“Buckle God’s Belt of Truth” Deepen Your Commitment to the Gospel
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.14.BeltOfTruth
Ephesians chapter 6. Welcome back, soldiers. You have been in spiritual battle all week. Have you stood your ground? How are you doing?
If the spiritual wounds from your warfare were to be somehow turned into physical wounds, would we need to call upon the army medical corps? “Man down, man down on the battlefield!”
Most Christians today are so unprepared, that they don’t even know that they have been wounded or taken prisoner. Christians generally are not standing firm against Satan’s schemes and he is gaining ground.
But what about you? Are you standing firm against Satan’s schemes? Your temptation at every moment is to let up in the intensity of the battle, to relax your grip on the sword or let down your shield.
So did you get back up and pray and repent? Did you reestablish communication with our Great Commander and continue the fight? Or are you still down?
Your spiritual growth and the spiritual lives of your family are at stake. What is it going to take for you, this coming week and every week, to stand firm against Satan’s schemes?
The answer is in Ephesians 6:10-14. Our text will be from verse 14 on buckling the best of truth… but beginning in verse 10 …
Ephesians 6:10–14 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, [or better, buckling the belt of truth….buckling the belt of truth ]…
We saw last time that for you to stand firm against Satan’s schemes is going to require first of all from verse 10 that you be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. What does that mean? We saw that from Ephesians 1 that to be strong in the Lord … To be strong in his strength means to have a strong understanding of God’s power that is available to us. To be strong in his strength means to have a strong understanding of God’s power that is available to us.
We must understand the power that is available to us.
ILL: If you were on the battlefield today and you had the AA12 Atchisson Automatic Assault Shotgun and you didn’t understand the way it operated, you’re toast.
In the same way, you must understand the power that’s available to us. The power that is available to us, as we saw, is resurrection power. The power that raises Jesus from the dead is the same power that causes us to be born again and to grow in Christ, and to resist Satan’s schemes.
And the way that we come to understand this power is how … ? Through prayer.
ILL: You’ve got to get in radio contact with your commander, if you will. Just like your commander could tell you how to operate the AA12, so also the Lord will empower you to understand resurrection power.
This is why Paul is praying in Ephesians 1 that we would come to understand what is the surpassing greatness of his power.
Did you pray this week? Did you pray and ask the Lord that he would grant to you more knowledge of his power? This is being strong in the Lord. Pray. Pray that you understand the power of Christ resurrection.
That was the first way to be strong in the Lord from last week: to pray that you understand the power of Christ’s resurrection.
The second way to be strong in the Lord we said was to put on God’s armor. Be strong in the Lord. How? Verse 11 by putting on the armor of God. By putting on God’s armor, we will be strong in the Lord….and verse 13 tells us as well that if we put on the armor of God then we will resist in the evil day and we will stand firm against Satan’s schemes.
We will be strong in the Lord if we pray to understand the power of Christ resurrection and if we put on the armor of God. That was all last time…
Now, this morning, we will talk more about that about putting on the armor, specifically, fone of those pieces of armor, the belt of truth. This is what we’re going to find out this morning: to stand firm against Satan’s schemes you must deepen your commitment to the truth of the gospel. To stand firm against Satan’s schemes you must deepen your commitment to the truth of the gospel.
Satan has his evil plans to harm you spiritually. You are called upon to stand firm against his evil plans. To stand firm you must deepen your commitment the truth of the gospel.
The battle is waging, the warfare is fierce, the enemy has you in his sights. Their bow with a flaming arrow is drawn, pointed right at you…is your army belt on? Your belt holds your weapons … did you neglect it?
Background: Military Belts Carry Equipment
You may not be used to wearing physical armor, but you have seen pictures and video of police in full riot gear … bullet-proof vests, boots, shields, helmets, and various weapons. And belts that carry a lot of that equipment.
And Paul is drawing upon the picture of a Roman soldier. The Roman soldier would wear a military belt that would hold his weapons firmly in place. It was made of leather and it had metal plates for decoration and reinforcement. At the front of this belt was an apron of leather straps decorated with metal discs.
