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The Belt. Ephesians 6:14. Today, we are going to discuss the 1 st and most important piece of our armor— the Belt of Truth. F or many years the 2 nd best-selling book in the English language was John Bunyan's Pilgrim’s Progress (1600’s).

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the belt
The Belt

Ephesians 6:14

slide2

Today, we are going to discuss the 1st and most important piece of our armor—the Belt of Truth.

  • For many years the 2nd best-selling book in the English language was John Bunyan's Pilgrim’s Progress (1600’s).
  • The Bible is annually the best-selling book in the English language.
slide3

Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey all believers are on.

  • The main characteris a man namedChristian.
  • In thisjourney, Bunyan describes the supernatural, invisible conflict going around Christian.
slide4

At the climax,he writes, “Apollyonseeing his opportunity began to gather up close to Christian and wrestling with him gave him a terrible blow! Christian fell and his sword flew out of his hand. Apollyon then said, ‘I am sure to win now!’ But as Apollyon was preparing to deliver the final blow to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly reachedout his hand for his sword and he caught it and Christian said, ‘Rejoice not against me, O my enemy! When I fall, I shall rise’”(Micah 7:8).

slide5

“And with that Christian gave him a deadly thrust which made Apollyon fall back as one that has received a mortal wound. Christian perceiving this thrust again, said, ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us’” (Romans 8:37). “With thatApollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings and sped away so that Christian saw him no more.”

slide6

That is an incredible picture of the spiritual battle we are presently in.

  • The character Christian knew how to use his weapon.
  • And was effective in sending the enemy fleeing.

Given the same situation could you have done the same thing?

Do you know how to use your spiritual weapon—the Word of God?

slide7

The sad fact is that there are many believers who are standing on the battlefield undressed.

  • All the while a spiritual war is raging around them.
  • Also, there is nothing worstthan a fully dressed, fully armed soldier wandering around saying, “Where’s the battle? What do I do now?”
slide8

We have both problems in the Body of Christ:

  • Those who are unaware of the battle.
  • Those who are aware, but don’t know what to do because they’re confused.
  • We have the ignorant and the naive.
  • I’m not sure which is worse and who is more vulnerable to spiritual attack.
slide9

But, God has not left us naked and powerless before the enemy.

  • He has provided spiritual weapons which will enable us:
    • to counterattack and
    • to defeat the wicked schemes of the devil
slide10

Ephesians 6:10-11 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

  • 3 things we need to stand against the devil:
  • Be strong in the Lord
  • All the weaponry we’ve been given will be rendered useless unless we have the resolve to stand.
slide11

And in the power of His might . . .

  • This is a reference to the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • We need His infilling in order to be successful in our fight with the enemy to fill the earth the saving knowledge of Jesus.
  • This IS the devil’s biggest fear—our success!
  • Put on the full armor of God
  • We’re to put on the full armor, so we’ll have success in combating the wicked plans of the devil.
slide12

12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evilspirits in the heavenly places.

  • We’ve already learned that our battle is not with people but with the forces of darkness.
  • The context of this battle: we’re to take Jesus’ delegated authority to enforce His victory over the devil.
slide13

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth...(NKJV)

  • Notice it says, Stand therefore . . .

Stand = to stand upright

  • It’s an image of a Roman soldier standing erect, shoulders back and fully confident.
  • He’s proud he is a soldier.
slide14

When you’ve put on the armor of God, you have every reason to stand up straight and be confident.

  • You have no reason to fear, for God is with you.

If God be for you, then who can be against you?

  • You & God are a majority on any battlefield!

For God did not give you a spirit of fear but of love power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

slide15

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all (Psalm 34:19).

  • That doesn’t mean that forces of darkness will not try to intimidate or incite fear in you.
  • You can go places where just being there will cause your knees to knock because the darkness is so strong and destructive there.
slide16

Even so, it’s inferior power to what you possess.

  • We can’t afford to focus on the evil, but to focus on the provisions God has made for us.
  • Plus, our refusal to fear reminds the devil that he is already defeated.

Philippians 1:28 – Don't be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God Himself. (NLT)

slide17

Think about this: Heaven is filled with perfect confidence and peace.

  • This world is filled with fear and chaos.

We reflect the nature of the world we’re most aware of.

  • Living aware of God’s power in us, the weapons He has made available to us and to the authority we have been delegated is incalculable.
  • It sends terror in the heart of the enemy!
slide18

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (NKJV)

slide19

Paul reveals that we have 6 pieces battle armor to use in our fight.

    • Helmet of Salvation
    • Breastplate of Righteousness
    • Belt of Truth
    • Shoes of Peace
    • Sword of the Spirit
    • Shield of Faith
slide20

Why did Paul use this metaphor?

