Spiritual Warfare Pt 2 Belt of Truth

You live differently in times of war than in times of peace. You are more alert, more intentional, you don’t play as many games. You have to know that there is a real enemy out there and his intention is to kill you, destroy you and your family, your loved ones, your sons and daughters. As a Christian we are enlisted into the Army of the Lord the minute we become saved. Our duties as a recruit is to please the recruiter. 2 Timothy 2:3-4(ESV)Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.  To often I see Christians getting entangled with the temporal things of this world and not getting involved in the eternal things of the Heavenly Realm.
Colossians 3:1-2(ESV)If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

We are new creations with new desires, with a new mind, with a new purpose in life. That purpose is to first Worship the creator, Our Father in heaven.

John 4:22-23(ESV)23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

True worship, says Jesus, is in spirit and truth. The “truth” part is plain enough — and with the coming of Jesus (“the hour is coming, and is now here”) that truth centers on his person and work, the one who is himself “the Truth” John 14:6(ESV)Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. and the message about his saving accomplishments for us, which is “the word of the truth, the gospel” Colossians 1:5(ESV)because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, and “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” Ephesians 1:13(ESV)13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,. It is this “word of truth” by which we’re given new birth James 1:18(ESV)18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures., this “word of truth” that 2 Timothy 2:15(ESV)15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. This “Word of Truth”that Christian workers endeavor to handle right, and this truth that anchors and saturates worship that is deemed truly Christian.

As soldiers in the Army of God we  have a mission,
Matthew 28:19-20(ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

We also have a mandate to Love our neighbor, Matthew 22:39(HCSB)39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself, pray for those who persecute us Matthew 5:44(ESV)44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, and be holy as He is holy.

1 Peter 1:14-16(ESV)14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

We also have a helper which is the Holy Spirit and the armor to withstand the tactics of Satan.If I don’t believe the Word of God, why should you believe it? If we don’t believe it, why should the world believe us?

Ephesians 6:13–18(HCSB)13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

This is a description of the spiritual armor God gives us. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and by praying in the Spirit. What do these pieces of spiritual armor represent in spiritual warfare? We are to know the truth, believe the truth, and speak the truth. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance we face. We are not to waver in our faith, trusting God’s promises no matter how strongly we are attacked. Our ultimate defense is the assurance we have of our salvation, an assurance that no spiritual force can take away. Our offensive weapon is the Word of God, not our own opinions and feelings.

Truth is far more than facts. It’s not just something we act upon. It acts upon us. We can’t change the truth, but the truth can change us. It sanctifies (sets us apart) from the falsehoods woven into our sin natures. As Christ the living Word is truth, so his written word is truth. Though heaven and earth will pass away, God’s truth never will.

The first part of the armor is the belt of truth. God never intended His people to worship Him apart from the use of their minds. Real spirituality begins with a precise understanding of truth. Yet much of contemporary Christianity is heading down the paths of mystical experience and fantasy. We don’t battle Satan with magic words and imaginary forces; we rely on the power of His truth as it brings even our thoughts captive to our Lord. That is genuine and ultimate victory over satanic forces. No matter how Satan attacks, the solution is the same. We stand in the truth. We don’t need to learn hidden strategies to fight Satan. God’s truth is the supreme weapon against the father of lies. John 8:44(HCSB)You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars. Only when we know the truth and commit ourselves to obey it will we stand strong.

The belt—known as the cingulum or balteus—held the Roman soldier’s scabbard and sword. The belt provided a place to house the sword and carry it into battle effectively. The spiritual sword is the Bible, the Word of God.

The belt holds together all other pieces of our armor, and therefore is first mentioned. Similarly, without truth holding us, a Christian is unprepared. It was the belt that held the scabbard, without which there would be no place to put a sword. Imagine an overzealous soldier, fired up and charging out into battle—but without his belt, and consequently without a weapon!

In battle they would take the four corners of the tunic, and fold it up underneath the belt to keep their legs free and to keep from getting tangled.

