Standing firm in our faith demands to suit up in the strength of our God. Whose voice do you turn to most frequently for guidance, help, or encouragement? Whose voice holds the most influence over what you think or perceive in this life?
Fewer and fewer Christians are turning to God’s voice for this purpose. There is a divergence in what we profess and what we practice. Fewer than 20% of professing Christians read the Word on a daily basis.
Standing Firm: Armor of God- The Belt of Truth
If you do not open the word of God you will not hear the voice of God. God doesn’t’ want to guilt us into reading His word daily. God wants us to want to read it and hear from Him.
BIG IDEA: Standing firm demands to live a Scripture-saturated life
We need to see that staying in God’s word is a matter of life or death. It is a matter of victory or defeat.
The Whole Armor of God: the belt of truth
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, The girdle was a belt that would allow a soldier to bring up his robe so that he could run and have a range of motion. Ephesians 6:10-14
We are called to put on the belt of truth. Some think this may be the objective truth of doctrine (the way we believe) and others think it refers to the way that we are to live. It is really both.
Truth refers to the whole message of the Bible brought to bear on our whole life. It’s not enough to just believe what’s true. It must take root and go from our heads to our hearts.
What we believe informs the way we behave. The word of God informs us. As the word of God informs our minds, we change the way we think and it informs the way we behave.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
We live in a heart-informed culture. Culture thinks it is really wrong to deprive ourselves of what our hearts want. Culture tells us if you’re not happy with your spouse, leave. If you no longer want to be a parent, leave. If you don’t like your job, leave.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
We will fall on our faces if we follow our hearts. It will destroy us every time. We need to build our faith on a lot less of the world and a whole lot more Bible.
Standing firm demands living a Scripture-saturated life
Timothy was the pastor at Ephesus, so this book that we are studying is where Timothy was the pastor. This church had issues and Paul sent Timothy in to put things in order. Paul instructs Timothy to root his life in God’s word.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Why is the Bible so critical to living an enduring Christian life? the belt of truth
The Bible is inspired by God. All Scripture is inspired by God. This is not just some book. It is one-of-a-kind. All Scripture is breathed out by God. All 66 books are inspired by God. Paul is pointing to the source of Scripture rather than the manner.
What do we believe about inspiration?
We believe in verbal inspiration in the very words of Scripture, not just ideas. God chose the words they used without violating the author’s personalities.
God was not looking over the authors’ shoulder and saying:
- Write something about love; yeah, that sounds good. Next, write something about prayer; yeah, that sounds good.
- We know that Peter was emotional and could be impulsive and we see his letters can be somewhat scattered.
- Paul is like a lawyer and builds his case.
- Luke was a doctor and writes in an orderly way and thinks clearly and is put together like a history.
We believe plenary inspiration, so we believe that the whole Bible is inspired by God: the belt of truth
The Bible is not just the red letters. We believe in inerrant inspiration. It was given by God and is 100% accurate.
when we open God’s word we are hearing God’s voice: the belt of truth
If we really believe that God wrote us this book, why would we not read it? Our eyes should be in this book at every opportunity and the Bible promotes our spiritual growth
The Bible is profitable in 4 ways: The belt of truth
- Reproof: Strong disapproval. The Bible tells us where we are wrong.
- Correction: This is a building word. It does not just tell us what to do but it tells us what to do, just like coaches correct athletes.
- Training in righteousness.
Spiritual growth is directly connected to time spent in God’s word
If we are weary and without hope, we must examine how much we are in the word of God. In Life Groups, we are working in the community through what God says to us.
The Bible prepares you for every good work. God wants you to have what you need to do what He’s called you to. The Bible is meant to equip you for all that He is calling you to do.
There’s nothing that God calls you to that His word won’t equip us for
We have to be careful that we don’t become like the Pharisees when it comes to the Bible. They were serious about Scripture and they still missed it.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me, you refuse to come to me that you may have life. John 5:39-40
In closing on STANDING FIRM: ARMOR OF GOD- THE BELT OF TRUTH
We can be sincere and serious about the Bible and totally miss the point and miss the message, and the Pharisees are an example of that. Reading the Bible will not save you or make Jesus love you more. We read the Bible because it points us to Jesus.
The belt of truth is we all need to commit to daily time in God’s word. Martin Luther called the Psalms the Bible in miniature. If we believe what God’s word says, then we will be in it daily.
Be sure to read more on the Armor of God Series
- Armor of God
- Armor of God and the Breastplate of Righteousness
- Armor of God and the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
- Armor of God and the Shield of Faith
- Armor of God and the Helmet of Salvation
- Armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit
- Armor of God and Living a Praying Life