For a Roman soldier then to be without his belt would mean this: that he would have no weapons. If a Roman soldier had no military belt, it would mean he would have no weapons. No belt meant no sword as well as no other equipment. In other words, this belt is the foundation of his army equipment.
No belt, no way of fighting in the battle. And Paul calls the belt for us not a belt of leather, but the belt of truth.
And so, just like a Roman soldier buckles his military belt, so also we are to buckle on the truth. Only if we do this, will we be able to carry our weapons into battle.
So, I’d like to preach that you “Buckle God’s Belt of Truth” … What does this mean? What we’re going to find out is that this means that we must Deepen Our Commitment to the Gospel.
Buckling the belt of truth is deepening our commitment to the gospel.
So, I’ve got three points this morning…
First, the truth is the gospel, and I’ll prove that to you. Second, we’ll see that this is Jesus’ truth; it’s His gospel. And finally, we will learn how to buckle this belt. This third point is where we’ll get into the applications and I’ll have 3 points of application in particular.
That’s where we’re headed. So, under the first point, we’re simply going to answer this question: what is the truth? What does Paul mean by the belt of truth. To buckle it on, we must know what we’re buckling on.
What is truth?
What is Truth?
Does the question sound familiar? Pilate asked this question. Pilate was examining Jesus and Jesus said, “my kingdom is not of this world.” And Pilate said, “so you are a king?” Pilate is trying to get Jesus to admit that he is rebelling against the king of Rome…which He is not, of course.
“So, you are a king?” Pilate asked. And Jesus answers, “you say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born… To testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice,” Jesus says.
And Pilate asks him, “What is truth?” But here’s the thing … Pilate would not stay around for the answer … But he went out again to the Jews and says, “I find no guilt in him.” Pilate didn’t stay around for the answer …
Will you stay … will you stay with me for the answer? The belt of truth… What does truth refer to? What are we to put on?
To answer that question we need to see how Paul uses truth in Ephesians. Remember, Paul is reminding us of things he’s already taught us about in Ephesians. So, Paul must be referring back to truth as he has talked about it in Ephesians. So let’s turn back to Ephesians 1 once again… Turn back there with me.
What we are trying to figure out is what does Paul mean by truth…. when he talks about the belt of truth?
Ephesians 1 and in verse 13…Ephesians 1:13 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, [comma] the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Can you see it here? The truth is what? … the gospel of your salvation. The truth is the gospel. Did you catch that? The comma helps us here….The truth…comma…the gospel … the truth, that is, the gospel … the truth … in other words, the gospel.
The message of the truth and the gospel of your salvation is the same thing here …
So after listening to the message of the truth and having believed you were sealed… Or, it’s the same way as saying … after listening to the gospel of your salvation … and having believed you were sealed. The truth is the gospel.
Now, let’s go over to chapter 4. Chapter 4… So we know so far that Paul is talking about the gospel when he’s talking about the truth. Let’s see if Paul uses truth like this again.
Let’s look at Ephesians 4 and read verse 20 to 24. These words talk about someone getting saved and the new path in life that he is on.
Ephesians 4:20–24 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as … here’s the word … truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you [laid, it’s past tense…it happened at salvation…at the moment of salvation, you laid] aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and [at salvation you were taught] that you [are being] renewed in the spirit of your mind [you knew getting saved set you on a new path…], 24 and [at salvation, you were taught that you] put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
At salvation, you were taught the truth…you were taught the truth when you got saved! How did you get saved? You were taught the gospel, and you received it!
And when you received it, you put on the new you. The new you was created in the truth…the truth that’s in Jesus, that’s the gospel.
In other words, when you got saved, you were born again… You put on the new self created in righteousness and holiness that comes from the truth.
The truth is the gospel. Verse 21, the truth is in Jesus and verse 24, you wouldn’t have put on the new you unless it had come from the truth …the truth is the gospel.
