The Belt of Truth
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, (Ephesians 6:14)
What is truth? (Highly recommended video: WHAT IS TRUTH - By Pastor Calvin Bergsma (Georgetown Christian Fellowship)
You and I were created to glorify God by being a lover of God. But a person can purpose to be a lover of God and on the Judgment Day, come to the sober and frightening awareness that their love for God will all have been in vain if that person also was not a lover of Truth! Satan has been diligent in trying to motivate people to love anything and everything ... believe anything and everything but the Truth God has given us in the New Testament Word (Holy Bible). Thus, disciples of Jesus Christ must come to realize they are in a lethal spiritual battle. A spiritual battle to hinder them from pouring out all their love and devotion to God, and to keep them from understanding the importance of doing so in accordance with Truth.
God tells us in Ephesians 6, starting with verse 11, “to put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Our mind is the battlefield where most of this spiritual war is fought. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 key insights to this spiritual battle:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, [which is given to us in the Word], bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ [which is obedience to the Word]. Because our mind is the primary area Satan intensifies his attacks, is it any wonder why God wants us to learn “how to take our thoughts captive that are not Christ-like? It is our protection!”
The First Piece of Armor is – God’s belt of TRUTH – (see Ephesians 6:14). It is NO COINCIDENCE God lists this as the FIRST weapon! This weapon has a crucially important two-fold application.
1): Firstly - Jesus Christ is the Word, (see John 1-1 & 14 and Revelation 19:13), as Jesus is also Truth personified. Everything Jesus speaks, or has ever spoken, or ever will speak, is the express and revealed Truth of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Once people get a grasp on the fact that Truth personified died for them on the cross, when He didn't have to, they will begin to appreciate in greater measure ALL of what it cost God to provide a way to have the judgment of sin [sin is rebellion against God] against you and I and every other person removed.
Secondly - The entire Old and New Testament is the written Word of Truth (see John 17:17). Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make [keep: emphasis mine] you free.” God's written Word is God's Truth, and if you believe the written Word rather than sin-tainted human reason, or what circumstances might seem to indicate, you are applying the Word of Truth.
God's Word is further divided into two different categories as well: 1): God's Logos Word, which is the written Word (Holy Scriptures). 2): God's Rhema Word, which is specific direction from God for specific situations. It is hearing directly from God to an individual God speaks to, from His Spirit to our spirit. (More about this is a different writing).
If you want to hear the voice of God speak to you, God's Word is His spoken voice in printed form. This is God's primary way of speaking to people.
If you want to see a form of God, God's Word is Jesus Christ in printed form. The Holy Bible is Jesus Christ in print.
The Devil's Strategies: Once the Holy Spirit brings you to the place where you are able to believe with your whole being that the Holy Bible is mankind's sole source for written Truth ... demonic spirits will then try to get you to believe things written in the Bible in a way that God never intended. Satan is ever diligent in trying to twist the correct intent, the correct understanding, and correct application ... of Holy Scriptures. Here is an excellent writing on this very topic that I would encourage every Christian to read: Twisting Holy Scriptures.
2) Anything hidden in a Christian's life that they would not want to be made known either to their family, their employer, their spouse and children, and especially in front of the local "church" assembly ... is an open door for Satan to "sift them like wheat." Saying it another way: Hidden sin opens a legal door in the life of a Christian to bring pain upon them that God never intends. Christians struggling with one or more sins is not rare, of course. But ... the longer one struggles with one or more sins, and tries to keep it hidden ... the more susceptible they become in allowing Satan to bring pain in their life that God does not delight in.
Scripture tells us in James 5:7: Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
When we continue to engage in one or more "secret sins" ... we are not resisting the devil to the fullest, and therefore we are opening up a legal door, inviting him to potentially "sift us like wheat" ... though thankfully God still controls what Satan is allowed to do in our lives. God has mercy and grace for each of us, because no two of us are at the same exact spiritual level in our relationship - growth - with God. God may allow you to engage in one or more "secret sins" for a much longer time than another person, but just tuck this away: The longer you keep silent about your secret sin(s) ... usually the greater the pain ... by the time God allows Satan gets done with you.
If you want to stay engaged in effective spiritual warfare, confess your areas of sin you are struggling with to people you can trust, precious believer in Christ. To not do so will invariably bring a lot of pain into your life that didn't have to be there! Then get serious with God and repent of that sin. God's definition of "repent" is to strive to forsake to never commit that sin again when temptation knocks. [Yet be patient with yourself if you blow it! God is far more patient with us than what many realize ... yet let NONE of us push His mercy and grace! Confession and repentance go hand in hand: confession and forsake through the help and unlimited power of Jesus Christ probably best describes the process.
"Secrets" is Satan's breeding ground, saints. Truth means "nothing hidden - NOTHING! Truth means HONESTY! If I have to keep my private life a "secret" ... I'm heading for BIG TROUBLE.
