THE GIRDLE OF TRUTH
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness”-Ephesians 6:14
Last week we considered the Christian battle and the fact that every Christian will be engaged by the enemy. Thus, the Lord has provided His people with Holy armour sufficient for the evil day. This Ephesian letter is one of Paul’s prison epistles. As he looked upon his keeper, the Roman soldier, Paul considered the Christian soldier and attributed a spiritual connotation to each piece of the soldier’s armour.
The first piece of armour the apostle mentions is the girdle of truth. The order is significant, for this belt must be placed around the loins before any other piece could be put on. And so it is with the truth and its relevance in the Church and the lives of God’s people. If the Church is not interested in the truth, what is its purpose? The Church is placed in the world as the repository of God’s revealed truth…..”the pillar and ground of the truth”. If any truth is to be found in the world, it should be in God’s house, the place to suit up for battle. The Church is not the pillar and ground of entertainment; it is not the pillar and ground of social life; nor is it the pillar and ground of politics. The most important function of the Church is to preach truth, the word of God.
Genuine, reverential worship depends upon truth: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”( John 4:23-24). There is a holy “must” in the words of Jesus. If the worship is all about spirit with no truth, what is learned? How is the crucified Lord magnified? How can a heart be pricked? On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out in great measure. But the hearts were not pricked until Peter rose up and declared the scripture, what God was doing, what they had done and the condition of their hearts. Without truth, the Church is like a ship without a rudder, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Christian, where do you get your truth? Is it from television, movies, CNN, politics or the National Enquirer? It seems that every movie or television show today has some political point or Satanic lie intertwined within the plot. Is there any wonder there is so much confusion of face and depressed spirits, even in the prosperity in which we are found?
It is the truth that sets captives free from Satan’s traps and snares, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”( John 8:32). Jesus cast out the evil spirits by His word. Surly, that word was truth! The word of God, the truth of scripture, reveals sin. It tells us the truth about our own selves. Thus, the Christian can remove his shackles with the key of repentance from dead works to serve the living God!
The Lord uses the truth to further sanctify the Christian on his pilgrimage to the Celestial City: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”( John 17:17). Surely, the word of God, both written and preached, has a purifying effect upon the soul. It sanctifies, or sets Christians apart from the world and prepares them for a holy use. Thus, the psalmist would write, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”(Psalm 119:11).
What is your personal opinion of the truth? How high do your value the truth? What position does it occupy in your life? How does it govern your thinking and actions? Without this girdle, the sword can not be hung. The Christian puts the girdle on by believing the truth, trusting the truth, and living it out day by day!-Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor, Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Donaldson, AR.