Summary: Every believer is called to be engagedas Christian soldiers. No soldier would go into battle without his equipment. It’s time we suit up with God’s armor!
Suit Up – Part 1
Introduction: We have discussed the fact that every believer is called to be engaged as we are confronted with the spiritual war that is being waged about us. No soldier would be foolish enough to go into battle without making sure that he was properly prepared for battle and had all his equipment ready and his armor on. God has provided us with the necessary weaponry and armor to successfully engage the enemy. Ephesians 6 gives us our equipment checklist. It is time to suit up
I. Put on the Belt of Truth – verse 14
A. The belt which ancient soldiers wore was a wide piece of thick leather. It protected his lower abdomen and prevented him from being disemboweled. We should not think of it as a mere belt. It was more like a leather apron and it was absolutely vital because every other part of his armor depended on it for security and usefulness. Belts were used in Bible times to secure loose garments so that a person could run and/or fight effectively.
• 1 Kings 18:46 “Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
The belts also provided a place to attach weapons.
• Deuteronomy 1:41 - "Then you answered and said to me, ’We have sinned against the Lord; we will go up and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.’ And when every one of you had girded on his weapons of war, you were ready to go up into the mountain.
When one is engaged in a battle and under attack he or she must be able to have the ability to move quickly with access to his/her weapons.
B. The Christian Soldier is told to put on the Belt of Truth.
• The belt of truth enables us to move quickly and confidently without tripping into lies or losing our weapons.
• John 8:31-32 "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"
C. Truth is foundational and holds the whole of what salvation and the Christian life is all about. The foundation of the Church’s existence is truth.
D. Ephesians 1:13 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
E. John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth...”
F. In the survey taken in early 1991, interviewees were asked, "Do you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with the following statement: There is no such thing as absolute truth; different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct." Only 28% of the respondents expressed strong belief in "absolute truth," and more surprisingly, only 23 percent of born-again or evangelical Christians accepted this idea! What a telling revelation! If more than 75 percent of the followers of Christ say nothing can be known for certain, does this indicate, as it seems, that they are not convinced that Jesus existed, that He is who He claimed to be, that His Word in authentic, that God created the heavens and earth, or that eternal life awaits the believer? That’s what the findings appear to mean. If there is no absolute truth, then by definition nothing can be said to be absolutely true. To the majority, apparently, it’s all relative. Nothing is certain. Might be. Might not be. Who knows for sure? Take your guess and hope for the best! - James Dobson quoting George Barna, What Americans Believe.
G. If we do not believe the truth how can we gird ourselves with the truth?
H. John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.”
I. If we do not have ourselves girded with truth, then there is no way for us to win the battle
II. Don the Breastplate of Righteousness – verse 14
A. The Roman soldier was given a plate, made sometimes of brass, sometimes of hard wood or animal hooves, covered with the tough hide of an animal, as a covering for his breast. They never gave him any back plate. They considered that if he should turn his back upon the enemy, he was unworthy of Roman protection. The breastplate protected the soldier’s heart.
B. Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
C. According to biblical metaphor our heart is the control centre for willing, feeling, and discerning. Integrity or righteousness protects our personal control centre. Not the integrity of self-made moral achievement; the integrity, rather, which comes through having Jesus Christ, the righteous one, ruling within us. -copied