The Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
"Stand firm then, with the belt of
truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate
of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with
the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition
to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the
helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with
all kinds of prayers and requests. With this mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for
me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so
that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare
it fearlessly, as I should."
Of the two articles of our armor we'll look at today, the
belt of truth was an article used to secure the soldiers armor
and weapons. To have a lose belt would be to fight with your
pants down, so to speak. There are two interpretations for
the belt, but since the word of God is the sword of the Spirit,
the second one seems to apply.
- The Word of God
- The true sincere life without hypocrisy. A hypocritical
life will lead to spiritual defeat. You're an easy target
for Satan if you're a hypocrite. Satan is called the "accuser
of the brethren." (Rev. 12) Don't give him ammo!
1 John 1:1-8, "That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which
we have looked at and our hands have touchedthis we
proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we
have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the
eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to
us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that
you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is
with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this
to make our [Some manuscripts your] joy complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to
you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If
we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness,
we lie and do not live in the truth. But if we walk in the
light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him
out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."
1 John 1:1-8 either gives you confidence that you are in the
Lord, or as hypocrite, with your pants down around your ankles!
Our heart should be to do the truth. God is not into lip-service.
He is into life-service.
1 Peter 2:11-12, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and
strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which
war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans
that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see
your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."
What Peter is saying is that obedience is important in warfare,
especially spiritual warfare. When the Church is girded in
disobedience it is broken down and weak.
Psalm 119:1-16, "Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they
who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They
do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down
precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were
steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put
to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise
your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according
to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me
stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws
that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will
not neglect your word."
For a Christian, Jesus defined the law of God right down to
it's spiritual intent in Matthew 5:17-48. Read this section
and meditate on it. This is the heart and core of God's law
that we are to live by and fashion our lives around. Living
by this law girds the belt of truth to us firmly. Meditating
on it fastens it into our minds if the Spirit of God dwells
in us. Stop right here and turn to Matthew 5:17-48 and read
it through meditatively. Do so for a week and see what happens.
You are fastening the mind of Christ in you. Follow what you
read and hypocrisy will flee you. The belt is tight now. Now
gird on the sword of the Spirit.
A Roman's belt also held the famous Roman short-sword. This
sword was a superior weapon in close combat situations. Let's
see Jesus himself in action with his spiritual Roman short-sword
which he used against Satan. We find Jesus led of the Spirit
into the desert, where he fasted for forty days and nights
(Matthew 4:1-2). When you fast like this, you're hungry. For
the first two or three days you are hungry, and then that
hunger goes away. Then when you are about to die (some time
after forty days if you're real strong or have a lot of fat
on your bones), the hunger comes back with a vengeance. Satan
hit at this time, trying to defocus Jesus and refocus his
attention on the physical. Jesus defense was this offensive
statement. He took a particular part of Scripture and used
it to destroy Satan's plan and temptation. Verse 3-4, "The
tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God,
tell these stones to become bread.' [Satan was also tempting
Jesus with pride, with the statement, "If you
are the Son of God."] "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man
does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.' [Deuteronomy 8:3]
Verses 5-7, "Then the devil took him to the holy city and
had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you
are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down, for it
'He will command his angels concerning
you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you
will not strike your food against a stone.' [Psalm
Jesus answered him, 'It is also written:
'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' [Deuteronomy 6:16]
Verses 8-11, "Again the devil took him to a very high mountain
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
'All this I will give you,' he said, 'If you will bow down
and worship me.' Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan!
For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him
only.'" [Deuteronomy 6:13.] Satan is not only the "accuser
of the brethren" but the great tempter. The sword of the Spirit
can be used successfully against the temptations of both Satan,
his demons, and the world. We will cover this weapon in a
later study with some more Scriptural details.
The breastplate of righteousnessJesus in you is the
breastplate of righteousness. It's not our own righteousness,
but his. Jesus is also the shield of faith which has the special
ability to quench the flaming arrows of Satan.
Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his
II Chronicles 14:2-15, "Asa did what was good and right in
the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars
and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down
the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the
God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. He
removed the high places and incense altars in every town in
Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. He built up
the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace.
No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord
gave him rest.
'Let us build up these towns,' he said to Judah, 'and put
walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is
still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought
him and he has given us rest on every side.' So they built
Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah,
equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred
and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields
and with bows. All these were brave fighting men.
Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army
[Hebrew with an army of a thousand thousands (i.e. a million
man army!)], and three hundred chariots, and came as far
as Mareshah. Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle
positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.
Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there
is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty.
Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name
we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God;
do not let man prevail against you.'
