TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-18
Over the past three weeks, we have been talking about what it means to be in spiritual warfare as a Christian. We have looked at the basics of Christian warfare, and those basics are: (1) We gain the strength to fight the battle through Jesus Christ — not on our own. (2) We must choose to be clothed in God’s armor — that is, His righteousness through Jesus Christ — if we are to be successful in spiritual warfare. (3) Our enemy is not physical, but spiritual; our enemy is Satan.
You might recall in Pilgrims progress After Christian had gone through a difficult experience, he was allowed to rest at the Palace Beautiful. While there, he learned much about his Christian faith and what the road ahead looked like for him. One of the things he was shown was the armory, and before he left the Palace, he was outfitted in a suit of armor to prepare him for the journey ahead. Let’s read about it from Pilgrim’s Progress.
Bunyan writes: “Now Christian wanted to go forward, and they were willing that he should. But first, said they, let us go again into the armory. So they did; and they dressed him from head to foot with armor, lest perhaps he should meet with assaults in the way. He being, therefore, thus armed, walked out with his friends to the gate of the palace.”
The Bible tells us that Christians today are (or at least ought to be) armed for battle as well. Like Christian, we ought to expect to meet with assaults along the way of our Christian journey. Let’s look at the specific pieces of armor that God has supplied for the believer.
The belt of truth. The Bible says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” Let’s unpack this:
First of all, what are your loins. Your loins are your waist and lower back area. In the agricultural culture of the ancient near east, people wore long tunics. And, sometimes, these tunics could get in the way if you were gathering in the fields or if you had to chase down a stray sheep or chase off a wolf. So, in order for your clothes not to slow you down, a man would gather up the end of his tunic and wrap it around his legs, tucking the bottom of his tunic into his waistband which was called a girdle (you can think of it as a belt). Basically, a man would transform the long tunic into shorts — which are much better for running fast or getting around in rough terrain. That is what it means to gird up your loins.
When you gird up your loins, you are getting ready to do some serious work. A phrase we might use today is “roll up your sleeves.” So, we see from this analogy that our spiritual warfare is no play thing. It is serious work.
Commenting on another passage in First Peter 1 which tells believers to “gird up the loins of their minds”, Matthew Henry states “as the traveler, the racer, the warrior, and the laborer gathered in their long and loose garments, that they might be ready in the business, so let Christians do with their minds and affections. Be sober, be watchful against all spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate in all behavior.”
The Bible tells us to be “gird about with truth.” As I mentioned before, the girdle was a waistband or belt. For a soldier going to war, the belt was a very important piece of armor because it encircled the body and held together the other pieces of armor. Without the belt, the other armor lost its effectiveness.
Paul tells us that we are to put on the belt of truth. R.C. Sproul said, “Paul seems to have in mind the confidence that comes from certainty about the truthfulness of God’s Word.” Remember, what Jesus Christ used to defeat the devil? He used the Word of God. If you and I are to use the Word of God to defeat the enemy, we must also have confidence in its truthfulness. When Jesus prayed for His disciples, He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
We must depend on, lean on, and have confidence in the truth of the Word of God. If the Bible is not true, then we have nothing to stand on. And, as we will soon see, the Word of God is the main offensive weapon that we have. The Bible tells us that Jesus is called “the Word of God.” When we choose to believe the Bible, we are choosing to believe Jesus Christ because the Scriptures “testify” of Him. Thus, when the Bible tells us that we already have the victory over the devil, the flesh, and the world, we ought to stand on that promise because it is rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
As the old hymn says,
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
The essential piece of armor — the belt that hold all the rest of the armor together — is our confidence in the truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Word of God which cannot lie. Let’s put on the belt of truth and be victorious in battle.