The Bible address what will happen to those who reject Bible Truth in times to come. Follow along with me as I quote from 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12 (NKJV):
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion [Allow Satan to deceive them], that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Anyone refusing to believe that Jesus Christ paid full penalty for their sins by dying on the cross and taking full punishment for their sins is not saved from the wrath that will be poured out on them on the judgment day. Believing it to be true qualifies a person to be saved from their sins - removing Gods wrath from them - on the Judgment Day, which then qualifies them for entrance into the glories of heaven for eternity. Refusing indefinitely to believe it is true what God accomplished for humanity by dying on the cross hardens that person's heart which then makes them extremely susceptible to believing Satan's lies of deception to the degree that those living at that time will believe the deceptive lies of the Anti-Christ (and his followers) and the False Prophet (and His followers) as though they are "truth" and do what they desire of them to do ... which then will qualify them for eternal damnation.
God is not only looking for people who will believe the Truth of His way to salvation (forgiveness of sins and being made righteous) -- He's looking for people who LOVE the Truth. People who have no love for the Truth have no appreciation for the Truth of what God accomplished for them on the cross by dying on the cross in their place and taking God the Father's wrath upon Himself as full payment for their sins. Furthermore, people who have no love for the Truth of God's Word will show no real zeal for obeying the rest of the Truth of God's Word.
Just as a reminder: As believers in Jesus Christ, we are not saved by obeying the Old Testament. But as true born again believers of the New Testament, as we mature in our relationship with Jesus Christ, we will be more empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the 10 moral commandments listed in the Old Testament. God wants us keeping the 10 moral commandments. Doing so glorifies Him, and it brings God's blessings to our lives when we do what He desires of us. Yet always remember, purposing to keep God's 10 moral commandments never has nor ever will SAVE us from our sins. Only BELIEVING what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross will motivate God to forgive all our past, present and future sins. Yet God will reward us for working diligently to obey his 10 moral commandments.
I'll say that a different way, so you fully understand the importance of it. You are NOT saved from your sins and assured entry into heaven by obeying the 10 moral commandments found in the Old Testament, nor any other commandments found in the Old Testament, for that matter. You are saved by trusting what the New Testament has to say about being saved. What does it say? That the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is what paid FULL PENALTY for your sins, and placing your trust in THAT truth is in the ONLY thing - the ONLY truth - that will save you or anybody else!
Here is another writing on Truth that you might benefit from reading: Exposing Demonic Deception
There is another component that needs to mix with Truth. That is Grace. Here are some valuable insights regarding Truth and Grace from Randy Alcorn:
What should the world see when it looks at us? Christ. But we've come up with hundreds of principles and thousands of rules attempting to be Christlike. It's too complicated to wrap our minds around. And Christ gets buried under lists, rules and formulas.
John 1:14 boils down for us what it means to be Christlike. It means to be full of only two things: Grace and Truth. Instead of a dozen, this gives us just two balls to juggle. It's succinct, a two-point checklist of Christ-likeness. Everything we do can and should be measured by the test of grace and truth.
Christ-likeness means living by grace and truth, extending both to others. Instead of the world's apathy and tolerance, we offer grace. Instead of the world's relativism and deception, we offer truth.
If we minimize grace the world sees no hope for salvation. If we minimize truth, the world sees no need for salvation. To show the world Jesus, we must offer full-robed, unabridged truth and grace, magnifying both, never downsizing or apologizing for either.
The grace question: Why did sinners want to be around Jesus, but don't want to be around us?
The truth question: Why did sinners crucify Jesus, but have no problem with us?
Truth without grace breeds a self-righteousness legalism that poisons the church and pushes the world away from Christ. Grace without truth breeds moral indifference and keeps people from seeing their need for Christ.
Truth is quick to post warning signs and guardrails. Yet it fails to empower people to drive safely, to avoid plunging off the cliff, and fails to help them when they crash. Grace is quick to post ambulances and paramedics at the bottom of the cliff. But without truth, it fails to post warning signs and build guardrails, and therefore encourages the very self-destruction it attempts to heal.
Grace without truth deceives people, and ceases to be grace. Truth without grace crushes people, and ceases to be truth.
Any attempt to "soften" the gospel by minimizing truth ultimately keeps the world from grace. Any attempt to "toughen" the gospel by minimizing grace keeps the world from the greatest truth—His redemptive work on man's behalf. Christ went to the cross, in the ultimate act of grace, because He would not ignore the truth of His holiness and our sin. Grace never ignores or violates truth—rather, it offers restitution and joy by satisfying Truth's demands. ("Go and sin no more.")
Like a binary star consisting of two suns that revolve around each other, truth and grace are equal and inseparable. Luther said the devil doesn't care which side of the horse we fall off of—as long as we don't stay in the saddle. A saddle has two stirrups. To stay in the saddle, the church needs to mount the horse with one foot solidly in the stirrup of truth, and the other solidly in the stirrup of grace.
Grace and truth make us live in such a way that there is no human explanation for our lives—in the absence of human explanation, people turn to God as the reason behind what they see. Our children, our neighbors, and we ourselves long for Jesus—we can offer Him only by offering His grace and truth.
Anyone desiring to have greater insights into Grace and Truth, we strongly recommend you obtain a copy of Randy Alcorn's book: The Grace And Truth Paradox.
To learn about the other weapons of our warfare, click on the ones below you are interested in knowing more about:
5) The Belt of truth
Back to main document: Why The Need For The Armor Of God?
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