Now, what is the gospel? The gospel is God’s good news for us and it consists of 3 basic truths: First, He is God and man. Second, He paid our penalty for our sins on His cross. And, third, He was raised from the dead. His person, His cross, His resurrection.
He is the promised Messiah, the Christ…He is Jesus of Nazareth. He is the son of David as the prophets predicted. He is the son of Abraham as the prophets predicted. He is God, the very person of God in a human body with a human mind, totally man. 100% God and 100% man, and 100% person. Don’t lay up at night trying to figure that one out….!
His death paid the penalty, the entire penalty that I deserved and that you deserved for your sin. Jesus paid the entire penalty for your sins so that you might not have to pay for your sins. And to prove who He is and to prove that the penalty has been paid, He was raised from the dead on the third day.
TRANS: So, what is the belt of truth? What is the truth that we are to buckle on like a military belt? The truth, we found out from those passages in Ephesians, is the gospel. We’re to buckle on the gospel. Now, our second point is this: know that this is Jesus’ truth. This is His gospel that we are to buckle on.
This is God’s Truth
If you look again at chapter 6:14, you’ll notice that the phrase, having girded your loins with truth is in all capital letters. This is telling us this is a quotation from the Old Testament. Paul is drawing from the Old Testament.
And you might have a little letter or number next to that phrase. And if you find that same letter or number in the margin of your Bible for the 14th verse, you’ll find your cross references.
And you may have Isaiah 11:5 there in your margin. Paul is quoting Isaiah 11:5. You can make a note of that there and turn back in your Bible to Isaiah chapter 11.
Isaiah chapter 11 verse 5 … but we will begin back up in verse 1. And what were going to see here is that this is Jesus’ truth that we are buckling on. What we’re going to see is that Jesus has given to us His truth of the gospel and we are to buckle it on… We are to buckle his very truth around our waists.
Isaiah 11 let’s drop back up into verse 1…
Isaiah 11 verse 1…
Isaiah 11:1–5 1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse [Jesse was who … ? King David’s dad…A shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse…so who is this shoot? Keep reading … ], and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him [ahh… this is the Christ, the Messiah, this is Jesus!…ok, On the Messiah will rest], The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 And He will delight in the fear of the Lord, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; 4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And [… notes this … And] He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5 [verse 5…this is our verse …] Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.
Now, that word faithfulness can just as well be translated ‘truth.’ Look at it again …
“Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness [let’s translate that truth … Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins and truth] the belt about His waist.
Jesus has His belt of truth around His waist. But what is the context of this verse?
This passage is talking about when Jesus returns to set up his kingdom. You know this already … look at verse 6 …
Isaiah 11:6 6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.
When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom, He will come back in battle array. We know this from other passages, but we know this from this passage as well. I had you note the middle of verse four. It says that he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked … And here is his armor: righteousness and truth. That’s Jesus’ very armor when he returns in battle to set up his kingdom upon this earth. That’s the truth we’re to buckle on … the same belt that’s around Jesus’ waist.
And so Paul is using this verse to talk about truth. And here is what he’s telling us: Paul is saying, “Look, I want you to buckle on the truth. This truth is the gospel. And this gospel is the exact same gospel that Jesus will have on in warfare when He returns. Buckle on His belt of truth!”
Wow…Precious truth, the gospel…it’s indescribable. We must increase in our commitment to this gospel. Jesus, somehow himself has fastened around his waist, the truth of the gospel when He returns and I’m privileged to be called upon to increase in my commitment to it and to grow in my understanding of it.
ILL: Picture yourself flying alongside fighter pilot Canadian William George Barker in WWI. He would fly more than 900 combat hours in two and a half years.
