The Armor of God, Part 1 (Ephesians 6:14-15)
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. —Ephesians 6:14-15
Once again, Paul tells us to stand. Having placed our full trust in God, we must now take up His armor, the heavenly provision for our effectiveness in the war against darkness. It is likely that Paul, imprisoned in Rome, had seen the soldiers put on their armor as they daily prepared to guard the prison. With this in mind, Paul was enabled by the Holy Spirit to give us a better understanding of the spiritual battle. The six pieces of spiritual armor are the Christian’s arsenal for complete victory.
The Belt of Truth
The first piece of the armor of God is the belt of truth. A belt around the waist is essential to hold clothing together and give a soldier freedom of movement. A belt can also add strengthening to core muscles. The picture we have is one of being wrapped in strength—the strength that comes from loving the truth of God’s Word and personally being truthful in our daily walk with Him. Kenneth Wuest describes this quality as “…this plain grace of openness, truthfulness, reality, the mind that will practice no deceits and attempt no disguises in our intercourse with God, is indeed vital to Christian safety and essential to the due operation of all the other qualities of character.” Let us not forget our enemy Satan is a liar and the father of lies—truth will bring to the Light his schemes and temptations that seek to trip us up, or cause us to stumble.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Next, God provides a breastplate of righteousness. Revelation 12:10 says that Satan accuses Christians day and night before God. He is constantly pointing out sins or unbelief in the Christian’s life. Satan wants us to doubt God and God’s Word. A favorite tactic is to tempt us to believe we are unforgivable and that we will have no remedy with God. He condemns us when we sin making our hearts sink in despair. But the Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin and in this there is always hope and a turning to Christ.
The breastplate of righteousness covers and protects the heart from disabling wounds. We must recognize we could never stand if all we had were our own righteousness. We belong to Christ and are clothed in His righteousness. Yet, the righteousness that is in view here is that which the believer puts into practice in his daily life. This is the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in us. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 tells us to “pursue righteousness….fight the good fight of faith.” As the believer grows more mature in Christ, yielding to the Spirit’s work in him, his heart will be protected and he will be able to resist the devil.
James 4:7 also helps us here: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Shoes of Readiness Given by the Gospel of Peace
Why do you wear shoes? That’s easy—to protect your feet and keep your steps from slipping. Shoes are necessary to stand firm and to keep standing firm. The Roman soldier had shoes embedded with nails so they would grip the ground to take his stand against the foe. Every advancing step we take in this spiritual war, our footing is planted firmly on the rock-solid promises of God. Reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus, we have peace—peace with God and prepared for the gospel mission.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Isaiah 52:7).
Personal integrity and truthfulness are necessary to stand in this fight. Are you open and truthful with God in your prayers—or are you trying to hide the truth in scripted prayers that sound good but never get to the real issues? God knows all things. Fasten on the belt of truth as you seek the Lord for forgiveness of your sin and encouragement in the fight of faith.
Are you pursuing the righteousness of God? God desires to work in you, and through you, His will and good pleasure. See Philippians 2:1-14; Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Timothy 6:11-16.
What are some ways you can prepare yourself to take the good news to the world?