Armor of God (part 1 belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness)
Sep 7, 2015 // By:Dave // No Comment
I have read and prayed over the Eph 6 passages referring to the Armor of the Lord for as long as I have been a believer. I have also met many fellow believers who get up each morning and physically or mentally go through the “motions” of putting on each item in this list as part of their “get ready for the day” routine. I have no problem with this, and I am sure that it helps get the brain going, in an emotional sense and an extra “umph” to face the day. I do believe, however, that there is more value to this list than the source of an emotional booster shot for the day. God’s Word is usually quite practical for daily life and I see no reason to exclude these passages. In studying them, I came to see that they are not just things to visualize as being worn to protect the front of the wearer, they ARE actually descriptions of ways to walk and talk, i.e. a “rubber meets the road” faithwalk being layed out for the reader to understand how our faith and conduct affects, protects and preserves us in our daily battles against the three enemies we face : our flesh, the world and the demonic forces.
let’s start off, shall we…
Paul is under Roman arrest, being escorted by a unit of soldiers (most think 4-6) to Rome to stand before Caesar, proclaim the gospel (and likely face his death). As he is being taken to Rome, he is a prisoner, and certainly being treated as a prisoner, and a troublemaking prisoner at that. As he is writing yet another letter to one of the churches he founded, he is led by God to look at one of the soldiers before him; armored up, trained and ready to face anything, confident in his purpose and obedient to death. He ends his letter to the church in Ephesus with a metaphor allowing him to compare the christian walk to how and why this soldier wears his armor.
He starts with the Belt of truth …
Belt of Truth
loins/waist (depending on the translation being referred to) represent the center of our mass and balance, the seat of our strength. (lower back and front abdominal muscles to match). It is the center point for all our movement and turning.
Deu 33:11 describes a lethal blow through loins to immediately remove an enemy from usefulness in a battle.
11 Bless, Jehovah, his substance, And accept the work of his hands: Smite through the loins of them that rise up against him, And of them that hate him, that they rise not again. ASV
1. girded (reinforced) for extra strength and to avoid inury.
2. belt also used to hold up clothing in case of running to avoid entanglement (and we are reminded of the practical need to avoid entanglement in daily battle in
- 2Tim. 2:4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
- 2Pet. 2:20 For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
3. armor strong enough to resist a fast pointed thrust (not some slow slashing blow but a fast pointed thrust (such as a well designed lie)
4. center of our movement (if you want to detect the intended movement of an opponent, such as in football or soccer or even wrestling, do not watch eyes or shoulders … watch his hips for they turn and twist to create the balance needed for any movement in the required direction of attack)
5. also worth pointing out that this belt was an anchor, a fastening point for other items of armor. The breastplate attached at bottom to prevent it being lifted up to protect lower vitals organs and to block an upward stab to protect heart and lungs. It is also the only place where the Sword of the Spirit hangs from, ready for use. (and what good is a sword when you have no centered balance ?)
paul starts here, at the girding of the loins, because this is where our battle starts, the application of God’s truth and it’s protection, to the center of our movement and balance.
Truth, in this passage, is the word alathea
a = negative i.e. “un”
lathea = hidden
“a” also has definite artical “ ‘ ” sound meaning = “the” (singular, only)
meaning the unhidden, unveiled, the revealed.
what is revealed ?
Luke 10: 19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
Luke 10:21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Luke 10:23 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,
Luke 10:8 “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
The unveiling of God’s kingdom (ability to see and participate in, to share it) is the truth that gives us balance and strength.
The Kingdom of Heaven is our balance, movement and protection for that balance and ability to move.
(Luke 10: 19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.)
It (the Kingdom of Heaven) is the perspective, the motivation, even the empowerment of all we do here in this mission field called Earth.
Heb 13:14 reminds us that this world is not our home.
Matt 6:21 reminds us that where our treasure is, there also is our heart (since whatever we hold most valuable will guide our desires, motives, decisions, and thoughts and actions)
In short, what is your “truth”? If it is storing up treasures where moth and rust shall soon consume all you have labored for, you can have that treasure … If, on the other hand, your treasure is the Kingdom of Heaven, you can have that treasure too , but not both. A worldly belt will not and cannot hold the armor of God together, and provides no place upon which to hang a sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God). 2 Cor 10:4 stands as a firm reminder that worldly weapons and tactics do not mix with the weapons we have been supplied by the Kingdom of Heaven.
the Breastplate of Righteousness
I am well aware of the understanding and application here for God’s righteousness as a covering for our upper vital organs and that it reminds the believer that no matter what type of accusation may be leveled against them in battle of life, they can stand righteous before the Father (covered in the blood shed on the cross), entrusted our fate to imputed righteousness (as outlined in any good section on soteriology), It may also remind us that we are to conduct ourselves as righteously as possible in our daily walk so that there are less things to be blamed for, and less things in our own conscience for the enemy to lay claim against us and use feelings of guilt to slow us down.
I would like to explore another facet of this breastplate that (I believe) God has placed in my heart having to do with the working of the Spirit of God within the life of the believer. This is something that came back to mind when my pastor quoted A.W. Tozer’s statement from the 1950’s saying “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.“
it covers the heart …
– seat of affections, emotions and conscience in The O.T.
Pvbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flows the wellspring of life.
– organ pumping oxygen filled blood throughout the body
(air we breath, sent to our body for energy)
it covers the lungs …
– breathing vital air (pumped thoughout our body, just as the pneuma of God, Theopneustos, in our selves must not be quenched by unrighteousness)
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
(quench = snuff out ie. choke off, smother out)
Eph 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
1. The inspiration, or breathing in of God’s Spirit, filling of His Spirit. Hearing from the Spirit and being ministered to and refreshed by His Spirit.
2. The expiration, or breathing out of God’s Spirit. Prayer, and speaking His rhema and logos to others.
This breathing in and out of God’s very life force, the same that brought the first Adam to life from dry red clay, the same that brought the second Adam, Christ our Lord, into resurrected life, need to be covered by the breastplate of God’s own righteousness; for covered by our own righteousness (filthy rags before the Lord, Isaiah 64:6) we would quickly be struck through the lungs to stop all inspiration of God’s favor, and all expiration of desire, thankfulness, or praise. Our ability to understand scripture and to pass that understanding on to the body. The believer needs to breath the Spirit of God like a soldier needs to breath air.
our breastplate must be of God’s imputed righteousness so that we can protect our affections and conscience and be filled with the Spirit at all times.
The belt of truth, is a wrapping of God’s kingdom and kingdom authority around the center of our balance and movement.
We then also have a breastplate of Christ’s right standing with the Father to protect our heart and lungs, our feelings and affections, our thought processes. It also protects our ability to breath in and out the very Spirit of God that rose Christ from the dead and promises to quicken us, to hear God, to be comforted by Him, to be empowered and energized, to understand the kingdom ways (such as referred to in 2 Cor 10:3-5) and to fellowship with God and each other ( our very ability to receive and give away the kingdom of Heaven here on earth).
next week, shoes of peace … 🙂
in His service, Dave Cadieux
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