The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The
Cushites fled, and Asa and his army pursued them as far as
Gerar. Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could
not recover; they were crushed before the Lord and his forces.
The men of Judah carried off a large amount of plunder. They
destroyed all the villages around Gerar, for the terror of
the Lord had fallen upon them. They plundered all these villages,
since there was much booty there. They also attacked the camps
of the herdsmen and carried off droves of sheep and goats
and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem." Then read II
Chronicles 16:1-14. Asa stopped relying on God but tried to
rely on his own wit and schemes. God was testing the heart
of Asa. He knew previously that he couldn't stand against
that million-man army without a divine miracle, but this problem
wasn't so bad, so he reasoned that he could figure a way out
on his own without relying on the Lord. Verses 8-9 of II Chronicles
holds the key. "Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty
army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when
you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand.
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to
strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will
be at war." As a church and as individuals, we have to "be
strong in the Lord."
Ephesians 6:15, and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace
" Shoes, or army
boots, or in Paul's case, Roman military sandals, were defensive,
giving a sure foothold to the soldier wearing them. If the
enemy can knock you over or off balance, you're an easy kill.
The gospel of peace, if you rest in the gospel of peace, the
gospel of Christ, you can't be toppled over. [Romans 1-8 is
the clearest description of the gospel of Christ ever written.]
Psalm 94:18, "When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your love,
O Lord, supported me."
Psalm 34:17-22, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears
them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is
close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed
in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the
Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems
his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in
Psalm 40:1-2, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned
to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave
me a firm place to stand." Cry out to God for his power.
Remember our primary objective? Matthew 28:18-20 if anyone
forgot. It is to evangelize. Ephesians 6:15 (new King James),
"and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel
of peace." Isaiah 52:7 shows this gospel being offensively
brought, and makes direct reference to the feet of those who
bring it. "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of
those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good
tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God
Romans 10:14-15, "How, then, can they call on the one they
have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one
of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without
someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless
they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet
of those who bring good news!'"
The Shield of Faith: The Roman shields could be interconnected
so they could march right into and through the hostile fire
of the enemy, until they broke through the enemy lines. It
was a defensive weapon used for offensive fighting. When flaming
arrows were being shot, they locked shields and marched forward
into the hostile fire, not away from it.
Hebrews 11:30-39, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after
the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith
the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was
not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more
shall I say? I do not have the time to tell about Gideon,
Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who
through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and
gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched
the fury of flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose
weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in
battle and routed foreign armies. Women who received back
their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and
refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained
and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two;
they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins
and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreatedthe
world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and
mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them
received what had been promised. God had planned something
better for us so that only together with us would they be
made perfect. [cf. 1 Corinthians 15:49-54.]
When the allies took Normandy the war was already won, so
to speak. All in Europe knew it was won. But there were battles
that still needed to be won to bring ultimate victory. The
Nazi's were no longer conquering the world, they were in the
process of being conquered. The key battle of Midway spelled
the doom of the Japanese Navy, which was their only offensive
tool for conquering the Pacific empire they were building.
This victory at Midway won the war for us. The next four years
brought fierce battles, but they were all mop-up battles which
would bring ultimate victory. The war was already in the bag
after Midwaythe Japanese offensive strike weapon, the
Kido-Buti had been destroyed in one day. Jesus at the cross
destroyed Satan's victory over mankind. The redemption of
mankind was a sure thing after this. When Joshua conquered
Jerecho all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan knew they
had lost the warthat they were goners. But the conquering
of Canaan required years of battles to finish the job. Read
the book of Joshua. We are in the spiritual counterpart of
what Joshua and his soldiers did. Joshua was a symbol for
Jesus Christ, and we are in the army of Jesus Christ, fighting
spiritual battles that are just as real, for spiritual territorythe
souls of men and women around the world.
The Helmet of Salvation: 1 Thessalonians 5:7-11, "For those
who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk
at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled,
putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope
of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to
suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep,
we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
The hope of salvationthe hope of your futureheavenstarting
with tomorrows world spent ruling in the Millennial Kingdom
of God as immortal kings and priests under Jesus Christ our
King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Revelation 5:9-10; 1
Corinthians 15:49-54). The Old Testament is chuck full of
prophecies about the kingdom Jesus will usher in when he returns
to earth. Revelation 19-20 just gives a peek into the beginning
of it. Read Isaiah 11, Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36 and Zechariah
14 just for starters. Then read Revelation 2-3; 5:9-10. Revelation
20:4-6. Our hope is in the future. Right now we're in a war.
[Pastor Chuck Smith has a taped sermon available to the public
about the coming kingdom age of Jesus Christ. Check it out