We outlined the spiritual warfare strategies for using the armor of God in our last battle field training. As we continue our Spiritual Soldier Series we will go through the power of each piece of armor.
The first piece of armor Paul mentions is the belt of truth. He is probably looking at a soldier he is either chained to or one who is guarding him. As the Romans were masters of battle in their day he uses the armor of the soldier to describe the weapons of our spiritual warfare.
Each of these pieces of armor show the power of the character traits Paul highlights. The belt of the Roman soldier held together all the other pieces of armor. Truth, then, is the essential character trait that holds together all the other character traits.
We will further talk about the belt of truth as we talk about the five powers it holds for every believer. Let’s dive in!
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Ephesians 6:14, ESV)
- The truth exposes lies.
Paul speaks of the armor of God in terms of “putting on” and “fastening” the belt of truth to ourselves. These terms keep within the image Paul presents. But because he speaks mostly of Christian character we cannot “put on” and “take off” these character traits. They are who we are.
However, Paul shows the power of these character traits in our spiritual warfare. Many of them protect us in the heat of battle with the enemy. And truth is no different. Just as the belt surrounded the waist of the soldier truth surrounds us.
Truth exposes the lies of the enemy. Jesus rightly called him the father of lies (John 8:44). No truth comes from him. The truth comes from God. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26). We can only trust the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t only help us see the truth of God. As He dwells within us he helps us to expose the truth to those whose eyes and minds are darkened by the wickedness of this world (Ephesians 4:18). As we speak to others, the light of God’s revelation makes inroads into their hearts and minds.
We fight the enemy with truth because it has the power to break up the lies of the enemy, to bring the light of God’s truth to those in darkness. The truth surrounds us but we surround them. The enemy cannot speak against us. The more he lies the more people imprisoned by him see the truth.
There will be times the truth will place you under persecution. The enemy put Jesus on the Cross thinking he won the battle. But he found out the evil he meant for Jesus was turned on his head. We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The truth of Jesus’ sacrifice and our words break the bonds of the enemy in the lives of those we speak the truth to.
- The truth brings good news.
Between our testimony and our proclamation of the good news that Jesus, the true Light that comes from God, has come into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome Him (John 1:5) breaks the chains of the enemy’s grip on others.
Truth reveals the lies of the enemy. They cannot deny the truth. So as we speak of the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard of Him or who have heard but not yet seen the light of His goodness for them, the light of truth breaks through.
The gospel of Jesus sets people free (John 8:36; Galatians 5:1). When people hear of the goodness of Jesus, of His sacrifice on their behalf, and of His power against the enemy it is unforgettable. Even if they do not accept the gospel right away it will gnaw at them. The Hound of Heaven will not leave them alone.
When they hear the truth they cannot deny it. The dross of sin and darkness that keeps God’s truth hidden from them slowly melts away as they walk into the light. When Jesus saves people, He saves their souls, heals their minds and bodies, and delivers them from the darkness of this world and the evil overlords binding them.
We will speak more of the good news of Jesus and its power to be an offensive weapon when we talk about the shoes of the readiness for the gospel of peace. But as the gospel goes forth God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
- The truth brings freedom.
Do you remember when you heard the gospel and felt Jesus’ freedom for the first time? It happens for every person who comes to Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus sets us free, and that was His purpose in going to the Cross (Galatians 5:1)..
When God’s truth clears the cobwebs of the deceit of the enemy it lifts their burdens and brings them freedom. Jesus says that he whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). We live knowing the truth.
When you know the truth you see what the enemy does. The truth exposes his playbook to believers. The tricks and temptations that used to get us every time no longer succeed. While people fight the wickedness of this world with their hands tied behind their back, when they see the truth of the gospel they are freed from their chains and fight from a place of strength.
Jesus died so they can be free (Galatians 5:1). He took them from captivity and gave them a new home (Ephesians 4:7-8; Isaiah 61:1-2). His freedom brings them to a new place. They are no longer susceptible to the tactics and flaming arrows of the enemy.
- The Truth is God’s standard.
There’s a reason the devil uses lies and God speaks the truth. God existed before creation. His divine nature belonged to Him before anything else happened. But the devil is a creature. He cannot take what is not his.
Everything God does comes out of the truth of who He is. Over and over He has proven Himself and His actions to be true. Truth cuts through the lies and deceptions. When God speaks, everything He says is true.
His Spirit speaks the truth. We can trust God because of His truth. We know what he says is reality. He created the world and everything in it responds to His truth. The devil manipulates everything with a warped and skewed perspective.
There is no contest. God is above His creation and the devil is part of creation. God’s character existed before creation and Satan cannot speak truth because he does not have God’s character. Indeed, he tries to usurp God’s power, authority, and place. But he has failed at every turn.
- The Truth is found in Jesus.
Some people fight for absolute truth, the idea that truth applies to every person in the world. Others claim subjective truth is the proper way to look at the world. This is the famous, “What’s true for you isn’t true for me.”
Should we fight on these hills? There is a time and a place to discuss and debate the philosophical differences between absolute and subjective truth. The Bible has both. Believe it or not when you read the Proverbs they are not forever truths. They apply to certain situations. Wisdom is knowing which proverb to apply to each situation.
But there are absolute truths found in the pages of Scripture. God presents commands He expects His people to follow without question. Some of the laws found in the Mosaic Law are forever true no matter what the situation or case.
While objective and subjective truth can be seen, only Jesus is the ultimate Truth found in the Bible. He calls Himself the Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6). No one experiences reality the way God has designed it except through Jesus.
In Jesus is the Person of truth. In one of my favorite passages Jesus is facing a trial by Pontius Pilate, who decides whether Jesus will be crucified or not. Jesus begins talk about truth and says that everyone on the side of truth listens to Him (John 18:37).
Pilate by nature is a pragmatist. His truth is whatever furthers his political ambitions and keeps him in favor with the Roman Empire. Pragmatism has served him as he has maintained a fragile peace in the Jewish province of Palestine.
So from this true pragmatist we get the question, “What is truth?”(John 18:38) But before Jesus can answer Pilate leaves. If only he would’ve stayed to hear that Jesus is the Truth. Truth in its purest form is found in the Person of Jesus Christ. We don’t truly understand truth until we know Him.
The belt of truth connects us in our relationship with the Truth, Jesus. And when we share Jesus with people in this world we introduce them to ultimate Truth. Jesus reveals all truth to those who seek Him.
The belt of truth surrounds us and protects us from the deceptions and lies of the devil. But it also gives us a way to show the people in this world surrounded by darkness that the devil lies and Jesus tells the truth.
Without truth we cannot properly understand our world. We see it in the wrong ways and our perception is off. Everyone needs truth and Jesus gives it to us freely. The belt of truth holds everything together and surrounds us with an accurate perception of the battlefield and our enemies and allies. How does the truth help you in your spiritual battles?
We’ve begun to study the pieces of the armor of God in detail. After talking about the belt of truth we will now focus on the breastplate of righteousness and how righteousness protects our heart.