The Belt of Truth
October 31, 2019 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Paul’s words, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood,” are well known among Christians, but do we truly live mindfully of spiritual warfare? It is far too easy to allow our sight and physical realities to command our attention. The call of Scripture, however, is to be battle ready for spiritual warfare. Through this multi-week series, we will consider what Scripture teaches about this spiritual struggle. This is part five.
Revelation 12:17 says that Satan has gone “off to wage war” on the church. His primary objective is to undermine our faith and confidence in Christ. His primary attack strategy is twofold: Guilt and lies. He is the “accuser of the brothers” and the “father of lies.”
Christ has appeared “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). Ironically, Christ has destroyed “the one who has the power of death” through his death on the cross (Heb. 2:14). Satan’s power of guilt, and the consequence for such guilt, namely death, was defeated by Christ on the cross. And Christ fights against the lies of Satan by giving his “Spirit of truth” and the “word of truth.”
These two paragraphs summarize the crux of spiritual warfare. It’s from this place that Paul commands the church: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13). Over the next few weeks, we want to turn our attention to this “whole armor of God” and how it all relates to Christ’s victory.
Appropriately, the first piece of armor is the belt of truth (v. 14). The truth Paul commends is the unified system of teaching of Scripture that centers on Christ as our Savior. From the beginning, God has been fighting against the schemes of the devil for our good (Gen. 3:15). Christ crucified was God’s “eternal purpose” for overcoming sin and Satan (Eph. 3:11). The truth of that plan is unfolded throughout Scripture. We need that truth as the sure foundation to stand against Satan.
“The devil,” however, “hates truth and will do anything he can to distract you from it… he will go to extraordinary lengths to limit your contact with God’s word,” writes Iain Duguid (The Whole Armor of God, p. 28-29). So Paul’s command in Ephesians 6:14 is not as simple as picking up a Bible or reading it on a rare occasion. And certainly, we never complete it. As Duguid writes, “Like a belt, in order for that truth to do us any good, we have to bind it around us afresh every day. Our hearts are leaky containers, constantly losing our hold on the truth. Day by day, we need to refill our mind with a fresh measure of God’s truth, revealed in the Scriptures, so that we will be equipped to stand against Satan’s lies” (30).
Standing firm in the Lord for spiritual warfare starts with the truth. Is your belt fastened?