ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
EPHESIANS 6:10-18 BY WAYNE
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 1
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 2
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 3
Ephesians 6:15,16 Spiritual
Warfare, Pt 4
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 5
Ephesians 6:12,13 Spiritual
Warfare, Pt 6
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 7
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON THE
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
RESISTING THE ROARING LION
Exposition of 1Peter 5:8
Exposition of 1Peter 5:9
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
THE BATTLE IN OUR MIND
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Exposition
Cyberhymnal Hymns on Topic of
2 Chronicles 20:1-25 Ambushing Satan with Song
- John Piper
THE METAPHOR OF THE CHRISTIAN
Exposition of 2 Timothy 2:3-4
Three Kinds of Soldiers - Ten Principles of
Roman Soldier by Edward Gibbon
(Decline & Fall of Roman Empire)
The Roman Soldier - Description
from Jewish Historian Josephus
A Few Soldier Stories and Sermons
THE AMALEKITES: A PICTURE OF
PERSISTENT SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Nissi: Exposition of Exodus 17:8-16
THEREFORE, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH: stete (2PAAM) oun
perizosamenoi (AMPMPN) ten osphun humon en aletheia:
5:9; Isaiah 11:5; Luke 12:35; 2Corinthians 6:7; 1Peter 1:13)
therefore - this is the third time Paul calls on believers to stand
firm (see notes
thus emphasizing the need for immovable steadfastness in the face of a
relentless, ruthless foe.
(histemi) means literally to support oneself on the feet in an
erect position. It means to take up or maintain a specified position or
posture. In context it conveys the idea of
digging in (the Roman sandals had spikes for this purpose).
From a practical
standpoint one stands firm by living the obedient,
Scripture–dominated, Spirit–empowered life - the Spirit in such a state
is not quenched or grieved and strengthens the obedient believer to
stand firm. The greatest
weapon we have in warfare is not what we say to the devil but how we
live the ''Christ life''. Obey, surrender, submit for this is your
greatest weapon. It's not binding but it's bowing, saying ''yes'' to
Jesus and committing to do His Word...at the moment He says it...then at
that moment you become a fortress against the devil.
Again Paul like a
military general barks out a command to the troops of saints to stand
conveys a sense of urgency. Do it now! Don't delay! The
means that we must make
the choice to stand firm. God gives us the want to and the enablement
but He won't force us to choose to stand.
We must live in
light of the fact that just as much as "God loves you and has a
wonderful plan for your life," so it is true that "Satan hates you and
has a terrible plan for your life" - we do have an enemy who wishes us
nothing but evil
Using the metaphor
of a battle, in the military sense to stand firm meant to hold a
watch post or to stand and hold a critical position on a battlefield
while under attack! The intent of Paul's exhortation is not unlike that
of our Lord to the embattled church at Thyatira, whom He commanded,
“hold fast (aorist imperative)
until I come” (Re 2:25-note). The believer needs to be
strengthened in the inner man, letting our mind be affected by the
truth, and letting the Spirit of Christ motivate us (Ezekiel 36:27, Php
and live His life through you. Stand firm by being in His word, obeying
His word, repenting quickly and returning to your first Love. If you are
disobedient you are deceived and a deceived person doesn't
even know it! Furthermore when you are deceived you are primed for
defeat! That is how good the Deceiver is. Remember his territory is the
darkness, this present evil world system, and even though believers have been
transferred out of darkness and into God's marvelous light, we can still
choose to place ourselves under his domain of darkness when we willingly disobey
(oun) introduces a logical result or inference from what
precedes. The items of armor appear in the order in which a soldier
would put them on and together make up the full armor (panoplia) every
soldier had put on before taking the field in mortal combat.
Greek Testament comments that...
First in the list of these articles
of equipment is mentioned the girdle. Appropriately so; for the soldier
might be furnished with every other part of his equipment, and yet,
wanting the girdle, would be neither fully accoutered nor securely
armed. His belt was no mere adornment of the soldier, but an essential
part of his equipment. Passing round the loins and by the end of the
breastplate (in later times supporting the sword), it was of especial
use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the proper
soldierly attitude and freedom of movement.” (Nicoll, W Robertson,
Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print. Search
from perí = about or around + zonnumi = gird, gird around
especially with a belt) means to gird all around as preparation for work
or activity. Figuratively,
perizonnumi speaks of readiness for activity while ungirding
derives from the custom of shortening the long flowing garments of
Orientals which were pulled up and knotted at the waist for freedom of
movement. The idea is to tuck up one’s long garment by pulling it
through a belt. From the belt hung the scabbard in which the
soldier's sword was sheathed. The belt tied tightly around the waist
indicated that a soldier was ready for combat. Conversely, to slacken
the belt equated with the soldier going off duty, something that is
never to be in a Christian soldier. We are always on duty, for our foe
middle voice perizonnumi means
you yourself have to fasten on the
belt, wrapping yourself around. No one can accomplish this girding
The soldier might be furnished with
every other part of his equipment, and yet, wanting the girdle, would
neither be fully accoutered nor securely armed. His belt...was no mere
adornment of the soldier, but an essential part of his equipment...it
was of especial use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the
proper soldierly attitude and freedom of movement.
summarizes the uses of perizonnumi writing that it means...
to gird around or about, is
(a) literally, of girding
oneself for service, Luke 12:37; 17:8; for rapidity of movement, Acts
(b) figuratively, of the
condition for service on the part of the followers of Christ, Luke
12:35; Eph. 6:14;
(c) emblematically, of
Christ’s Priesthood, Rev. 1:13, indicative of majesty of attitude and
action, the Middle Voice suggesting the particular interest taken by
Christ in girding Himself thus; so of the action of the angels mentioned
in 15:6. (Vine,
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
There are 31 uses
of perizonnumi in the
(Exod. 12:11; Jdg.
