“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness…” Ephesians 6:14
Friends, today marks the beginning of the final week in our study of the book of Ephesians. My heart is filled with emotion. I can’t begin to express the joy that is about to erupt out of my pours just knowing that many of you took a few steps closer to Jesus along the way. In just a few more days, we will be able to say that we have spent ten weeks pouring over each word that Paul penned to the church in Ephesus, and I pray we are more like Jesus because of it. I hope we will be able to shout in unison, “Every minute of reading was worth it. Every hour spent in study was a blessing. Every verse memorized was beneficial. Every word was life-giving, thirst-quenching, and soul-reviving.” I pray that you have had tender moments with our King. I trust that you have tasted His goodness and been marked by His presence. I believe that you will be forever changed because of this journey through God’s Word. Not a moment was wasted. Not a minute was in vain. There is a vast amount of unknown in this life, but one thing we can be certain of is this: Every moment spent in God’s Word will be a moment well spent. His Word never returns void!
If the Lord has used this study to awake even one sleeper, it was all worth it. If God’s Word came alive to even one, I would do it all again and again. To all of you who have made it this far: Thank you for the privilege it has been to lead you along this road and to teach you the priceless truths that the Lord has taught me. I am so grateful for you. I am so thankful for God’s Word. I am in awe of the One we are pursuing. You too? Praise God!
I hope we need no reminder that we are engaged in a battle – not a battle of flesh and blood, but a spiritual war that rages in the heavens, a battle for souls. This news should not frighten us, but rather motivate us. If we are in Christ, we stand on the winning side! The battle rages on, but we know the outcome. Jesus Christ is Lord, and He defeated sin and death once and for all on the cross. This life He has entrusted to each one of us is one that is also intended to be victorious. So, how are we to fight this battle? With our armor on.
Ephesians 6:14 begins with the command to “stand firm”, which is the third time this command is written since verse ten, signifying its importance. The pieces of spiritual armor that we will spend the remainder of this week studying are the very things that will be our defense again the devil, his demons, their works, and affects. Every time Satan tempts us to doubt God’s Word, to disobey His commands, to live in fear, to dwell in confusion, to cause division, to live hypocritically, to forsake godliness, or to oppose truth, the armor of God is our defense against him and his schemes. This is why it is so critical that we know God’s Word, spend time in it, and spend our lives living it.
The two pieces of armor that we will focus in on today are the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. It was common for soldiers in ancient times to wear a loose-fitting tunic in battle. Since their combat was primarily hand-to-hand, a loose-fitting garment would serve as a hindrance in the fight, getting in the way of the quick movements required of the soldier. Therefore, the soldier would gather up the loose ends of the garment and tie it together with the belt, thus removing any obstacle that would get in the way of a victorious fight on his part. When it comes to the spiritual battle that we are engaged in, the belt that will tie up all loose ends and ensure that every obstacle has been moved out of our way is truth. Truth exposes error. Truth illuminates falsehood and deception. Truth sets us free. The devoted Christ-follower will seek to remove every obstacle that would stand in their way from a victorious end. Truth is our guard.
Finally, we are instructed to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The soldier’s breastplate would cover their full torso, thus protecting the heart and other vital organs. Injury in this area would most often result in death. Spiritually speaking, as we walk in obedience to God’s Word and His ways, we become more like Christ. As we become more like Christ, we take on His attributes of righteousness and holiness. In Christ, we are covered in His righteousness and holiness. With these attributes of Christ resting on us as believers, they serve as a safeguard against the enemy. Christ’s righteousness is our spiritual breastplate. Without this covering, we remain vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
Friend, sojourner, pursuer of Christ:
Put on your belt of truth. Put on your breastplate of righteousness. Stand firm against the enemy. Be victorious in the fight!