Summary: Christans are called to armor up so they can stand in our evil days.
Imagine for a moment you're sitting in front of your TV screen. All ready to watch the NFL football game. You have tall glass of iced cold tea with little droplets of condensation running down the side and pooling on your coaster. A bowl of nacos with a smaller bowl of cheese dip right beside it. A plate of homemade hot wings with a mountain of ranch dressing in the middle. You are ready of a great game. You look up as the Cleveland Browns take the field. They're fully dressed in their uniforms helmets you could tell by their looks they have all their safety equipment, their pads they are ready for the game. As the camera scans to the other side you see the Cincinnati bagels. However, they are all dressed in street clothes, some are wearing shorts and T-shirts, some are even in sports coats, dress pants, and dress shoes.
I think that would make for an exciting game, however would you agree with me the bagels probably would lose even against the Browns. They just would not be equipped to play the game. There would be more injuries. Just because they don't have the right equipment. They would have failed to suit up for the game. Which would leave them vulnerable.
The same is true for us as Christians, if we failed to suit up for the game of life we will be left vulnerable and open to all kinds of injuries. That is why Paul the apostle here in the book of Ephesians tells us to put on the whole armor of God. Not just part of the Armor but the whole Armor of God. In the next few weeks we will be looking at each and every piece of this Armor and today I would just us to look at three vital elements of this Armor.
Main Idea --> Dress for Real Success
First command the Paul gives us is found in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 14 here he says staying there for, having on the belt of truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
So his first command is for us to put on the belt of truth.
I don't know about you but I'm a belt guy. I have three or four different belts and I wear them according to which pants I'm wearing. For being a belt is both functional and decorative. But not so for the Roman soldier that Paul is using is this illustration. The belt was a vital part of their equipment. It was not ornamental it served as the central purpose. It would be used to gather up the short tunic and to keep the breastplate in place. It was also from the belt but the scabbard which held their sword. Without the belt they were not prepared for battle.
The belt would be tied tightly around the waist indicated the soldier was prepared for action ready for battle. To slacken the belt was to go off duty.
As Maxie Dunnam points out, "The imagery here is that truth holds together all other virtues and makes them effectual.”
When we get slack with the truth, we are not prepared for the battle of life.
When we put with the belt of truth we as Christians understand we are accepting the truth of the Bible, without qualification, without alteration, without addition, and without subtraction. We state that we understand and are accepting the truth of the Bible and are choosing to follow it with integrity.
Truth does not need updating. There is a story of a man who came to his old friend, a music teacher, and said to him, “What’s the good news today?” The old teacher was silent as he stood up and walked across the room, picked up a hammer, and struck a tuning fork. As the note sounded out through the room, he said, “That is A. It is today; it was five thousand years ago, and it will be ten thousand years from now. The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall flats on his high notes, and the piano downstairs is out of tune.” He struck the note again and said, “That is A, my friend, and that’s the good news for today.”
Paul not only tells us to put on the belt of truth, but he tells us we also need to put on the breastplate of righteousness.
His second command is Put on breastplate of righteousness.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
The “breastplate” (thōrax) covered the body from the neck to the thighs. 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.