3:16; 1 Sam. 2:4, 18; 2 Sam. 3:31; 20:8; 21:16; 1 Ki. 20:32; 2 Ki. 1:8;
3:21; 1 Chr. 15:27; Ps. 18:32, 39; 30:11; 45:3; 65:6, 12; 93:1; 109:19;
Isa. 3:24; 15:3; 32:11; Jer. 1:17; 4:8; 6:26; 49:3; Lam. 2:10; Ezek.
7:18; 44:18; Dan. 10:5; Joel 1:8, 13) Here are some representative
Exodus 12:11 'Now you shall
eat it in this manner: with your loins girded (LXX
= perizonnumi), your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your
hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is the LORD's Passover.
Psalm 18:32 The God who
girds me with strength, And makes my way blameless?..39 For Thou
hast girded me with strength for battle; Thou hast subdued under
me those who rose up against me.
Psalm 30:11 Thou hast turned
for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast loosed my sackcloth and
girded me with gladness;
Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigns, He
is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself
with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be
Jeremiah 1:17 "Now, gird
up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do
not be dismayed before them, lest I dismay you before them.
Lamentations 2:10 The elders
of the daughter of Zion Sit on the ground, they are silent. They have
thrown dust on their heads; They have girded themselves with
sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem Have bowed their heads to the ground
There are 7 uses
of perizonnumi in the NASB...
Luke 12:35 "Be dressed
in readiness, and keep your lamps alight.
Luke 12:37 "Blessed are those
slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes; truly I
say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have
them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. (Comment:
As a servant girding up his loose garments to wait on the table.)
Luke 17:8 "But will he not say
to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe
yourself and serve me until I have eaten and drunk; and afterward
you will eat and drink'?
Eph 6:14 Stand firm therefore,
HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
Rev 1:13 and in the middle of
the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the
feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.
Rev 15:6 and the seven angels
who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen,
clean and bright, and girded around their breasts with golden girdles.
Roman Soldier's Belt (click
figure to enlarge) or cingulum militare (soldier's belt) was
not the most
piece of the armor but was
a soldier's badge of office, worn with the tunic at all times and formed
the central piece of his armor holding all the rest
securely in place. The belt was broad and composed of sturdy leather.
From it hung an overlapping skirt of leather straps almost like an
apron on which were decorative rivets. Also from the belt hung
specialized hooks and holders on which to secure the scabbard that
contained the dagger ("pugio"), the quiver which held lances, and
an apparatus on which to rest the large battle shield. Also, on the belt
were clips with which to hold the breastplate in its proper place.
Supplies of bread, oil and water were also on the belt.
Roman soldiers wore
at least one of 3 belts or girdles:
breech-like leather apron worn to protect the lower abdomen;
(2) the sword-belt which was buckled
on together with the sword as the decisive step in the process of
preparing one's self for battle
(3) the special belt or sash designating an
officer or high official
Ray Stedman writes that...
The officers in the Roman army wore
short skirts very much like Scottish kilts. Over them they wore a cloak
or tunic that was secured at the waist with a belt. When they were about
to enter battle, they would tuck the tunic up under the belt so as to
leave their legs free and unimpeded for the fight. Belting one's waist
(or, as many older translations put it, "girding the loins") was always
a symbol of readiness to fight. That is why Paul mentions this item of
armor first. You cannot do battle until you have surrounded yourself
with the belt of truth.
What does this mean in practical, everyday terms? Simply this: When you
are threatened by discouragement, depression, spiritual apathy and
coldness, and similar moods, you fight back by remembering that you
first became a Christian by surrounding yourself with truth. You remind
yourself that in coming to Jesus Christ you found the truth behind all
things, you found the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the
secret of the universe, the final reality! (Ray
Stedman. Spiritual Warfare
- Available online and highly recommended!)
or "hip" (as used in classic
Greek according to the TDNT)
refers literally to the general area
of the body between the ribs and the thighs, the midsection between the
upper and lower body that includes the hips, the small of the back, the
waist, and the reproductive organs.
Osphus refers to the lower region of the back, which is the region of
the 5 lower vertebrae of lumbar region, the part of body where the
girdle was worn. It is the region of the hips as opposed to shoulders
Jews considered osphus as the
place of the reproductive organs and so we find the phrases ''to go
forth from someone's loins'' equated with ''to be descendant''. Finally,
In the NT girded loins signified that a man was ready for service
or heavy battle. Osphus was used figuratively to describe a state
of alertness or readiness.
Girding the loins was a symbolic
way of saying that one was standing firm or exercising self-control. The
picture derived from the fact that Orientals would often tuck their long
flowing robes in their belt around their loins , with a view to
greater mobility for work, for travel, for battle etc. Thus girded one
would thus be enabled to move unimpeded and be less likely to be
hindered or tripped.
The expression “to
gird up one’s loins” means to belt the garment which is worn ungirdled
in the house or in times of relaxation, with a view to greater mobility
for work, for travel, for battle etc
The Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament notes that in the
Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) osphus...
"is a common figure of speech for
“power,” Deut 33:11 ("LORD...shatter the
loins of those who rise up against" Israel); Daniel 5:6 ("Then the king's face grew
pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went
slack, and his knees began knocking together")
One of the most famous illustrations of
this custom is found in Exodus where Moses records God's instructions to
Israel on the night of the Passover...
