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 ***