How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #57)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:13-16:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

—–

Andrew Murray said, “In the conflict between Satan and the Believer, God’s child can conquer EVERYTHING by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian, or to hinder him in the use of it?”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “No man — I don’t care how colossal his intellect — no man is greater than his prayer life.”

—-

Again Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God. This armor is essential if we are going to stand in the evil day. The days in which we live right now are evil, and we must be ready to face them with courage and confidence.

Now, we begin looking at the specific pieces of our armor, the first of which is the belt of truth. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.”

First of all, what are your loins? Your loins are your waist and lower back area. In the agricultural and livestock-based societies 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.

When Paul speaks of the truth, he is referring to the confidence that comes from God’s people being certain about the truthfulness of God’s Word. Remember, when Jesus Christ defeated 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.

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.

The essential piece of armor — the belt that holds 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. So, put on the belt of truth and be victorious in battle.

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