Summary: Truth is both objective and personal; it stands alone, but when embraced becomes transformational in a person’s life.
Guarded by Truth
Ephesians 6:10-14 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist….
Intro: A couple of weeks ago we began to examine this famous section of Paul’s writing where he describes the kind of armor a follower of Jesus will need to stand against the enemy. After challenging his readers to be the best they can be as a husband, wife, parent, child, employee or worker, employer or boss, Paul tells them not to do it alone, but to be strong in the Lord! He reminds them that they have an enemy who is actively scheming against them, trying to deceive them, discourage them, and derail them. He tells them (and us) to stand their ground. Don’t give an inch of what God has done in your life! Stand firm, and put on all of the armor God has provided for you.
-Perhaps it’s worth remembering where Paul is as he writes this letter.
He’s in prison, chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day!
And as the Holy Spirit moves upon him to write these letters, the picture of the Roman Solider is right before him. He notices the belt, the breastplate, the sandals, the shield, the helmet, the sword… and he paints a word picture that most people in that day would be quite familiar with. After hearing Paul’s letter, every time they saw a Roman soldier, they would remember to arm themselves with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, God’s word, and prayer. How cool!
-My plan is to camp a little on each of these important pieces of armor and what they represent. Today I’d like to spend some time on the first one – the belt of truth.
-Someone said, “Truth is such a rare thing, it is a delight to tell it.” Of course, Paul has already mentioned truth in this letter. In Ephesians 4:15 he says we should speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” So what is he getting at when he says to strap on the belt of truth? Is it a call to honesty? I think so, but perhaps there’s a bit more to it. Truth is the purest form of reality. Truth is how things really are, apart from any personal agenda. Truth is both objective and personal. It stands alone, but when embraced becomes the strongest of forces in a person’s life. Truth can be transformational when unveiled and embraced. So let’s take a few minutes looking at the belt of truth that a follower of Jesus should wear at all times.
1. The Belt of Truth provides protection.
-It is designed to protect a person from low blows. Our enemy is adept at giving low blows. Satan’s greatest weapon is deception. He is even called the father of lies. If he can get you to believe contrary to what God has revealed as truth, then he has you right where he wants you – immobilized by lies.
2. The Belt of Truth helps you to be battle ready!
-It keeps everything in place. If a soldier’s armor is loose and flopping around, he will not be as effective or confident in combat. Apparently a soldier would loosen his belt when he was relaxing and off duty, but would tighten it up when he needed to be ready for action. Spiritually speaking, we should never take time off from the truth. We must always be in a state of readiness.
-Belts were used in Bible times to secure loose garments so that a person could run and/or fight effectively. The belts also provided a place to attach weapons. When the enemy attacks us we may have to move quickly and use our spiritual weapons (Praise, Prayer, Sword of the Spirit, etc.) "on the run." The belt of truth enables us to move quickly and confidently without tripping into lies or losing our weapons.
-Loose armor would have been troublesome and disturbing, making the soldier feel soft, and awkward, and unready, giving him a sense of falling apart or being out of control.