Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
(Ephesians 6:14 ESV)
We’ve learned over the past few days that God calls upon His children to stand firm in response to Satan’s schemes. We are not to take the offensive. We are not to turn and run. We are to stand our ground. But first we must prepare ourselves as the word having indicates.
That preparation comes in the form of putting on metaphorical armor [Ephesians 6:11]. When the apostle Paul wrote this letter he was chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 2 years while he waited trial. He would have been very familiar, therefore, with the armor these soldiers wore as would be his readers. Perhaps Paul used what he saw to come up with the analogies describing the spiritual armor Christians should be “wearing”.
The first item Christians need to put on in order to stand up to Satan’s lies is the belt of truth. The belt of a Roman soldier held the other items in place. In other words the belt – truth – is the thing that holds everything else together. Without it the other pieces are useless.
Truth in this verse does not mean the Bible as that is represented by the sword, which we’ll read about later. Truth here is general truth – knowing that God is right and Satan is wrong. We need to know for sure that we are on the right team. Imagine a soldier going to war not fully convinced that his country is in the right and the enemy is wrong. He would not fight wholeheartedly thus putting himself and his fellow soldiers in grave danger.
God’s children must be committed to our Father. We must believe that God is 100% faithful and true. Otherwise when Satan attacks us with his deceptive lies we will wonder if maybe he is right. We will doubt God. This is what happened to Adam and Eve. They did not have 100% unwavering confidence in God and they fell for Satan’s lies with disastrous consequences [Genesis 3:1-6].
The second item in a Christian’s spiritual armor is the breastplate of righteousness. A Roman soldier’s breastplate covers his upper torso protecting vital organs including the heart. Obviously, without a breastplate a soldier was very vulnerable to enemy attacks. Likewise, without righteousness a Christian is very vulnerable to Satan’s schemes.
But we must remember that we do not possess righteousness in ourselves. None of us are righteous [Isaiah 64:6]. A born-again child of God has Christ’s righteousness [Jeremiah 23:6]. This is what protects us. If we attempt to stand before Satan in our own righteousness we will be defeated. We need to stand before Satan in the impenetrable righteousness of Jesus.
This clearly implies that we must fight from a position of humility and faith. We cannot be relying on our own abilities and we must be 100% confident in God’s ability and willingness to protect us.
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