"Now you shall eat it in this manner:
with your loins (LXX
girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you
shall eat it in haste-- it is the LORD'S Passover." (Exodus 12:11)
In a description of the Messiah's
readiness for conflict (which Paul quotes in his exhortation to the
Christian "soldier" in Ephesians 6:14),
Isaiah records that righteousness and faithfulness are His preparation,
"righteousness will be the belt about
His loins (LXX
= osphus), and
faithfulness the belt about His waist." (Isaiah 11:5) (Here is the LXX
translation - And he
shall have his loins girt with righteousness, and his sides
clothed with truth.)
In Ephesians 6:14 believers are
to gird their loins with God's truth including His manifold promises
which reminds one of C H Spurgeon's comment regarding the physical (and
spiritual) warfare Joshua was about to encounter in the promised land.
Spurgeon quipped that Joshua...
"was not to use (God's) promise as a
couch upon which his indolence might luxuriate, but as a girdle
wherewith to gird up his loins for future activity”
Or as Warren
promises are prods, not pillows!"
also writes that...
"The loins are the place of
action, mobility, and direction. A soldier with a broken hip
would not be
worth very much! Unless we are motivated and directed by truth, we will
be defeated by the enemy. If we permit any deception to enter our lives,
we have weakened our position and cannot fight the battle victoriously."
Strategy of Satan: How to Detect and Defeat Him. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale
Vincent has the following note on osphus writing that...
The loins (osphus) encircled
by the girdle form the central point of the physical system. Hence, in
Scripture, the loins are described as the seat of power. “To smite
through the loins” is to strike a fatal blow. “To lay affliction upon
the loins” is to afflict heavily. Here was the point of junction for the
main pieces of the body-armor, so that the girdle formed the common bond
of the whole. Truth gives unity to the different virtues, and
determinateness and consistency to character. All the virtues are
exercised within the sphere of truth." (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in
the New Testament. Vol. 3, Page 1-408)
Vine writes that osphus
in Ephesians 6:14 is used metaphorically and that the girding of one's
loins with truth refers to...
bracing up oneself so as to maintain
perfect sincerity and reality as the counteractive in Christian
character against hypocrisy and falsehood. (Vine, W., Vine's Expository
dictionary of Old and New Testament words)
used 58 times in the
(Gen. 35:11; 37:34; Exod. 12:11; 28:42; Lev. 3:9; 7:3; 8:25; 9:19; Deut.
33:11; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Ki. 2:5; 12:10, 24; 18:46; 20:31f; 2 Ki. 1:8;
4:29; 9:1; 2 Chr. 6:9; 10:10; Neh. 4:18; Job 12:18; 38:3; 40:7, 16;
Prov. 31:17; Isa. 5:27; 11:5; 15:4; 20:2; 21:3; 32:11; Jer. 1:17; 13:1f,
4, 11; 30:6; 48:37; Ezek. 1:27; 8:2; 9:2f, 11; 21:6; 23:15; 24:17; 29:7;
44:18; 47:4; Dan. 5:6; 10:5; Amos 8:10; Nah. 2:1, 10)
Nahum 2:1 The one who scatters
has come up against you. Man the fortress, watch the road; Strengthen
your back, (LXX
= osphus) summon all your strength.
used 8 times in the NT (note the NAS and NIV do not always translate
osphus separately thus some of the verses below are in the KJV)...
Matthew 3:4 Now John himself
had a garment of camel's hair, and a leather belt about his waist; and
his food was locusts and wild honey.
Mark 1:6 And John was clothed
with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet
was locusts and wild honey.
Luke 12:35 "(Literally -
Let your loins be girded) Be dressed in
readiness, and keep your lamps alight. (Comment: both
metaphors picture a disciple as one
living in constant expectancy of the Lord's return)
Acts 2:30 "Therefore being a
prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the
fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up
Christ to sit on his throne" (KJV)
Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm
therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the
breastplate of righteousness,
Hebrews 7:5 And those indeed
of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in
the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their
brethren, although these are descended (come out of the loins) from Abraham...10 for he
still in the loins (osphus) of his father when Melchizedek met him.
1 Peter 1:13 (note)
Wherefore gird up the loins of
your mind, be sober, and
( or "fix your hope" =
aorist imperative) to the end for the grace that is to be
brought (the tense is the
—“is being brought unto you”—as if to
make the future event immediately real) unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (KJV)
(Comment: Literally is "having girded up the loins
[osphus] of your mind" = Pull your mind together and have the right
mental attitude in view of our Lord’s return for when you center your
thoughts on His return and live accordingly, you escape the many worldly
things that would encumber your mind and hinder your spiritual progress)
commenting on "girding one's mind for action" in
has an excellent practical
It is not physical exertion that
Peter has in mind here, but mental. If the purpose of girding up the
clothing was to put out of the way that which would impede the physical
progress of an individual, the girding up of the loins of the mind would
be the putting out of the mind all that would impede the free action of
the mind in connection with the onward progress of the Christian
experience, things such as worry, fear, jealousy,
hate, unforgiveness, impurity. (Ed note: add
These thoughts harbored in the mind
prevent the Holy Spirit from using the mental faculties of the Christian
in the most efficient manner, and thus from causing that believer to
grow in the Christian life and make progress in his salvation. The word
“to gird up” (1Pe 1:13-note)
is in the
which refers to a past once-for-all act.
