Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Armor of God (Part 5)

Ephesians 6:14 "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place."

This installment of the Armor of God series begins the discussion of the actual parts of the armor. Keep in mind that when Paul wrote this that he was in jail and was around the Roman soldiers who were dresssed in their armor, and in turn he used this as an object lesson to his readers.

Truth is important; it is the foundation of the entirety of the armor. What is our truth? Jesus Christ of course. He is the Way, the TRUTH, and the life. In John 8:31-32 Jesus says this: "...if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." We read throughout the gospels where Jesus often says "I tell you the turth". With this foundational piece put on, we have the base of the armor set in place. Without this, the rest of the armor is no good. We NEED to know and believe the truth. We NEED Jesus Christ.

The following is what Matthew Henry's online commentary says about this verse: "Truth or sincerity is our [belt]. It was prophesied of Christ (Isa. 11:5) that righteousness should be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. That which Christ was girded with all Christians must be girded with. God desires truth, that is, sincerity, in the inward parts. This is the strength of our loins; and it [holds] on all other pieces of our armour, and therefore is first mentioned. Some understand it of the doctrine of the truths of the gospel."

The Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald (page 1952) says: "Certainly we must be faithful in holding the truth of God's word, but it is also necessary for the truth to hold us. We must apply it to our daily lives. As we test everything by the truth, we find strength and protection in the combat."

The next piece of the armour we encounter is the breatplate of righteousness. A soldier wore a breastplate to protect his vital organs, including his heart. Here is Matthew Henry's take on this piece of the armor: "Righteousness must be our breastplate. The breastplate secures the vitals, shelters the heart. The righteousness of Christ imputed to us in our breastplate against the arrows of divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ implanted in us is our breastplate to fortify the heart against the attacks which Satan makes against us. The apostle explains this in 1 Thessalonians 5:8. Putting on the breastplate of faith and love - Faith and love include all Christian graces; for by faith we are united to Christ and by love to our brethern."

The Believer's Bible Commentary states (pg. 1952), "Every believer is clothed with the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), but he must also manifest integrity and uprightness in his personal life...If our conscience is void of offense toward God and man, the devil has nothing to shoot at. DAvid put on the breastplate of righteousness in Psalm 7:3-5. The Lord Jesus wore it at all times (Isa. 59:17)."

Do you know and have the truth?


Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Thanks for sharing these messages, Shelley.


Anonymous said...

this is such a wonderful remeinder. God bless you. =)

Darlene said...

I like the way this was put, "Certainly we must be faithful in holding the truth of God's word, but it is also necessary for the truth to hold us. "

Kate said...

Hi Shelley,

I have a prayer request that I'd like you to visit...I updated my blog and it's on it. It's not about me, I'm fine, but I'm worried that my Mind to Heart Christian Toastmasters club might have to close because I'm leaving and other key people. I have a strong burden of prayer for it to continue.

Anyways, hope you had a great day! Got to see Beth P. today which was nice. (She was waiting for Tom because he wanted to eat cafeteria food (Ah!)).