Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons by Year 2022 Sermons . The full armour of God (Belt of truth)

. The full armour of God (Belt of truth)

 

THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD (Part 1)


THE BELT OF TRUTH

 

Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV) 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,..”


We are still focussing on our position in the death of Christ on the cross: “when one died for all namely Jesus. Then we all died to Satan.” As we saw a few weeks ago we are dead to sin, but yet we must make dead sin. The same principles are seen in our positional death to Satan. We are dead to Satan, he has no ultimate power over us because of the completed work of Christ on the cross. However he is still our enemy and he must be resisted and he must be fought against. We are at war, if we like it or not. So for four sermons so far we have been looking at the devil, who he is, what Christ achieved against him on the cross, what we need to do with the devil, and then last week we saw how he attacks us as an introduction to putting on the whole armour of God, so that we may stand against the devil and his scheming.

 

Before we look at the seven parts of the armour, I need to remind you that our strength against the devil and his principalities is not in our armour, but in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10 (ESV) says: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” So while our struggles are against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, our strength is in the Lord and in the strength of His might. So outside the Lord you are doomed to loose. That is why the instruction to Paul in Acts 26 is to bring people from the power of Satan to God. As long as you are under Satan, you will face defeat after defeat, but when you turn to Christ you become victorious. The Lord’s strength is always more than sufficient in battle.

 

Now Logos is a new church, we are a small church, but we can be a powerful church if we do two things. Look at Revelation 3:8-9 (ESV) as we compare ourselves with the church of Philadelphia: 8 “ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you.” So church family, let us keep to God’s Word and let us not deny His Name and let us stand amazed to see what God can do for us, because He loves people like that. If we stand in our own strength, God removes His power and we get what our strength can do for us.

 

In the ultimate sense our battles against Satan are already won, as we saw what happened to Satan with the crucifixion. Still, we are in a war, a fierce and terrible war, but believe me Christian we have no fear with the Lord on our side, so let’s put on the armour and let’s fight for the glory of our God. Putting on this armour is once and for all, we wear it permanently, it is our lifelong companion.

 

Paul was probably chained to a Roman soldier when he penned the words. So he knew full well what the armour was and now he draws this analogy of God’s spiritual provision for us in our battle against Satan. So we must put on this armour so that we can stand firm, like a soldier who is unmovable in the face of attack. I had the privilege of visiting Pompeii that was destroyed by a volcano in A.D. 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Because the city was buried so quickly by volcanic ash, the site is a well-preserved snapshot of life in a Roman city. One of the findings was that Soldiers stood on their guard and did not even run in the face of the oncoming ash. That is what you call standing firm.

So, let’s put on this armour this morning and may God give us the grace to understand it and apply it, so that we can face the enemy and be victorious over him.

 

Point 1. The belt of truth.


14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

When we confront the enemy you need to understand his strength. In our ten points of last week we saw that the strategy of Satan was to do one primary thing and that is to spread lies and to deceive. Now we do not have time to go back to that, but go read the notes. Satan is the father of lies, so he will lie to you all day long and in many ways. Everything that comes from his mouth is a lie, or a lie disguised as a half-truth.

So what is the first and most logical part of the armour that is needed to confront his lies? It has to do with ‘truth’. It is the belt of truth.


If you looked at a Roman soldier and how they were dressed you would notice that when he prepared for battle he put on a belt, or a sash. Roman soldier wore a tunic which was basically a dress for men. It had two holes for arms and a hole for the head. You put it on and it went down around your knees. If you were going to go to battle, you would pull your tunic together with a belt or sash. Typically they wore an undergarment so they would pull up the corners of the long hem of the tunic, and tuck it into the sash, pull it as tight as they could. You don’t want to get into hand-to-hand mortal combat with your dress blowing around, catching the bushes, getting in the way of your sword etc. You need to run fast and you are not going to do it with your tunic around your knees, so you tie it all up around your waist. They need to move with swiftness, skill and speed and had to pull in all the loose ends or they would serve the purposes of the enemy. This all speaks of preparedness, readiness and alertness. The belt or sash would also be the place to which he will attach his sword or other weapons. Now for Romans soldiers of that day the belt was also the place that they would wear their decorations which they received in battle. It’s a fitting combination of things because that’s exactly what the Apostle Paul wants us to understand, that you’re never going to win the spiritual battle unless you really get ready for it.

 

Peter had the same idea as Paul about the readiness of a Christian as he writes to us in 1 Peter 1:13-14 (ESV) 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,” Some translations actually say that you must gird the loins of your mind.

 

Now, the belt of truth here must not be confused at this point with the Word of God as such, because later we will take up the Sword of the Spirit. The Greek word  aletheia {al-ay'-thi-a} is translated as truth, and while it will include content, it is about more than content. It is about truthfulness, integrity and dedication to the content of truth.  It is reflected in the famous story about George Washington and the cherry tree when he said: “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet.” It is simply a character issue, an integrity issue, that in spite of other possible sins in my life, I just cannot lie, as that belongs to the father of lies. I stand for the truth on all levels.

 

This is an area that has sadly become okay for many Christians, and they no longer wear this belt or use it to tie up the loose ends. I visited a website this week and there are two articles with content that I am very aware of and have first-hand knowledge on, and five times in the article the author who is a pastor lies. Now none of us should be lying whether you are a pastor or not. It is going to hinder you in battle and it is going to benefit the enemy. True Christians love the truth and are ready to fight for the truth and with truth.

 

Church family, believe me today, that you will never win the spiritual battles unless you are seriously committed to victory. If you’re just going to flop your way through your Christian experience, you will be a consistent loser. It touches many areas of your life which all affect whether you are truthful about your faith or not. How can we call ourselves truthful in our spiritual battle and we are content with all the loose ends of our lives, content with all the little sins, content with infrequent interest in prayer, infrequent interest in worship, indifference toward great spiritual truth and  content with a small understanding of the greatness of God?  If we are content with things like these then we are an encumbered soldiers, ill prepared for the battle, ignoring truthfulness in all these areas, then get ready to be defeated. We need to pull together those loose ends Christian, or the devil is going to be victorious over us.

Paul not only teaches us about putting on the armour of God, and specifically the belt of truth, you see it in his life. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV) “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” You also see it in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (ESV) “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”


Whether you are going to be victorious or not depends on how badly do you want to win? That’s the question. I’m convinced actually that most Christians lose the spiritual battles as they go through life because they really don’t care that much about winning. It doesn’t matter to them that much. If you’re indifferent about the spiritual battle, believe me, you’re going to lose it and you’re going to live in the doldrums and you’re going to waste the opportunity for an eternal reward for usefulness for joy and blessedness. When a believer is committed to being a soldier, you will adhere to the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV) 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

 

When you go into the military, you are a soldier and you are nothing but a soldier. You are nothing more and you are nothing less. And that’s how it is in this spiritual struggle. You strap it on, you gird it up and you pull it together. You go to battle because that’s who you are. You are a soldier and you are engaged in a war. You are committed to obedience, committed to fight the enemy in the power of Christ. It is commitment at any cost. In the years gone by the Romanian believers would not end their prayers with ‘amen’ as we do but with the words ‘whatever it may cost’. Because they knew it could cost them their work, their families and even their lives.

 

Tell me my friend, how are you doing in the battle as far as truthfulness, character and integrity are concerned? Are you even fighting or are you coasting?

 


Amen

Soli Deo Gloria.

Logos Community Church: - 02 July 2022