Lesson 3 Review: Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness

I failed to update our blog last week with our lesson from Nov 6th. It is the third lesson in our second series of the educational year entitled Build Up! which is an in-depth look at the Armor of God as discussed in Ephesians Chapter 6. Here is a copy of the lesson with the fill-ins for those of you who weren’t available to attend. In the next couple of days I will update the blog again with this weekend’s lesson review regarding having you feet fitted with readiness and holding strong to the shield of faith.

Here’s the review for our lesson on the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness:

Ephesians 6:14 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.”

Why is the belt important? Why is it first in the passage of the Armor of God?

During the times that the Bible was written, a soldier would put the belt on first. The belts then were likely wide and tough – like a girdle. The belt protected the softer parts of the lower body and in addition to protection it helped to hold other equipment in place such as the breastplate and the sword.

Truth is the “belt” in the Armor of God. What a belt did long ago, truth does for God’s soldiers. It protects parts that are vulnerable and keeps other God-given equipment in place.

With George Washington, _error_____ in __medical truths_____ were ultimately what lead to his _death__. Realize that in spiritual matters – if there is _error_____, it will lead to _eternal death_____. Good intentions to do what is right won’t be enough, there must be truth! ______Falsehood___ destroys but truth always _protects________ and ____strengthens________.

HOW IT PROTECTS?

Two Physical Parts the belt can protect are the __stomach______ and the __private______ ____parts____.

How can the belt of truth protect our stomachs?

Without the protection of truth our stomach is vulnerable to __gluttony_____ or to the sense that __material______  ____things___ are all that matter.

Philippians 3:19 “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

Jesus faithfully debunked Satan’s tricky ways as it may pertain to our appetites as well. During Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread after fasting for 40 days to which Jesus responded, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4) The Word that comes from God’s mouth (the Bible) is our TRUTH to live on!

How can the belt of truth protect our private parts?

Without the truth of God’s word as it pertains to his divine plan for _sexuality_______ we are vulnerable to fall into promiscuous and perverted desires. With the belt of biblical truth, we are not able to be warned about sexual sins such as adultery, ____homosexuality_____, fornication, incest, and other __sexual____  ___sins____. The truth in God’s word also shows the Godly design for the _union_ of husband and wife.

A COMMUNITY OF TRUTH

Being part of a church is crucial as Christians. The Bible mentions over and over the importance of Christ’s church and being a part of one. This is expected of us as Christians. However, there are many religious groups that claim that they have the truth. Having a biblical foundation from God’s word will help us discern religious groups that are based on the truth of God versus those who are founded on human principles – nice as they may sound – ultimately their error will be found out.

There are even churches and congregations that truly exalt Jesus and teach the truth of the Bible and are part of the great church that extends through all history. I Timothy talks about the church of the living God in Chapter 3:15 where it states:

“…you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

However, they don’t agree with every single point that you may. This is a great trick of Satan to get Bible-believing Christians to avoid entering a membership within a church or specific denomination. Satan may try to get one to believe that because you can’t agree on every point of the church you can’t “join” the church. A Christian writer from centuries ago named William Gurnall addressed this trick of the devil for believers when he wrote that one is “as foolish as the man who refused to eat his noon meal until all clocks in the city struck twelve at exactly the same time.” What’s the point? All clocks will likely never be all synched up together in perfect harmony and may run even seconds apart, but does that mean you skip a meal and go without getting fed because they aren’t all exactly right on. Something great to think about! Sure, many good churches may not agree exactly on all points but if they are sound on basic biblical truth and are Christ-honoring you will benefit from it.

The belt of truth will help to hold other equipment in place. This is true as it talks about the breastplate of righteousness as the breastplate attaches directly to the belt.

THE BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS

Ephesians 6:14 “…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…”

What does the breastplate protect?

The breastplate protects the __heart______ from Satan’s accusations that I am _unrighteous_____ and _unacceptable__ to God. The breastplate can repel every stab of _guilt____and __despair______.

What is “righteousness”?

Righteousness is having a __right___  __standing_____ with God by measuring up to God’s perfect character. The only human who did this was Jesus. The only way we can tap into God’s righteousness is by having Jesus’ perfection credited to us as a gift. We can’t make our own breastplate. But Jesus made a breastplate of HIS righteousness and gave it to us. Jesus’ perfection can count as ours.

IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS                                         vs                  IMPARTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jesus’s Perfection is credit to your account                  Righteousness poured into you by Jesus

Your sin = Jesus’ sin PAID IN FULL                                  Talk like, Act like, and Think like Jesus

Happens all at once – Salvation                                             Not at once but growing/developing

I am sinful, but God is Holy                                                     Development/Resemblance to Jesus

Justified by Faith – made into a new person                             Being Sanctified/Made Holy

***   Why know this? To ward off Satan’s attacks of pride and despair  ***

Army Rising Up

When you declared Jesus as your Savior, when you made a profession of faith and were baptized you clearly separated yourself from the fallen evil world. You became a soldier in God’s army! This week we can’t wait to start really getting into the Armor of God learning about the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. It’s about to get good!

