Summary: 1) The Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14a) , 2) The Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14b), and 3) Feet prepared with the Gospel (Ephesians 6:15)
John Nyland, was a former lineman for the Dallas Cowboys and later for the Philadelphia Eagles. He believed there were only two kinds of sports: the “easy” sports everybody else did, and the “contact” sports in which men over two hundred pounds took part. Thinking of the imagery Paul uses for the Christian’s warfare in Ephesians 6, it would be proper to call Christianity a contact sport. The Christian life is no refined engagement.... Christianity is warfare, and because of this it is necessary for the Christian soldier to wear armor adequate to resist the spiritual (and sometimes physical) onslaughts of Satan (Boice, J. M. (1988). Ephesians: an expositional commentary (pp. 243–244). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.)
Satan works by trying to get people to doubt God (1 John 1:9), and make life difficult so we forsake obedience. He tries to bring doctrinal confusion (Eph. 4:14) and opposes godly service. (1 Cor. 16:9). Satan attacks believers by persuading them to trust their own resources (1 Chron. 21:1–8). He attempts to lead them into hypocrisy or embrace worldliness (Rom. 12:2).
Yet, although we should be aware of these devices of Satan, our defense against them is not simply our knowledge of them but rather God’s provision to meet them. “Therefore, take up the full armor of God,” Paul says, “that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13). Partial armor is not enough. We cannot know exactly when, where, or how the enemy will attack. We therefore need to have on all of God’s armor all the time. When the believer has on God’s full armor, it is not necessary to fully know or specifically understand the devil’s schemes. In fact, many times the Christian soldier will not even be aware of a danger from which God’s armor is at that moment protecting them. In Ephesians the point is not merely protection of God’s people during satanic attack but the achievement of truth, righteousness and justice as well as of the peace brought by the gospel. We should not be so preoccupied with our personal spiritual struggles, obsessed with the possibility of satanic attack, that we neglect larger fields of conflict involving God’s righteousness in this world (Liefeld, W. L. (1997). Ephesians (Vol. 10, Eph 6:13). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).
In Ephesians 6:14–17 Paul tells us of the seven pieces of armor with which God supplies His children to withstand the onslaughts of Satan and his hosts. Today, we will look at the first three pieces of armor, specifically: 1) The Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14a) , 2) The Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14b), and 3) Feet prepared with the Gospel (Ephesians 6:15) These are metaphors for the spiritual resources given to those in Christ
1) The Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14a)
Ephesians 6:14a Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, (and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,)(ESV)
Now before setting out to do battle with as formidable a foe as the devil and all his host, one may well ask the question: “Do I really want to fight him at all? Am I sincere about this spiritual warfare?” Hence, Paul says: Stand therefore (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Ephesians (Vol. 7, p. 276). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
The goal of an army is to get its opponents to break and run—preferably without a fight. So a soldier who does not “stand,” who does not retain his place in formation as his army attacks, puts the battle in doubt. Likewise, anyone who does not stand on defense gives an opportunity to the opposition to overrun his unit by his creating a gap in the line. Consequently standing, in the sense of remaining in the battle, is crucial (Talbert, C. H. (2007). Ephesians and Colossians (p. 161). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.)
We can stand because of what we have. The having here… (representing the Greek aorist tense), shows how the first three pieces of armor are permanent, and the believer is never to be without them. The discussion of the different parts of the believer’s armor which now follows is illustrative of the writer’s main point about the total equipment provided by God, shows what it means to have accomplished everything necessary for battle, and explains how it is that one stands (Lincoln, A. T. (1990). Ephesians (Vol. 42, p. 447). Dallas: Word, Incorporated )
The Roman soldier always wore a tunic, an outer garment that served as his primary clothing. It was usually made of a large, square piece of material with holes cut out for the head and arms. Ordinarily it draped loosely over most of the soldier’s body. Since the greatest part of ancient combat was hand–to–hand, a loose tunic was a potential hindrance and even a danger. Before a battle it was therefore carefully cinched up and tucked into the heavy leather belt.