Bringing this oriental expression
over to the occidental manner of thinking, enables us to translate,
“Wherefore, having put out of the
way, once for all, everything that would impede the free action of your
Peter treats this as a God-expected
obligation on the part of the believer. In 1Pe 1:3
we learned that
as the believer definitely subjected himself to the ministry of the Holy
Spirit, He (the Spirit) would produce in his (the yielded believer's)
life through the Word, that Christian optimism that always looks for the
best and not for the worst, that always sees the silver lining on every
By the power of the same Holy Spirit,
he is able to exert his will in putting out of his mind those things
that would impede its free action. Thus, the Christian has the privilege
of enjoying the wholesome mental atmosphere called “Christian optimism
and a care-free mind,” not a mind devoid of an appreciation of the
seriousness of life and its responsibilities, but a mind not crippled
and frozen by worry, fear, and their related mental attitudes. Living in
this blessed mental state, the believer is ready and able to obey the
exhortations to which the apostle now addresses himself."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Greek Testament comments that truth...
is simplest and most accordant with
usage to take it so here (in the sense of candor, sincerity,
truthfulness). And this plain grace of openness, truthfulness, reality,
the mind that will practice no deceits and attempt no disguises in our
intercourse with God, is indeed vital to Christian safety and essential
to the due operation of all the other qualities of character. “As the
soldier covers his breast with the breastplate to make it secure against
the disabling wound, so the Christian is to endue himself with
righteousness so as to make his heart and will proof against the fatal
thrust of his spiritual assailants.” (Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor:
Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print. Search Google)
(aletheia from alethes = true in turn from a +
lêthô = that which is hidden or lanthanô = conceal, this
combination meaning out in the open, containing nothing that is hidden)
describes the body of reality (facts, events, etc) or the content which
is true, or which is in accordance to what actually occurred. Truth
is the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an
appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter. Truth
is the correspondence between a reality and a declaration which
professes to set it forth. Words are true when they correspond with
objective reality. Persons and things are true when they correspond with
their profession. Hence a truth is a declaration which has corresponding
reality, or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since God is Himself
the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His nature is
pre-eminently the Truth. Obviously whatever God says is "the truth",
and in fact "the Truth" is actually embodied in the Person of
We must faithfully hold the truth of
God’s word, but it is also necessary for the truth to hold us. We must
apply it to our daily lives and test everything by comparing it to the
plumbline of God's Word of truth.
Since Satan is a liar, we must oppose
him with God’s truth. In Paul's day the people wore belts or
girdles to bind up their flowing garments and hold everything together.
It is God’s truth that must hold everything together in our
lives. As Christians, we must love truth and live truth. It is therefore
not surprising to see John write to his spiritual children...
I have no greater joy than this, to
hear of my children walking in the truth. (3John 1:4)
Warren Wiersbe writes that...
Unless we are motivated and directed
by truth, we will be defeated by the enemy. If we permit any deception
to enter our lives, we have weakened our position and cannot fight the
battle victoriously. The girdle of truth is not an offensive weapon; it
is for protection. When the believer has what I call “an attitude of
truth” in his life, this protects him from Satan’s attacks. It does not
prevent these attacks; it keeps the believer from being harmed by them.
W: Strategy of Satan: How to Detect and Defeat Him)
Marvin Vincent has this note
about truth in Ephesians 6:14 writing that it is...
The state of the heart answering to
God’s truth; inward, practical acknowledgment of the truth as it is in
Him: the agreement of our convictions with God’s revelation.
The loins encircled by the
girdle form the central point of the physical system. Hence, in
Scripture, the loins are described as the seat of power. “To smite
through the loins” is to strike a fatal blow. “To lay affliction upon
the loins” is to afflict heavily. Here was the point of junction for the
main pieces of the body-armor, so that the girdle formed the
common bond of the whole. Truth gives unity to the different
virtues, and determinateness and consistency to character. All the
virtues are exercised within the sphere of truth. (Vincent, M. R.
Word Studies in the New Testament 3:408)
MacDonald wisely comments that
must be faithful in holding the
truth of God’s word, but it is also necessary for the truth
to hold us. We must apply it to our daily lives. As we test everything
by the truth, we find strength and protection in the combat. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Ray Stedman relates a
story regarding truth which you may have heard...
In Proceedings, the magazine of the
Naval Institute, naval officer Frank Koch tells the story of an incident
that happened to him at sea an incident that illustrates the principle
Paul talks about:
Two battleships assigned to the
training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for
several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on
the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so
the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,
"Light, bearing on the starboard bow." "Is it steady or moving astern?"
the captain called out. Lookout replied, "Steady, captain," which meant
we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.
The captain then called to the
signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you
change course 20 degrees." Back came a signal, "Advisable for you to
change course 20 degrees." The captain said, "Send, I'm a captain,
change course 20 degrees." "I'm a petty officer second class," came the
reply. "You had better change course 20 degrees." By that time, the
captain was furious. He spat out, "Send, I'm a battleship. Change course
20 degrees." Back came the flashing light, "I'm a lighthouse." We
God's truth is like that lighthouse
and we are like that battleship. In our human arrogance, we chart our
own course and demand that the world adjust itself to our wishes. But
God's truth is unchanging, unbending, unyielding. It is not God's duty
to alter His truth. It is our responsibility to chart our course
according to the light of His Word, which is ultimate, objective
reality. If we fail to do so, we risk running our lives aground. (Ray
Stedman. Spiritual Warfare)
Truth is mentioned 7 times in
Ephesians and thus is a key thought...
Ephesians 1:13 (note)
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the
gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him
with the Holy Spirit of promise (Comment: Truth is the gospel.
Truth is what saved us. Truth has to be believed to be effective in our
lives. So, when we have our loins girded about with the belt of truth,
part of it refers to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which we
were saved and are now daily sanctified).