In a battle against 15 or more enemy machines, Barker was wounded three times in the legs, then his left elbow was blown away, yet he managed to control his fighter plane and shoot down or drive down three more enemy aircraft. The dogfight took place immediately above the lines of the Canadian Corps. Severely wounded and bleeding profusely, Barker force landed inside Allied lines, his life being saved by other men on the field who transported him to a field dressing station. The fuselage of his aircraft was recovered from the battlefield and is preserved at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. How on earth he did that, I don’t know …
But Barker returned to Canada in May 1919 as the most decorated Canadian of the war, with the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Military Cross and two Bars, two Italian Silver Medals for Military Valour, and the French Cross of War. He holds the record for holding the “most fighting decorations” in the first world war. No other Canadian soldier, sailor or airman has surpassed this record, and the Canadian War Museum exhibit, located in Ottawa, Ontario, states: “Lieutenant Colonel William G. Barker, one of the legendary aces of the war, remains the most decorated Canadian in military service.” A plaque on his tomb in the mausoleum of Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery, officially unveiled on September 22, 2011, describes him as “The most decorated war hero in the history of Canada, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth of Nations.” In all, Barker received a total of 12 awards for valour.
Now, picture yourself as having flown with him…you’ve watched your comrades die together… And he comes to you and says “Here, please take my military belt…”
And then, let’s say, you let that collect dust off in some corner of your junk ridden house! How could you! What an atrocity! Now, let’s say Barker comes over to your house and notices what you’ve done with his belt … how would you feel? Ashamed!
No, if you lived through the horrors of the war and the most decorated man gave you his military belt, that would get a special place in your home and your heart. You would have it in some glass casing and maybe give it it’s own room.
APP: Now, notch that up an infinite degree. Jesus has given us His military belt to buckle on in our spiritual battles. When Jesus comes back, will he find you wearing his belt? When Jesus comes back, and he peers into your heart will he see that you have been fully committed to the truth of his gospel? You’ve received it … but are you absorbed with it, growing in your understanding of it, and living it out…?
This is how you resist in the evil day. This is how you stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Receive the gospel, be absorbed with it, grow in your understanding of it, and live it out.
If you don’t and you don’t consider his gospel and put it aside in your junk-ridden heart, you will be left vulnerable on the battlefield and you’ll be ashamed at his coming.
It is this that will sustain generations of Christians: treasuring the truth of the gospel. Christ gave it to me himself I shall buckle it around my waist and give my heart to it to grow and to resist Satan’s schemes. And I will faithfully pass it on to the next generation as if I’m giving them the treasure of my very soul. I’ll treasure it myself…my spouse and children will know I’m treasuring it by how I treat my Bible and how I’m faithful to teach it to them as well.
TRANS: So, thirdly and finally this morning, what does it mean exactly to buckle this belt of truth? It means what we’ve been saying this morning already … to believe the gospel, to be committed to it, and to live it out.
Are you committed to this?
Fasten on the truth means believe and live out the truth.
To fasten on and to buckle the belt of truth means to believe the gospel, be committed to it, and to live it out. And to do that, we’ve got to be delightfully thinking about it.
Remember, the Roman soldier would wear this military belt that would hold his weapons firmly in place. In other words, the belt is foundational. You must put on this belt to properly fight your spiritual battles.
The belt is the truth of the gospel and so the gospel is crucial for the believer in every aspect of the spiritual battle.
If the Roman soldier does not have his belt on in the battle, he cannot carry his sword or his other equipment. Just like that, if a Christian does not have the gospel firm around his waist or rather … deep in his heart, if a Christian does not have the gospel deep in his heart, his other equipment will not be as effective.
If the Christian does not have the gospel message deep in his heart, then his use of the other weapons will not be powerful in the fight… You might as well go home.
We must be committed to the gospel.
Are you committed to the gospel … the gospel that saves? First, have you trusted Jesus for salvation?
We have read this already morning. If you would believe, that is if you would but believe these facts of who He is and what He’s done for you and trust Jesus and repent… You would be saved from the eternal penalty of your sins, which is an eternity in hellfire, separate from God. So, trust Jesus!
Now, if you have trusted Jesus your responsibility to the gospel does not end. You must grow in your commitment to it.
Paul says elsewhere in Ephesians that we are not to be spiritual children, but we are to live out the truth and to grow up in all aspects in Him who is the head, even Christ.
