The Armor of the Truth

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11 [10-20]

What are you wearing today? David Downing once wrote in Eternity magazine [August, 1975] what he titled, “The Impeccably Dressed Christian” (Please compare this with what St Paul writes, beginning with verse 14, where he writes, “Stand therefore,…”):

Here we go again – what to wear today.  Choices, choices, choices.
Hmm.  There’s always the old suit of armor.  Too tacky though.  Looks so archaic, and besides, it makes people think I’m expecting a confrontation or something.
So what’ll it be?  Shirt and slacks, of course.
Now what?  Clothes make the man they tell me.  I’d better start with the tie of respectability.  Let’s everybody know I’ve got class and it will also cover up that loose button on my shirt.
I ought to wear my sportcoat of relevance today too – get some use out of it before the new styles come in.  Or have they already?  Well, I’ll keep on the lookout to see what everybody else is wearing.
Where are the shoes of silent witness?  Oh, here they are – freshly polished too.
I’ve got my wallet of financial security in my back pocket, so once I pick up my briefcase of praiseworthy projects I should be all set.
Just to be on the safe side, I’d better take my collapsible raincoat of faith.
There now.  A quick look in the mirror — Perfect! — and then “to the battle” as the saying goes.

What a contrast between “The Impeccably Dressed Christian” and the “Whole Armor of God” that St Paul describes!  What proves interesting concerns why Paul uses the words which he does and what the combination of those words tell us about this armor that Jesus has given us.

For instance, why is the belt associated with Truth?  Well, look at what the belt does: most obviously it keeps the clothes together and in the proper place.  Imagine what would happen if a soldier’s pants kept falling down during a battle!  So surprisingly, the belt can be as crucial a piece of equipment to a soldier as his weapons!

For the Christian’s spiritual battle, Truth is what holds him together.  Faith has to be based on Truth or else it is useless.  Truth, on the other hand, feeds faith with substance and hope.  And actually Truth is the most powerful weapon a Christian has, as Neil T. Anderson, in his book T-H-E Bondage Breaker (Harvest House Publishers, 1993, p 23) points out:

You don’t have to outshout [Satan] or outmuscle him to be free of his influence.  You just have to outtruth him.  Believe, declare, and act upon the truth of God’s Word and you will thwart Satan’s strategy.
This concept has had a dramatic effect on my counseling.  Previously when I exposed a demonic influence in the counseling situation it would turn into a power encounter.  Counselees would become catatonic, run out of the room, or become suddenly disoriented, and I would attempt to take authority over the demon….  This exchange often resulted in a great deal of trauma for the counselee.  Although progress was made, the episode would usually have to be repeated.
But I have learned from the Scriptures and my experience that truth is the liberating agent.  The power of Satan is in the lie, and the power of the believer is in knowing the truth.  We are to pursue truth, not power.
Furthermore, persons in bondage are not liberated by what I do as pastor/counselor, but what they do with my help.  It’s not what I believe that breaks bonds, it’s what they believe, confess, renounce, and forgive.

Do you see how everything hangs together in regard to the Truth?  And since the power is not in one’s ability to wrestle Satan to the ground, but rather is simply in holding to the Truth – then … why, anybody could do THAT!  The power does not lie in the how great a quantity of Truth you have, nor how complex is your system of belief.  It is simply taking the Truth and holding on to it, that Truth wraps itself around you, to hold everything in its proper place.

And since Satan’s only real weapon is the Lie, then you know what will be his primary target: he will aim for the Truth.  If he can snap its hold on you, then you will be busy trying to hold your spiritual pants up, or else getting tripped up by the spiritual things that have fallen out of their proper places.
This is a non-prescription product, which can easily penetrate. Among other benefits, it is a healthy alternative to ! It’s even proved to have anti-inflammatory properties. Prepared with a vasodilator or PDE-5 cheapest cialis in canada More Info inhibitor, Kamagra helps improving blood circulation in different organs in the body and ultimately raises chances of attaining healthy erections in the bed. They must also avoid the consumption of alcohol & Kamagra; it may outcome with side effects when taking levitra on line should seek immediate medical assistance.
You get to see Satan’s technique in his temptations of Jesus, where he uses snippets of the Bible to say just as much as he wants it to say.  That’s pretty effective, because, boy, that makes us clutch madly at the spiritual things which then seem to fall down around us.  That was the problem of the Pharisees in the Gospel [Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23], who clutched madly at their traditions, trying to shore them up in the face of the challenge of Jesus, because they had broken with the Truth which God had revealed throughout the Bible and in the worship practices of the temple.