Ephesians 4:15 (note)
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into
Him, who is the head, even Christ (Comment: Truth is what the
members of the body are to speak to each other. In speaking truth we
grow in Christlikeness. Speaking truth is vital for spiritual maturity.
When you gather for "fellowship", do you talk about the things of the
world, many of which are deception and lies, or do you talk about truth
as revealed by God? We must redeem the time for the days are evil!)
Ephesians 4:21 (note)
if indeed (as is the case) you have heard Him and have been taught in
Him, just as truth is in Jesus (Comment: Truth is a Person,
Jesus, the very essence of Truth, the One Who Alone is the Way, the
Truth and the Life. John wrote "And we know that the Son of God has
come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him
Who is true, and we are in Him Who is true, in His Son
Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." 1John
Ephesians 4:24 (note)
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created
in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Comment:
Truth is the source of righteousness and holiness and is now the
potential of each believer who is a new man in Christ. Here in Ephesians
6:14, this truth is the knowledge of sound doctrinal truth but it is
also the practice that is in keeping with that truth. This was pictured
by Paul as a putting off of the
and a putting on of the
as one would change a filthy, dirty garment for a bright, clean garment.
When we practice the truth we know [i.e., obey and walk in the Spirit,
filled with the Spirit] we are actively putting on this piece of the
armor - girding our loins with the belt of truth and this serves as our
defense against the deception and lies of the Evil One. Simply
knowing the truth is not girding yourself with it. One must also
practice the truth for it to be an effective defense! How are you
doing? Is there a specific truth that you have willingly disobeyed this
week or which you repeatedly refuse to obey? Then confess it before the
God of infinite mercy and forgiveness, repent, turn around, yield to the
Spirit and walk out in His power, in light and in the truth -- then you
will walk out armed against the devil!)
Ephesians 4:25 (note)
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you,
WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. (Comment:
What we speak to one another should conform to reality. This truth
should be made manifest by the way we speak. This will build up rather
than tear down. A life so lived filled with the Spirit will be a sure
defense against Satan and will prevent him from gaining a toehold in our
(for the fruit of the light consists
in all goodness and righteousness and truth) (Comment:
We are now light in the Lord
and as we walk in a manner worthy of that new identification and do it
in the power of the Spirit, the Spirit bears fruit - goodness,
righteousness and truth, that truth which others see in our
practice or conduct being in agreement with the truth that is in us -
the indwelling Spirit of truth, Christ in us = Jesus Who is the Truth,
the Word of Truth, God's Word. And this gives God the glory as others
see our good works)
Stand firm therefore, HAVING
GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE
Wayne Barber explains
girding your loins with truth...
We need to start by understanding
what the word TRUTH is. It is aletheia. It is used several times in the
book of Ephesians. Let me give you the basic understanding of that word.
The basic, simple understanding of that word is a manifestation of a
hidden reality. When you go into a courtroom and you are going to be a
witness in a trial, they say, "Raise your right hand. Do you swear that
you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?" You
say, "I do" and you sit down. What are they saying by using the term
"truth"? They are asking, "Are you willing to come into this courtroom
and manifest something that is hidden to us that only you know so that
you will bear evidence to that?" You will manifest a hidden reality.
That is what the word "truth" means. It is something that is manifested
of a hidden reality...There are many things that you could say are true.
Now a lot of things in life can be said to be true. But what we are
seeing in Ephesians is the essence of all truth, The Truth (Ed note: See
Scriptures above). You see, we are to be affected by what truth really
is, and Ephesians tells us what it is. (See all the uses of truth
in the preceding section)...
We then are to gird our loins with
the belt of truth which is pure, which has no deception but instead
accurately manifests some hidden reality. To be clothed with truth means
to be sincerely committed to truth. In other words, I am totally sold
out to who God is. I am totally sold out to what God has done. I am
totally sold out to what God has said. I am yielded to Him. It is the
truth, and I am now completely surrendered to Him.
"HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH"
participle (having girded) which means I can’t put it on for you.
A lot of people come to church, and they feel like when they walk in the
door, everybody is just going to love Jesus. The problem is, you can
preach the truth but an individual has to make up his own mind as to
whether or not to adhere to that truth. I can’t make it happen. It is a
choice that we make, constantly choosing to be affected, to be
totally committed to that which God says, to what He is, and that which
He has done (these are all "truth"). To be girded with truth
means that I am sincerely, totally, wholly committed to truth which most
obviously is found in God’s Word. Paul is saying "Having girded your
loins with truth, you must choose to allow truth to influence your
Why is this girding with truth a
piece of the armor and why is it so important in warfare? We live in a
darkened, deceptive world. The devil is constantly deceiving the whole
world. Now believers have been made light in the midst of that darkness
If we are going to stand firm and wear the garment, part of that garment
has a thread and it is armored. That armored thread is that we be
totally committed to truth, who God is, what God has said and what God
"Loins" refers to the lower back and
analogy is beautiful. Your lower back is what helps you to stand. If you
have trouble in your lower back, you are going to start bending and
falling. Years ago I bought a little car to save gas. One day I came to
the church, got out of the car and when I did, I swung my body the wrong
way. Something went out in my lower back and I fell on my hands and
knees and could not get up. I could not stand. Something happened in my
lower back that brought me down.
refers to the five lower vertebra of the back. The Apostle Paul is
describing a Roman soldier who wore wide belts that carried
their weapons. But also the belt would protect the lower
back. When they went into combat, they were hand to hand, constantly digging in and standing
up. Something had to
gird and strengthen them. Paul says,
"You are in a dark world. You are in a deceived world. When you
get up on Monday morning and walk out you face it." Even on Sundays
folks, we face it in the church. It is all around us. People who are not surrendered to Jesus
Christ and to His Word don’t understand how sincerely wrong they can be
because the mind is the key. Someone asked me, "Do you mean if you don’t
wear that belt, the whole garment falls off?" I am not sure we can
biblically say that, but that is good to remember. If you don’t
have the belt of truth on, forget the rest of the armor. Truth means I
am totally sold out, loving who God is, what God has said. I am not
going to listen to what the world says. I am going to listen to what God
says. Now this is an armored thread in that garment. It protects me
because the one thing the devil wants to do is to deceive me.
