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A
righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him
from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will
be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous
will be condemned. The Lord redeems his servants; no one will
be condemned who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 40:1-2, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me
and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the
mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place
to stand." Cry out to God for his power.
Remember our primary objective? Matthew 28:18-20 if anyone forgot.
It is to evangelize. Ephesians 6:15 (new King James), "and having
shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Isaiah
52:7 shows this gospel being offensively brought, and makes direct
reference to the feet of those who bring it. "How beautiful on
the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim
peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say
to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'"
Romans 10:14-15, "How, then, can they call on the one they have
not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they
have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching
to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is
written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'"
The Shield of Faith: The Roman shields could be interconnected
so they could march right into and through the hostile fire of
the enemy, until they broke through the enemy lines. It was a
defensive weapon used for offensive fighting. When flaming arrows
were being shot, they locked shields and marched forward into
the hostile fire, not away from it.
Hebrews 11:30-39, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the
people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute
Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those
who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have
the time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David,
Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms,
administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the
mouths of lions, quenched the fury of flames, and escaped the
edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and
who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women
who received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were
tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a
better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still
others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they
were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went
about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreatedthe
world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains,
and in caves and holes in the ground.