  • When Paul wrote this letter, he was in prison with a Roman soldier standing guard.
  • As he’s dictating this letter, he looks at the Roman soldier and the pieces of equipment he is wearing.
  • And, he thinks, “That’s a picture of how we ought to be equipped and armored as believers.”
slide21

The 1st piece of the armor he introduced to us is the Belt of Truth.

Don’t you think that is odd?

Why the belt first?

  • When describing a man’s clothing, you usually do not mention the belt.
  • Most of the time, we forget that it is even there.
  • It was the least attractive, least noticeable, and the most boring piece of armor a soldier wore.
slide22

Your belt is insignificant—until you take it off!

  • Your pants will fall to your knees.
  • You won’t be able to walk easily.
  • You will look like a mess.
  • Be vulnerable!
  • And, you will not be confident about yourself while trying to hold your pants up.
slide23

This is what the Belt of Truthdid for the Roman soldier.

  • It held every other piece of his armor together.
  • He may have all this shiny battle armor, but if he took his belt off, it would all fall to the ground.
  • Therefore, it was his most important piece of equipment; it held everything together.
  • That is why Paul said: Stand [confidently] therefore having put on the belt of truth.
slide24

What is the belt of truth?

  • It is the written Word of God.
  • It is the most important weapon youpossess.
  • You might be thinking that you thought that was what the sword of the Spirit is.
  • Yes, but this is the logos Word of God (written), but the Sword is the rhemaWord (spoken).
slide25

When you ignore the Word of God & don’t apply it to your life on a daily basis, you’re choosing to let your spiritual life to fall apart.

Why is my life such a mess?

Where did my peace go?

Where is the victory I used to experience?

  • If you don’t have the belt of truth tightened around your waist, you’ll not experience the benefits & the protection the other pieces of your armor provide.
slide26

The Belt of Truth is the one piece that is directly related to the effectiveness of the other pieces.

Shoes of Peace: Do you want peace in your life?

Colossians 3:15-16– Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you. (NASB)

  • Let’s reverse this: If you let the Word of Christ richly dwell in you, then the peace of God will rule in your heart.
slide27

Dwell = to take up residence

Richly = extreme extravagance, luxurious living

  • Put the 2 together, and he is saying to allow the Word of God to be so at home within you and give it the most extravagant welcome possible.
  • In other words, you need to daily give the Word of God priority in your life.
  • If you do, the peace of God will rule and reign in your life.
slide28

You need:

    • To read it
    • Study it
    • Meditate on it
    • Memorize it
  • Turn off the country music and start listening to the Bible on CD!
slide29

Shield of Faith

How does faith become a reality in your life?

Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV)

  • If you want to walk in faith, get the Word of God in your life.
  • Make it a priority.
  • Only then can you produce consistent, ongoing faith in your life.
slide30

Breastplate of Righteousness

  • Righteousnessrefers to our standing before God.
  • Even though we have all sinned and fallen short, Jesus died for us.
  • His righteousness became our righteousness.
  • We can now stand confidently in God’s presence because of what Jesus did for us.
slide31

If you neglect the Word, it is only a matter of time before you feel condemned in every area.

  • Although you’ve been declared righteous in God’s eyes, you feel very unworthy &wallow in self-pity.
  • But, as you give the Word priority, you begin to develop a holy confidence in your life.
  • The Word combats the feelings of unworthiness.
slide32

Helmet of Salvation

Salvation = sozo = deliverance, safety, soundness of mind, and healing.

How do you walk in God’s deliverance, safety, soundness of mind and healing on a daily basis?

  • Put on the helmet of salvation.

How then do you put on the helmet of salvation?

slide33

2 Timothy 3:15 – You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.(NLT)

  • As we fill our mind with the Word of God, the Word begins to build a measure of deliverance, safety, soundness of mind and healing in our lives.
  • The Scriptures then put a helmet on your head which guards your mind.
slide34

As you renew your mind on the Word of God, the power contained in the Word becomes a helmet.

  • That helmet protects your mind from doubt, fear and all the lying thoughts of the devil.
  • To believe a liar gives power to the liar.
  • Stop giving the liar power and start allowing the power of God’s Word to work in your life.
slide36

If you want sustained victory in this battle, you need to make the Word of God central in your life.

  • That is a common denominator I’ve found in all stable, victorious believers I have ever met.
  • But, if you decide to take your Belt of Truth off, you open yourself up to all kinds of attacks.
  • You have nothing to hold your spiritual life together.
  • Your battle is over before it even begins.
slide37

Conclusion

  • Captain John Parker, The Battle of Lexington (1775)
  • Led the Massachusetts Militia vs. 700 Redcoats

Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: The shot heard around the world.
  • This skirmish wasn’t successful for Capt. Parker, but it started a chain of events. . .
slide38

Stand your ground! Don’t allow the enemy to have one inch of your life! Take up your sword of the Word and use it wisely!

the belt1
The Belt

Ephesians 6:14