Spiritual Warfare (Part II)

"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." (Eph 6:14–15)

In Ephesians 6:10 we are invited to "be strong in the Lord and the might of His power."  How are we to do that?  The text continues, "Put on the whole armor of God that you may take a stand against the schemes of the devil."  Ephesians continues to give us 6 pieces of armor that we are to "put on."  Qualities like truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation and the Word of God.  This week we will briefly look at truth, righteousness and the gospel.

When we are invited to "put on" the "belt of truth," the idea here is that our minds and hearts are directed by God's revelation, His word.  Instead of taking on the opinions of this world, the opinions of others or following our own hearts we look to what God says.  He is truth and every word that proceeds from God is truth. 

The problem today in our culture is that it no longer has a guide to what is truth.  As a result, we are a nation that has descended to 'relativism' where everyone does what is right in their own eyes.  Instead of unity, we now see tremendous conflict, because the assortment of political ideas and opinions about crucial social issues are no longer founded on God's revelation.  And so now we are descending as Proverbs warned us long ago, "without a vision or revelation a people perish." (Prov 29:18)

The second quality we are to put on is the breastplate of righteousness.  There are two ideas here.  First is the righteousness of Christ.  When we trust in Him, we no longer stand condemned in our sin, but Christ's work on the cross, His righteousness is now imputed to us on our behalf.  "There is no longer any condemnation for those of us in Christ Jesus."  (Rom 8:1)   A second idea about righteousness is the way we walk.  When we choose to walk according to God's commands we walk righteously.  Both Christ's righteousness and our walk become great protectors against the attacks of the devil.  

A final quality we will look at this week is the shoes of the gospel of peace.  Here the simple idea is that wherever our feet take us, we take the gospel with us that we may proclaim to others the salvation that is found in Christ alone.  When we do that we become as God intended, "salt and light" in a world that needs Jesus.  A key word in Ephesians 6:15 is "readiness."  This means that we are to prepare ourselves each day to share the love of Jesus as God provides to us divine appointments.  

Truth, righteousness and the gospel.  These are the qualities God is inviting us to "put on."  When we do that we indeed are strengthened in the Lord and the might of His power.  When we put on this armour, we are able to take a stand against the schemes of the devil, who as I Peter 5:8  describes, "roaming about like a roaring lion seeking to devour."