He says that because of the great truths of the gospel and because of the gospel benefits I’ve given to you, now…live in a worthy way of your calling…live like one who has been saved from the power of your sin!
That means that if we really understand the gospel and it has become a part of our lives, we will live by it’s power and then and only then will we live righteously. And then we’ll be able to stand firm against Satan’s schemes and resist in the evil day.
Is living out the Bible’s plan for your life enough? If not,.. and you need more than that … then… Satan has you in his crosshairs. If you find yourself believing that you can’t be content with just food and covering … And you will never be happy with just basic life provisions, but yes, of course … you have Christ … You are stepping into Satan’s trap.
There are children who grow up in Christian homes and when it’s time for them to leave the home and make their own decisions, they simply follow the ways of what our world calls success.
And it seems prudent, it seems right, it seems good, and of course it does, or no one would do it. But in reality, the whole time, Satan is leading them along because they haven’t fastened on the belt of the truth of the gospel…they haven’t allowed the gospel to penetrate into their heart anymore than just the surface.
Either they aren’t saved or they are and they have some superficial understanding of it… They might be able to spit back some statement like Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead … But the depth of that understanding and the glories of the benefits has not been empowered by the Holy Spirit to change his life.
Is this you? Is this someone you love?
What do you do about it?
You must receive the gospel. And to live it out, you must be absorbed with it. You must be taken up with it in your heart.
And this is going to take a lot of work. If your children aren’t not glorying in the gospel…, take lots of time and effort to teach them. … Teach them how to pray, teach them how to read the Bible.
Are you really committed to the gospel when you haven’t taught those under your care? They don’t understand the benefits of the gospel… No, you’re not the Holy Spirit, but are we doing our part as those who disciple others to teach them Christ and to teach them alll of what He has commanded us to observe?
ILL: As a country, we have spent billions upon billions of dollars arming ourselves to fight against other countries. Rifles, pistols, machine guns, explosives, rockets, and missile systems, tanks, utility vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, artillery, laser technology, and countless other things.
We have police forces and security guards, fences,… What about Christians? Countries fight a temporal battle and spend billions of dollars, and hour upon hour of training to sustain temporal life.
But we also fight. We fight but we fight a battle that matters for eternity. And how much time or how much money or how much effort are you putting into training for spiritual warfare… It makes you wonder if Christians truly believe the gospel, doesn’t it?
Church attendance is down, personal Bible reading is down, family Bible time is down, attendance at Christian colleges is declining alarmingly fast, those who call themselves Christians are denying the fundamentals of the faith and are giving away ground to the enemy and so many other countless ways.
What’s the solution? The solution is fasten the belt of truth, buckle up! Deepen your commitment to the Gospel. How do you do that?
First, to buckle the truth on, spend time and effort praising God for his gospel. Spend time and effort praising God for his gospel. As you do that, the Holy Spirit can illuminate your heart to the glories of the gospel.
Second, pray for more understanding of the gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you understand the multidimensional love of Christ in the gospel. Pray for more understanding of the gospel
And third, study the gospel and it’s benefits in the Bible. This is exactly what we have done in this study of Ephesians. If you didn’t absorb the teaching of the gospel and the benefits of the gospel in the first three chapters of Ephesians, go back and study through it. But study the gospel and it’s benefits in the Bible
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.14.BeltOfTruth
Are you living in the reality that Satan is out to get you to be a traitor…he doesn’t want you fighting for God’s truth.
…do know what it is to meet someone who has become a traitor and are now on the world’s side of things?
The enemy can see, hear, smell and taste you and his weaponry is more sophisticated than the most cutting edge military technology…. And his traps and his sites are all set on you and your loved ones.
But he will quake if you seek to give yourself over to the gospel. Will you give your strength to the gospel? Deepen your commitment to the gospel by praising God for his gospel that saves your soul, praying for more understanding of the gospel, studying the gospel in the Bible. 584,may be new to us.