Paul, by phrasing the first piece of spiritual armor in this way, is referring to that practice of getting the robe up out of your way. Which was important in battle.

In biblical times men wore tunics which was like a robe, they still do this in countries in the Middle East where men wear robes instead of pants. When these men needed to run, or to do some sort of manual labor, they would bend over, take the back edge of their robe, and fold it up into the front of their belt. It was a quick and convenient way to turn a robe into a pair of shorts. The point was that it got the robe up out of the way, so that the person could run faster or work better without having the robe get in the way. So with this in mind, we can see why Paul, although talking about a belt which is worn around the waste, tells us to gird up the loins. He has in mind both the belt, and getting the robe out of the way for movement.

The belt also had other purposes beyond just girding up the loins. It also kept the breastplate tight and secure around the soldier, and kept it from banging against his chest when in battle, and the belt also held a sheath for his sword or dagger.

So if a soldier got rid of his belt, his breastplate wouldn’t be secure, his tunic would trip him up, his sword would drop to the ground. In short, he wouldn’t be much good in battle.

Because of all of these things, the belt was one of the most important pieces of the soldier’s armor. To stand strong in this battle, we must know the truth, and live by the truth. Only in this way will the rest of our armor stay on, and only in this way will we be protected in this battle. This is because the belt of the truth keeps the breastplate tight, it keeps the tunic up and out of your way so you don’t get tripped up or slowed down. It provides you with a place to keep your sword. Without truth, we are easily tripped up by Satan’s lies. Lies, no matter how big or how small, are the things that destroy lives and relationships and futures. One little lie was what Satan used in the garden of Eden to destroy the future of all mankind. You cannot afford to have areas of deception in your life, just as, with a belt, you cannot afford to have a broken belt, or a belt with weaknesses. Truth, like a belt, to be effective, must be able to completely surround you—front, back, right and left, and must be strong enough to hold everything together.

If the belt was not in place you would always be in danger of tripping over your own clothing.  So if the truth is not in place then your in danger danger of tripping over your own opinions, And, for a soldier, if the belt was not in place, you also would not be able to get ready for battle. The belt needs to be trustworthy otherwise the rest of the armor is useless. That is the significance of the belt in a literal sense. But let’s remember what Paul is doing here. This is not a commentary on military fashion items. Ephesians 6:14a is talking about a belt which has spiritual significance. When it comes to understanding the spiritual significance of this piece of equipment we see that trustworthiness and dependability is the key.

Spiritual warfare starts with knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Sanctification:  The belt of truth sets us apart from people who don’t follow God.   Jesus prayed that God would sanctify us by the truth John 17:17(HCSB)Sanctify them by the truth;Your word is truth.  To sanctify means to set apart for a special purpose and to purify.  The truth helps us stay on mission for God and avoid falling back into sin’s corruption.

Guidance: The Holy Spirit uses the truth to guide us in whatever circumstances we’re in. John wrote John 16:13 (HCSB)13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. Just as communications are crucial on the physical battlefield, so is the Holy Spirit’s guidance via truth on the spiritual battlefield.

Intelligence & Discernment:  Intelligence data and its interpretation (i.e. discernment) can play a critical role in the outcome of military conflicts.  God’s word reveals truth that helps us decisively recognize the devil’s lies in spiritual conflicts. Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.  Armed with the truth of the word, we’ll recognize the devil’s lies for what they are.

Battle readiness:  Belts were used in Bible times to secure loose garments so that a person could run and/or fight effectively (1 Kings 18:46, 2 Kings 4:29).  The belts also provided a place to attach weapons (2 Samuel 20:8).  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

John 8:31-32(HCSB)31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

True disciples of Jesus believe that He speaks the truth about God and the Scriptures. They also know that He is who He claims to be.

Verse 32 begins with, “Then you will know the truth.” “You” refers to those who are true disciples of Jesus. True disciples will know the truth. More than that, their eyes are opened to a greater understanding of the truth.