What we don’t understand is, if we are not putting the Word of God into
our minds, balancing out the error and deception we are being pounded
with every day, we are already being misled and don’t know it. Listen, just because you think it doesn’t make it
right. Examine it. Look at what God says. Folks, we are living in an
upside down world and only the Word can put it right side up.
Now Paul is not specifically talking about just the Word. There is no
definite article. But he is talking about truth and its
essence—who God is, what God has done, what God has said. It is all
wrapped up in that. Friend, if I am not going to be surrendered, if I am
going to do stupid things, fill my mind with things of the world, then
what happens next is my own fault. I wake up with a negative,
critical and discouraged feeling that simply overwhelms me. Have you ever
done that? I walk around thinking, "What is wrong?" What happens is, you
start being suspicious. You start being critical. You start being
bitter. Why? This is where we live every day folks. The way you are thinking right now is determined by some
standard in your life. If it is not the standard of truth, you have
already lost your garment, you are already led astray and you don’t even
know it. That is what Paul is saying. It is urgent. The Word has to be
in your life.
Folks, listen, they are telling us on the news that we are not going to
have enough room for everybody in the world in a few years. I was
watching CNN the other night and they said Social Security is going to
go bankrupt. Who cares! God is not bankrupt! What does God say compared
to what the world is saying? We talk about truth, and we will defend
truth, but how many people are living in it? Folks, until you are
adhering to truth, you have no strength. No wonder you have grown weak in
the back. No wonder you are trying to cower down. No wonder you have
been knocked down. Only truth can gird your loins and cause you to be
able to stand.
Jesus said the devil is a liar and there is no truth in him. If
I can’t do anything else in this series to convince you of anything, let
me convince you of one thing. It is not a power struggle. If you put
Satan up next to Jesus, he doesn’t show up
on the scale. But his power is his power to deceive and
he is deceiving us if we are not living according to the
Word of God. It scares me how much deception is already in my mind
because I have not examined everything by the counsel of the Word of
Ephesians 6:14 - Spiritual Warfare Part 3 - Wayne
Ray Stedman (ibid)
explains truth by noting that...
for twenty centuries, men and women
in desperate need have called out, "Lord Jesus Christ! Help me!" And
help comes! Deliverance comes! That is how we know that Jesus is the
Remember, all competing and conflicting systems and philosophies must be
tested at all points, not at just one. Many philosophies can provide
limited help and insight in this or that area. Even Karl Marx, as
misguided as he was, had a few kernels of limited and fragmentary truth
embedded in his godless diagnosis of human problems. But the presence of
occasional partial insights and scattered nuggets of truth does not
validate a system of ideas or beliefs. Truth is a complete entity. It is
all or nothing. A half-truth is frequently no better than an outright
lie and is sometimes even more deceptive than a lie. That is why
witnesses in our courts must swear to tell "the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth" because fragmentary truth produces deception.
Truth is reality. Truth is the sum total of the way things really are.
Therefore, truth is the explanation of all things. You know you have
found the truth when you find something that is wide enough and deep
enough and high enough to encompass all things. That is what Jesus
Further, ultimate reality never changes. Another mark of truth is that
true truth never requires updating. It never needs to be modernized. If
a moral or spiritual principle was true ten thousand years ago, it is
still true today. If a principle is true today, it was true a hundred
thousand years ago.
A man once visited his old friend, a music teacher, and said to him in
that casual way people have these days, "Hey, what's the good news
today?" Without saying a word, the old man walked across the room,
picked up a hammer, and struck a tuning fork. As the note sounded out
through the room, he said, "That is 'A.' It is 'A' today, it was 'A'
five thousand years ago and it will be 'A' ten thousand years from now.
The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall flats his
high notes, and the piano downstairs is out of tune." He struck the note
again and said, "That is 'A,' my friend, and that's the good news for
Jesus Christ is unchanging. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
That is how you know you have the truth. Remember that, when you feel
defeated, when you are under attack, when doubts come flooding into your
mind. Remember that you are already encircled by the belt of truth. You
have found the One who is the solid, unchanging Rock. The words of the
hymn express this well,
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.
Play "My Hope is Built"
AND HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: kai endusamenoi
(AMPMPN) ton thoraka tes dikaiosunes:
(Isaiah 59:17; 1Thessalonians 5:8;
from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to
put on) means literally to clothe or dress someone and to put on as a
garment, to cause to get into a garment (eg, Lk 15:22 where the father
says "quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him...").
Aorist tense indicates this putting
on is a past completed action and includes the idea that this action
was decisive. In the
(as in Col 3:10) it means to clothe oneself with something, in this case
the "new man", who is clothed in the robes of Christ's righteousness and
now needs to practice what this privileged position entails, i.e., to
manifest His righteousness each day toward God and toward men in
Luke uses enduo
figuratively describing clothing with spiritual power...