For example, with various sacrifices, the priest was the only one allowed to offer the sacrifice for a believer, God was demonstrating that only through the agency of someone else could one be forgiven.  On the Day of Atonement, the one day each year that marked the profoundness of God’s forgiveness, one characteristic particularly stands out: this was the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” – in other words, if the Sabbath was a day of rest, then this day was to be the day of utmost rest.  You could not do anything even as basic as eating – you fasted.  The message was clear: humans could do nothing to bring about their proper standing before God.  All mankind could do was to watch as God’s solution was achieved for them by someone else.

And then, only through an innocent victim, like the Lamb, Who would die the death deserved by the believer, could one stand before God acceptable and forgiven.  The Truth is that without God providing all which is needed, you literally would not have a prayer.

This then brings us to the Breastplate of Righteousness.  This is not OUR righteousness — which is what Martin Luther discovered.  He had realized how vulnerable he was without this protection which must surround his life and his heart.  He tried to achieve it by doing all the proper things, spending hours in confession seeking to make himself right with God.  He hated the phrase, “the righteousness of God” in the Bible, because he saw this as the perfect standard against which he was judged and found terribly wanting – a breastplate of his own righteousness just could not cover him and be strong enough to withstand the guilt and failures which Satan was throwing at him.

Then one day, as he worked through the Psalms and through Romans 1-4, he discovered that this is not the righteousness against which he is compared, but what God GIVES him.  And suddenly we are back to the power of Truth again!  As the Pharisees demonstrated, Satan comes with a whole load of should’s and must’s and have-to’s and all the rest, all of which to cut down our life.  But since we are covered by God’s righteousness, these attacks merely bounce off to the side – because the Truth is that Jesus has fulfilled “ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS” for us already.

Instead of being overwhelmed by traditions, man-made spiritual laws, and all the rest, behind the protection of God’s righteousness, we find we are free – free from concentrating on ourselves, our lacks and weaknesses.  Instead, we can turn our full attention to the battle.  We are free now to focus on the Lord, we are released from preoccupation with ourselves so that we can care about others and fight to help protect them as well.

That’s why Paul continues with “the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.” Like the belt, this proves to be no minor item in our armor!  In the martial arts, feet become as powerful a weapon as a sword can be. It is the feet which give us the foundation from which to battle.  And in Isaiah 52:7 it is proclaimed, “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News” – who bring the Gospel.

Secure in the righteousness of God through Jesus – which is what the Gospel of Peace is all about [Ephesians 2:14-16] – we can now enter the battlefield, taking the battle into Satan’s territory rather than hiding behind defenses.  It is how the feet are planted that gives the rest of the body the power and mobility to swing the sword, thrusting and parrying.  That’s why the shoes are not simply “the Gospel of Peace”, but rather “the PREPARATION of the Gospel of Peace” – the more you have prepared yourself, through Bible study and so forth, the more firmly your feet are planted in the Truth, the more powerful will be your fight.

Being in such Truth, now Faith has power to shield against Satan’s efforts to create holes in your armor, his attempts to rob you of the confidence of the Breastplate of Righteousness, and from the little niggling Lies that sap your spiritual strength.  The Helmet of Salvation, which Isaiah 59:15-17 says is God’s just like the Breastplate is, so that here again, it is not armor that I must create for myself, but rather it is God’s Righteousness as I live it out in daily life.

That’s because “Salvation” is NOT merely some future event, but rather is a way of “living” which has been altered by the invasion of God into my life, a living relationship which won’t end when the world ends, but will continue onward forever.  On the basis of the Truth about what Jesus has done for us, this is “the hope that will not desert us,” erupting from a God Who will allow nothing to separate us from His love [Romans 8:35-39].

And then we come full circle, because we end up with the “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” – and we are back to Truth again.  That’s because “The Word of God” is not merely information about Him, but rather it is the Word made flesh, Jesus.   When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Truth takes the shape of a Person.  This is the Truth which is always with us, because Jesus said He would be with us always.  Truth is He Who comes to hang out with us, even if there are only two of us [Matthew 18:20; see Luke 24:13-35].  Truth is the One Who sits on the throne of grace and mercy, One Who understands our temptations, One Who is ready to help in the time of our need [Hebrews 4:16].

So as we consider this armor of God and how Truth is such a prominent item in its make-up, the realization comes how much then Jesus becomes the essential element throughout it all: HE is the Truth, HE is our righteousness, HE is our salvation, HE is the Gospel of Peace, HE is the Sword of the Spirit.  Come then to the Table of Jesus, as He offers Himself to you and realize how He Himself has come to personally give Himself to armor you and equip you for the battle with Satan which is all around us.

Leave a Reply