Jesus is the Truth John 14:6(HCSB) 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Knowing the Truth will set one at liberty—free from sin, free from condemnation, and free from death Romans 6:22(HCSB)22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification[a]—and the end is eternal life!;

Romans 8:1–2(HCSB)Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives Luke 4:18(HCSB)The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. 

1 Peter 2:16 (ESV)16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

John 17:17(HCSB)Sanctify them by the truth;Your word is truth.

Jesus, praying to the Father, gives a clear and straightforward definition of truth: God’s Word. The Holy Bible (Scripture—the word of truth) was given by inspiration of God.

2 Timothy 3:16(HCSB)16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness. The Greek expression translated “inspiration of God” literally means “God-breathed”! He actively and fully inspired the Bible to reveal His truth to us. His promises, His commands, His word—they are all truth, plain and simple.

A belt encompasses the waist. Does our conviction to the truth encompass us? As the above scripture notes, truth must be bound around us and written on our hearts—our conviction must reach beyond an outward show.

The belt used in Roman armor, as we have learned, provided a place for the soldier’s sword. Our sword—the sword of the Spirit—likewise needs a sheath. Truth is vital because, like a Roman soldier’s belt, it allows us to carry the sword of the Spirit and use it effectively.

The world we live in teaches that truth is what we make it—that good and bad are relative and that there are no absolutes, only equally valid opinions. But the Bible teaches that truth is God’s Word—that good and bad are defined by Him and that there are eternal and unchangeable absolutes, uninfluenced by opinions.

Paul wrote to the Romans telling them to “not be conformed to this world.” Part of that means not buying into a system of belief that says absolute truth is a myth. As Christians, we know both that there is truth and that it is absolute.

2 Timothy 2:15(HCSB)15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.

Imagine a belt with a segment missing. No matter how tiny the sliver that isn’t there, the belt is still useless. To do its job, it must be one continuous, unbroken piece.Now imagine living a way of life you don’t completely agree with. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal—after all, what are a couple minor points that you’re not sure about?

They are everything. To try to live God’s way without total belief in its validity is like trying to hold your sword up with a belt that isn’t continuous. Neither will work. Our trust in God and His Word must be solid, without break, or else we will quickly find ourselves without a weapon. No matter how effective the rest of our armor is, we are useless without our sword. We need to be rightly dividing the word of truth—knowing what we believe, and why.

Putting on the belt of truth is putting on the truth of the Bible. Getting it close by. Understanding what it says. Knowing what it teaches. The reason many Christians today are ineffective in their Christian life and in spiritual warfare is because they have not committed themselves fully to the Word of God, which alone is sufficient to prepare them for every situation in life. The content of God’s truth is absolutely essential for the believer in his battle against the schemes of Satan.

The Christian’s belt is truth. The primary thing about Christianity is not that we feel better from routine religion but that the message is true. If it isn’t true it is meaningless. Christianity isn’t true because it works for me. Because Christianity is true it works mightily to change lives. It tells me what life is all about, who God is, what the good life is, and what lies after death. It gives rational answers to ultimate question. We must never stop telling people that the Christian faith is true. Its truthfulness is the belt which holds together everything else. It tempers the zeal and fuels it. It is the foundation for our joy and peace; it tells us what our response should be and motivates us in all our activities. If you know little about what the Scripture teaches you are extremely vulnerable. A soldier cannot fight properly with his armor and underclothes swinging in the wind or his trousers falling to his ankles. He’d be dead before he could swing a single blow.

In the spiritual battle God needs soldiers who are properly equipped to fight the battle. Which raises a very significant question. How trustworthy and dependable are you as you seek to be a soldier for God? It is a significant question, but it isn’t always a comfortable question,And we should be people who read and study the Word of God. But if all we are doing is gathering knowledge without also being willing to be engaged in the spiritual battle, then we are not really acting as trustworthy and dependable soldiers.

As we examine the belt of truth we are being asked to examine our commitment to kingdom work. And that raises the question:- How trustworthy and dependable are you as you seek to be a soldier for God?

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