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There are many people who wonder how the world got into the mess it is, but I think you can trace it all back to one place: the day we began to reject truth.
There was once a day when we divided ideas into two categories: true and false.
If something was true, it was true for all people, in all places, at all times.
If it was false the same conditions applied.
Any discussion or argument forced you to accept what’s true, and reject what’s false.
But slowly we’ve rejected the idea of truth.
Today people don’t talk so much about true and false—they talk about what works, or what’s true for you and what’s true for me, as if truth were a preference, like choosing your favorite kind of ice cream.
Doubt and uncertainty are virtues, and anybody who claims to possess truth is labeled intolerant or bigoted.
In the same sense, honest people were once people who, as a habit, told the truth; people who habitually didn’t tell the truth were recognized as liars.
But today you have CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who once said in an interview,” I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
In other words, truthful people are also habitual liars.
In the last half of the 20th century to the present there is a systematic assault on truth.
And for the most part it’s been successful.
That’s why you have Christians who don’t believe the Bible, why we no longer expect politicians to be honest, why people don’t believe abortion or divorce or homosexuality are wrong.
It’s wrong for me, but it may not be wrong for you.
This, in my humble opinion, is a big reason why our world is in such a mess.
And it’s not accidental.
The war with truth didn’t begin in the 20th century—it began in the heart of Satan.
John 8:44 …He …does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Deceit and lies are two of the devil’s most powerful weapons.
Most of our problems and defeats in our life have not been just because we’re weak or ignorant, but because we believe a lie instead of believing the truth, because we chose to lie instead of telling the truth.
It’s also the reason truth is one of the most important pieces of the armor of God.
Tonight we’re going to talk about this first line of defense we need to stand against the devil: the belt of truth, described in Ephesians 6:14a.
The apostle Paul sees his share of Roman soldiers.
Ever since the riot at the Temple, the Romans have kept him under heavy guard, more for his own safety than anything else.
As he writes these words to the church in Ephesus it seems natural he uses the image of a Roman soldier’s armor to teach us how to defend ourselves against spiritual attack.
He begins not with the sword or the shield or the breastplate, but with the belt—the belt of truth.
The belt is a very important piece of protection for at least 3 reasons.
The belt of truth holds everything together.
There’s a very important reason I wear my belt when I go out in public—it holds my pants up.
If I didn’t wear a belt things would get ugly very quickly.
My belt also keeps my shirt tucked in, so I keep the slob factor to a minimum.
And of course, I need my belt for this handy dandy phone clip.
My belt holds everything in place.
The Roman soldier’s belt was a six inch wide strip of leather that holds the breastplate in place and provides a sheath for the sword.
It holds everything together.
In much the same way, truth holds everything together for us in 2 basic ways:
• It holds together who you ought to be and who you are.
The word we use is integrity =
A person who wears the belt of truth is an honest person who doesn’t pretend to be one thing while he’s really another.
He not only doesn’t tell lies, he doesn’t live a lie.
She is not sinless, but blameless, consistent, faithful, and truthful.
• It holds your soul together with the truth of the Scriptures.
Wearing the belt of truth is not
just being honest, but knowing and believing the truth of the Word of God.
God’s Word is the standard by which all truth is measured.
Scripture tells us that knowing the truth means knowing Christ as the Source of truth, from which all other truth flows.
That doesn’t mean every truth is found in Scripture.
If you’re a student working on an algebra problem, you need a textbook to help you learn mathematical truth.
George MacDonald, “Truth is truth, whether it’s spoken by the lips of Jesus or Balaam’s donkey.”
There are a lot of donkeys in who speak the truth in spite of themselves, like a broken clock that tells the right time twice a day.
But anything which contradicts or disagrees with the truths of the Bible is not true; it’s false.
Apart from the truth of God’s Word, you cannot distinguish truth from falsehood.
If you don’t wear the belt of truth, the devil will make sure you get caught with your pants down.
If you don’t pursue a life of integrity, he’ll defeat you by exposing you.
He’ll expose your hypocrisy so people lose faith not only in you, but in God.
Look at the preachers and Christian celebrities who say one thing and do another, who end up a laughingstock to the world and a stumbling block to the weak.
He’ll expose your lies so nobody trusts you.
Lying always backfires, it always ends up making things worse, not better.
The devil is an expert not just in telling lies, but in using lies to do as much damage as possible.
How many marriages or friendships or churches have been destroyed by lies?
Put on the belt of truth and never take it off.
Pursue integrity, live what you preach, tell the truth, even when it’s inconvenient or painful.
This is how you stand against the devil.
A second reason we need this piece of spiritual armor is
The belt of truth strengthens your backbone.
If you’ve ever been around somebody that does a lot of heavy lifting, you’ve probably seen them wearing those wide stylish black belts.
They don’t have anything to do with karate—they strengthen the person’s back and prevent injuries.
A Roman soldier’s belt served much the same purpose.
It not only held everything together, it reinforced his backbone, helping him stand not only taller, but stronger against the attacks of his enemy.
The belt of truth gives you courage to stand against the attacks of the devil.
• Truth emboldens you with the courage of a clean conscience.
Liars are cowards.
They‘re always afraid of being found out, always afraid the truth will come back to haunt them, always afraid the truth will end up hurting them.
But when you wear the belt of truth, you’re bold because there is no chink in your armor, no fear of being found out.
You have a confidence that comes with integrity, that as long as you tell the truth and live the truth, you have nothing to fear.
• Truth emboldens you with the courage of certainty.
When you know the truth, you have
something to believe in, something that defeats your doubts, conquers your fear, something worth living for and dying for, something that stands the tests and trials of time, an anchor that helps you stand strong no matter how everything else crumbles around you.
When the Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn dared to defy the communist leaders of the USSR, he showed this kind of courage.
When he concluded his Nobel lecture on literature, he closed by quoting a Russian proverb: “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.”
Here is a man with the courage to know the truth, tell the truth and live the truth no matter.
The only truth we can be absolutely certain about is the truth of God’s Word.
This is courage born in the certainty of our faith in God and His Word, the courage that fills the heart of Moses standing before Pharaoh, the courage that fills the heart of David running toward Goliath, the courage that strengthens our Lord as prays in the Garden and hangs on the Cross.
Wearing the belt of truth means having a backbone!
If there is one thing upon earth that mankind loves and admires better than another, it is a brave man--a man who dares look the devil in the face and tell him he is the devil.--James
Some Christians are afraid of standing for the truth.
In the name of tolerance, they stay silent when they should speak up, sit down when they should stand up, back down when they should hold their ground.
The folks who know the truth aren't talking….
The ones who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up!”- Tom Waits
I know it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, but when the line in the sand is drawn, I think it’s better to fall on the side of courage than on the side of fear.
Knowing and living the truth, being certain of the truth of God’s Word, makes you bold as lion, brave enough to stand against the lies of the devil.
The belt of truth holds everything together, strengthens your backbone, and finally.
The belt of truth prepares you for action.
The Roman soldier didn’t wear pants—they wore kind of a leather skirt that hung a little
lower than their knees.
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