When you have Jesus, you have power. You don’t have to be weighed down by the troubles in this world! But when you are going through trials keep your eyes fixed on Him and soon that trouble will be behind you. Time to shake it up and Build Up in the name of Jesus. Turn up your speakers and go there…Milwood! We ARE an army rising up for God’s work! Let’s do this!

Strategy Session: Know Your Enemy – Build Up! Lesson 2 Review

I believe we had even more people join us in Telos this week which made for an amazing session! Praise the Lord for working in our small group. It was our biggest attended session, yet! If you were unable to attend this week’s session of Build Up! here is a recap:

This week we held our own “Strategy Session” in preparing to put on our Armor we had to lay the ground work for it. Knowing our enemy is the best way to be prepared to fight him, right? Here’s a copy of the handout for those of you who may have missed class. Join us this Sunday as we begin breaking down the first two parts of the Armor of God: The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness.

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Strategy Session: Know Your Enemy

God’s main battle isn’t against flesh and blood – its again the evil one and his workers. God’s mission is to permanently defeat Satan and his demons. Here’s what it says about it in Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil.”

 Some things we know about Satan:

  • Satan is a former archangel
  • Satan is clever and powerful
  • Satan has been in the evil business for centuries
  • Satan has ruined and ruled in people’s lives for thousands of years
  • Satan is real and his demons are real
  • Satan is our enemy

Satan’s Biggest Scheme: Blinding the Truth of the Gospel

Satan will do everything within his power to blind people from the truth of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 4:4 says he “has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of   the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

 Satan also works overtime on Christians and the Church.

I Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

Ways That Satan Attacks the Church:

  • causes arguments and bitterness leading to divisions within the church (Anger/Bitterness)
  • arouses suspicions and makes us distrust (Paranoia/Confusion/Trust Issues)
  • robs us of joy and leads us to misery (Physical Sickness, Mental Health, Financial Issues)
  • seeks to disrupt fellowship and destroy a united witness
  • makes the church or the members of the church cranky – turning people away from inside the church and turning outside people away from coming to church (Hypocrites/Bad Witness)

 

Ways that Satan Attacks Christians:

  • The devil
  • The world
  • The flesh

Satan has demons that work for him. In fact, our real enemy is not humans but demons. When we can accept this, we can see people the way Jesus does. When a person does terrible things towards you, you may be tempted to hate them and want them to burn in hell. However, Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:27:

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”

This is an excellent way to outsmart the devil and please our Father. Satan is a tempter and a twister. It seems these days that’s exactly what he’s done to the world.

Current State of the World: What’s BAD is GOOD, What’s GOOD is BAD!

It seems these days that everything that was once bad is now seen as good and everything that was once deemed good is now viewed as bad.

Marriage – the definition of marriage has changed to include what’s viewed as an “abomination” to God

Abortion – legal protection for people to murder

Religious Freedom/Christian Principles – REMOVED. No prayer in schools. No Bible in schools.

Morality – at a steady decline with future generations

“Minor” items to note: spanking (discipline), sexual immorality (let’s “educate” our children on sex, sex trafficking), mental health/disabilities at an all-time high, addictions rising, financial institutions ruined/immoral, fatherless children, etc.

Sadly, we were born into sin because of the Fall of Man that happened in the beginning. Due to our separation, we are naturally born with sinful natures – this is our flesh. Let’s talk about sin as a group. Feel free to share ways we may be yielding to our flesh or ways God helped you overcome your fleshly desires.

 

PLAN OF ATTACK: THREE BATTLE STRATEGIES

  1. STUDY God’s LAWS/Word

~studying the Bible (God’s law) is one of the biggest strategies we have against the devil. It can give us inside information at the spiritual war that rages around us. It can lend to our knowledge on false teachings and work to encourage believers on Satan’s tactics.

  1. Don’t get STUCK in GUILT!

~Guilt is one of Satan’s biggest tricks and is a method of evil he uses for his benefit. Realize Jesus’ death paid for all the times we broke God’s law and realize there is a new spirit – God’s Holy Spirit – living within us as Christians (we bear Christ’s name!)

  1. Allow the Holy Spirit to Work!

~ The Holy Spirit lends to God’s laws. It encourages and empowers us to do right. The Holy Spirit is stronger than our flesh. Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit if the Spirit of God lives in you.”

One Week Without God Makes Satan Happy

I will be updating our last lesson in just a day or two but ran across this photo from the 700 club and just had to share it. This is an ideal reminder of what we reviewed in Telos this week learning about The 3 Ways Satan Attacks in our Build Up! series. This says it all. He sure can do a lot of damage to us if we aren’t on our guard and spending daily time with in fellowship with God. Wishing you a blessed week! Don’t forget to open your Bible this week and listen to what God may have in store for you.

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