Walk Series – Ephesians 6:13-14
Intro: Surgical Room, having the proper equipment. Would you say that it is crucial to have the correct equipment before you go into surgery?
It has been said that a soldier is no better than his equipment. Paul has told us about our enemy and about our energy. Now, he takes the time to speak concerning our equipment. He lets us know that we know all about our enemy. We are blessed with boundless energy and we have the best equipment that any army in history has known. The image that is given here would have been familiar to every person in the Ephesian church. Paul is describing the armor of the average Roman soldier. This was not the armor of the super-soldier, but the common, run of the mill, every day soldier. For these soldiers to be effective in battle, they need to be protected on the battlefield. Paul uses the image of their armor to teach us about how we need to dress up for the day of battle.
“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NKJV) I have defeated the enemy, I can give you the energy because I have the right equipment.
Text: Ephesians 6:13-14 (NKJV)
“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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
Application: Knowing the Truth and wearing Righteousness = TRIGHTEOUSNESS!
1. The Girdle of Truth: vs. 14
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.
This girdle or (Belt of Truth) encircled the waist and served to stabilize the body, protect the mid-section and provide the soldier with a place to restrain his garments so that his movements in the heat of battle would be unhindered.
For the believer, this refers to knowing the "truth” of the Bible. Jesus promised us that the truth had the power to make us free. Knowing the truth will stabilize us, protect us and prevent us from being tripped up in the battles of life. This reminds us that we are to walk in the truth! ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Try to imagine being the Apostle Paul trapped in prison what seem to be forever and while he dealt with captivity he daily saw the roman soldier and his armor. He was forced to stare at the soldier's armor day in and day out. He had an ideal picture of the armor needed by the Christian believer to combat the forces of evil. The belt was used to hold the soldier's clothing next to his body. This kept his clothing from flapping about and allowed him freedom of movement. The belt was also used to strengthen and support the body. The sign of the Christian soldier is the belt of truth... What specifically is the belt of truth? What is God's truth that the believer is to put on? Christ is the truth. The believer is to put on Christ. John14:6 The Word of God is truth. The believer is to put on the Word of God. He is sanctified by the Word of God. Speaking and living a life of truthfulness is the truth.
Jesus tells us to “be dressed in readiness”, which is literally, “have your loins girded.” Peter used the same expression when he said, ‘Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13 (HCSB) Girding the loins was a mark of preparedness, and the soldier who was serious about fighting was sure to secure his tunic with his belt.
How much more important is the Christian’s preparedness as he faces the forces of Satan. “No soldier in active service,” Paul says, “entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier”. It is sad that so many Christians are content to let the “tunics” of their daily cares and concerns flap in the breeze around them—continually interfering with their faithfulness to the Lord and giving the devil every opportunity to entangle and defeat them with their own immature habits and interests.
I believe that being girded with truth primarily has to do with the self–discipline of total commitment. It is the committed Christian, just as it is the committed soldier and the committed athlete, who is prepared. Winning in war and in sports is often said to be the direct result of desire that leads to careful preparation and maximum effort. It is the army or the team who wants most to win who is most likely to do so—even against great odds.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness:
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
No Roman soldier would go into battle without his breastplate, a tough, sleeveless piece of armor that covered his full torso. It was often made of leather or heavy linen, onto which were sewn overlapping slices of animal hooves or horns or pieces of metal. Some were made of large pieces of metal molded or hammered to conform to the body. The purpose of that piece of armor is obvious—to protect the heart, lungs, intestines, and other vital organs.
In ancient Jewish thinking, the heart represented the mind and the will and the bowels were considered the seat of emotions and feelings. The mind and the emotions are the two areas where Satan most fiercely attacks believers. He creates a world system, a sinful environment by which he tempts us to think wrong thoughts and to feel wrong emotions. He wants to cloud our minds with false doctrine, false principles, and false information in order to mislead and confuse us. He also wants to confuse our emotions and thereby pervert our affections, morals, loyalties, goals, and commitments.
He desires to snatch the Word of God from our minds and replace it with his own perverse ideas. He seeks to undermine pure living and replace it with immorality, greed, envy, hate, and every other vice. He wants us to laugh at sin rather than mourn over it, and to rationalize it rather than confess it and bring it to the Lord for forgiveness. He seduces us to become so used to sin in us and around us that it no longer bothers our conscience.
The protection against those attacks of Satan is the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness is to be taken and wrapped around our whole being, as it were, just as ancient soldiers covered themselves with breastplates of armor.
The believer's heart is focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness, and that focus must be protected. The sign of the Christian soldier is righteousness. When a man is saved, God imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to him, or to say it another way, God counts him righteous: “Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” Galatians 2:16 (NLT)
We are commanded to practice righteousness as a habit of life, "Be holy, for I am holy." When we live holy, consecrated lives before the Lord, we are less prone to attacks from the devil. Our hearts are guarded and protected from his slings and arrows. This reminds us that we are to live in righteousness! “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
God’s imputed righteousness is the basis of our Christian life and of our Christian living. It protects us from hell, but it does not, in itself, protect us from Satan in this present life. The breastplate of righteousness that we put on as spiritual armor against our adversary is the practical righteousness of a life lived in obedience to God’s Word.
To put on the breastplate of righteousness is to live in daily, moment–by–moment obedience to our heavenly Father. This part of God’s armor is holy living, for which God supplies the standard and the power but for which we must supply the willingness. God Himself puts on our imputed righteousness, but we must put on our practical righteousness.
Not to be armored with the breastplate of righteousness will cost the Christian his joy. The only joyful Christian is the obedient Christian. Many, if not most, of the emotional and relational problems Christians experience are caused by lack of personal holiness. Many of our disappointments and discouragements do not come from circumstances or from other people but from our own unconfessed and uncleansed sin. And when circumstances and other people do manage to rob us of happiness, it is because we are unprotected by the armor of a holy life. In either case the cause of unhappiness is our own sin.
The church today is often guilty of supplying believers with the paper armor of good advice, programs, activities, techniques, and methods—when what they need is godly armor of holy living. No program, method, or technique can bring wholeness and happiness to the believer who is unwilling to confront and forsake his sin. Failure to be armed with practical righteousness will cause fruitlessness. The disobedient Christian is unproductive in the things of the Lord.
“The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.” Romans 13:12 (NLT)
Being girded with truth is being renewed in the mind, in order to “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” Rom. 12:2. When the mind is renewed in commitment to God’s truth, there is empowerment for the Christian soldier to become “a living and holy sacrifice” that please God and is that believer’s “spiritual service of worship”. In many ways it is more difficult and more demanding to be a living sacrifice than a dying one. To be burned at the stake for one’s faith would be painful, but it would soon be over. To live a lifetime of faithful obedience can also be painful at times, and its demands go on and on. It requires staying power that only continual and total commitment to the Lord can provide. It demands that love “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that [we] may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”. Love, knowledge, and understanding of God all need to grow in us. And when those grow, so does our commitment to the Lord for excellence in all things—the ultimate goal of which is “the glory and praise of God.”
To be content with mediocrity, lethargy, indifference, and half–heartedness is to fail to be armored with the belt of God’s truth and to leave oneself exposed to Satan’s schemes.
The disciple is the shining armor of right living are you one of those soldiers?
In : Sermon
Tags: "worthy walk series" "book of ephesians"
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