"And behold, I am sending forth the
promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you
are clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) (Comment:
Here the indirect middle conveys the sense "put on yourselves power from
on high as a garment". They are to wait till this experience comes to
them, which equates with “the promise of the Father.” Enduo used
in this figurative in classical Greek by Aristophanes who writes
"clothed with audacity"; Homer, "clothed with strength"; Plutarch,
"clothed with nobility and wealth".)
Ray Stedman gives the
"When I get up in the morning I
put on my clothes, intending them to be part of me all day, to go
where I go and do what I do. They cover me and make me presentable to
others. That is the purpose of clothes. In the same way, the apostle is
saying to us (Ro 13:12, 13, 14- See notes
“Put on Jesus Christ when you get up in the morning. Make Him a
part of your life that day. Intend that He go with you everywhere you
go, and that He act through you in everything you do. Call upon His
resources. Live your life IN CHRIST.” (Stedman, Ray C. From Guilt to
Glory. Vol 2. p136. Waco, TX: Word, 1978) (Bolding added)
Greek Testament comments on the breastplate writing that...
As the soldier covers his breast with
the breastplate to make it secure against the disabling wound, so the
Christian is to endue himself with righteousness so as to make his heart
and will proof against the fatal thrust of his spiritual assailants.”
(Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out
of print. Search Google)
(thorax) describes either the chest area or part of the body
covered by the breastplate or the protective covering of this area as
utilized in combat. Polybius tells us that it was known as a
heart-protector. Usually it was made of bronze but the more affluent
officers wore a coat of chain mail. The front piece was strictly the
breastplate, but a back piece was commonly worn as well.
prophetically describes Messiah wearing the breastplate of
righteousness, recording (in the context of a tragic description of sins by
He (Messiah) put on righteousness
like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head;
and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself
with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay,
wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies. To the coastlands
He will make recompense. 19 So they will fear the name of the LORD from
the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like
a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. (Isaiah 59:17, 18,
Comment: This prophecy is a picture of Messiah's second advent,
at the end of the Great Tribulation,
to save those who will be saved and to judge those who rejected His
salvation. Had our Substitute not been fully, perfectly righteous, we
could never have attained God's required righteousness. Instead Paul
explains that believers have nothing to boast it for by God's "doing
you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and
righteousness and sanctification, and redemption" 1Cor 1:30.
describes the armor writing that it was...
a breast-plate or corselet consisting of two parts and protecting the
body on both sides from the neck to the middle (Homer, Herodotus,
Xenophon, Plato, others):
There are 10 uses
of thorax in the
(1 Sam. 17:5; 1 Ki. 22:34; 2 Chr. 18:33; 26:14; Neh. 4:16; Job 41:13,
26; Isa. 59:17; Jer. 46:4; Ezek. 38:4).
Isaiah 59:17 And He put on
righteousness like a breastplate (LXX
= thorax), and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments
of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
In Greece we find various forms of
armor from leather doublets (with metal studs) to bronze armor
conforming to the body. The Romans also use coats of mail combining
lightness and strength. Armor comes into Egypt from abroad. Goliath the
Philistine wears a heavy coat of mail. In Israel armor is at first a
privilege of the nobility but comes into general use under Uzziah...The
OT. The biblical metaphor originates in Isaiah 59:17 (see above) with
its statement that God has put on righteousness like a breastplate,
i.e., that He will deploy His full moral integrity to destroy evil and
bring salvation in the sense both of justice (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
There are 5 uses
of thorax in the NAS...
Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm
therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the
breastplate of righteousness,
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since
we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate
of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Revelation 9:9 And they had
breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of
their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to
Revelation 9:17 And this is
how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders
had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of
brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and
out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
(dikaiosune from díkaios = just, righteous = root idea of
conforming to a standard or norm) is derived from a root word that means
“straightness.” It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative
standard or norm and so is in keeping with what God is in His holy
character. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is
the definition and source of all righteousness. God is totally righteous
because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of human beings
is defined in terms of God’s.
in Biblical terms describes the righteousness acceptable to God and thus
which is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Rightness
means to be as something or someone should be.
In short, the
righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all
that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides (through
the gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfectly Righteous One.)
We are positionally righteous by grace through faith
1Cor 1:30 But by His (the Father's) doing you are in Christ
Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and
sanctification, and redemption,
2Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Romans 1:17 (note)
For in it (the Gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from
faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss
of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain
Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of
my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith (See
I put on righteousness, and
it clothed me. My justice was like a robe and a turban. (Job
Let Thy priests be clothed with
righteousness; and let Thy godly ones sing for joy. (Psalms 132:9-note)
Comment: Peter says believers are now a "holy priesthood" [1Pe
and a "royal priesthood" [1Pe
-- how much more important for us to be clothed with righteousness!
In a prophecy of
the Messiah (see
Isaiah records that...
"Also righteousness will be the belt
about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist."
(Messiah is speaking) "I will rejoice
greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me
with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of
righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as
a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (Isaiah 61:10)
on to explain why men need to receive the righteous garments of Messiah
"all of us have become like one who
is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy
garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the
wind, take us away."
Israel's "spiritual clothing" (their spiritual deadness apart
from Messiah's garments of righteousness) Isaiah records (quoting the
Amplified version) that...
We have all become like one who is
unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our
best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted
garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind,
take us away [far from God’s favor, hurrying us toward destruction]"
commenting on Isaiah 64:6 writes that...
As in Isaiah 53:6 ("all of
us like sheep have gone astray"), the prophet included himself among
those confessing their utter unworthiness to be in God’s presence.
Isaiah employed the imagery of menstrual cloths used during a woman’s
period to picture uncleanness (cf. Lev. 15:19-24). This is true of the
best behavior of unbelievers (cf. Php 3:5, 6, 7, 8- notes
The MacArthur Study Bible.
Nashville: Word Pub)
Guzik comments that the righteousness...
is not our own earned righteousness, not a feeling of righteousness, but
a righteousness received by faith in Jesus. It gives us a general sense
of confidence, an awareness of our standing and position. (He quotes
Lloyd-Jones who says) "Thank God for experiences, but do not rely on
them. You do not put on the ‘breastplate of experiences’, you put on the
breastplate of ‘righteousness." . We are sometimes tempted to say to
the devil “Look at all I’ve done for the Lord.” But that is shaky
ground, though sometimes it feels good. It is shaky because the feeling
and experiences and doing is so changeable. God’s righteousness isn’t.
The breastplate of righteousness is your best defense against the sense
of spiritual depression and gloom that comes against your gut. (Ephesians 6)
Although positional (justifying) righteousness
is necessary, in our daily warfare, it is practical (sanctifying)
righteousness that must be worked out in fear and trembling (Php
2:13). Someone has
well said that
man is clothed in practical righteousness,
he is impregnable.
Words are no defense against accusation,
but a good life is.”
In Revelation 12:10
John describes the devil's activity as...
the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses (present
before our God day and night. (Comment: The one presently
accusing. Prior to his casting out [Ed note: at the midpoint of
the 7 year period "The Tribulation", at the 7th Trumpet - see
Great Tribulation], Satan
is continuously active bringing charges against the elect. The term is
used of bringing a legal charge before a judge, as in court. He goes to
and fro between this world and heaven as the “accuser of our brethren”.
Yet even in his missions of slander and accusation, he is strictly
limited - Job 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Zec 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Luke 22:31 from notes at
rightly observes that
believer is clothed with the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21), but he
must also manifest integrity and uprightness in his personal life. Someone has
said, “When a man is clothed in practical righteousness, he is
impregnable. Words are no defense against accusation, but a good life is.”
conscience is void of offense toward God and man, the devil has nothing
to shoot at. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Comment: Satan is the accuser, and his minions attack us by reminding us
of our sins. It is important to make a distinction between imputed
[justification] and imparted righteousness [sanctification]. When a
sinner trusts Christ and is born again, the very righteousness of Christ
is put to his account, and this never changes. As the believer walks
with the Lord and yields to the Spirit, sanctification [present tense
salvation - see related topic
Three Tenses of Salvation]
occurs and he becomes more like Christ. Because we know we have
been accepted by God and are righteous in Jesus Christ [1Cor 1:30, 2Co
5:21]], we need not fear when Satan's workers throw their accusations at
us. And although people are not our enemy, remember that Satan often
uses people, even Christians, to slander and accuse us, but we are not
called to fight back even though we are sorely tempted to do so.
David (in the context of spiritual and literal warfare as Saul
sought to take his life) in verses 3-4 of Psalm 7 is not boasting but
offering a statement of assurance that he had acted righteously toward
men and thus had in essence put on the practical breastplate of
3 O LORD my God, if I have done wrong or am guilty of injustice,note)
4 if I have betrayed a friend or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 then let my enemies capture me. Let them trample me into the ground.
Let my honor be left in the dust. Interlude (Psalm 7:3, 4, 5, NLT-
Wuest explains it this way...
The righteousness (in Ephesians 6:15) is not justifying
righteousness given the believing sinner when he first believes, but
sanctifying righteousness, the product of the Holy Spirit in the life of
the yielded saint. It can be defined as moral rectitude. The breastplate
of righteousness is therefore the breastplate which is righteousness or
consists of righteousness.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Marvin Vincent adds that...
Righteousness is used here in the sense of moral rectitude (Ed
note: morally correct behaviour). In 1 Thess. 5:8, the breastplate
is described as of faith and love. Homer speaks of light-armed warriors
armed with linen corselets; and these were worn to much later times by
Asiatic soldiers, and were occasionally adopted by the Romans. Thus
Suetonius says of Galba, that on the day on which he was slain by Otho’s
soldiers, he put on a linen corselet, though aware that it would avail
little against the enemy’s daggers (“Galba,” xix.). Horn was used for
this purpose by some of the barbarous nations. It was cut into small
pieces, which were fastened like scales upon linen shirts. Later, the
corselet of metal scales fastened upon leather or linen, or of flexible
bands of steel folding over each other, was introduced. They appear on
Roman monuments of the times of the emperors. The Roman spearmen wore
cuirasses (Ed note: a piece of armor covering the body from neck
to waist) of chain-mail. Virgil mentions those in which the linked rings
were of gold (“Aeneid,” iii., 467). The stiff cuirass called stadios
standing upright, because, when placed upon its lower edge it stood
erect, consisted of two parts: the breastplate, made of hard leather,
bronze, or iron, and a corresponding plate covering the back. They were
connected by leathern straps or metal bands passing over the shoulders
and fastened in front, and by hinges on the right side. The
breastplate covers the vital parts, as the heart. (Vincent, M. R.
Word Studies in the New Testament 3:408)
Ray Stedman explains the breastplate of righteousness as
Christians, through one circumstance or another, often lack assurance.
They feel unworthy before God. They feel they are a failure in the
Christian life and that God is certain to reject them, and He is no
longer interested in them. As Christians, we are constantly aware of our
failures and shortcomings. Growth seems to take place so slowly. The
first joy of faith has faded, and people often come to doubt God's
presence with them, love for them, or forgiveness of their sin. There is
a nagging sense of guilt. Their conscience needles them, making them
feel unhappy and miserable. They feel God blames them. This is simply a
satanic attack, a crafty and devilish accusation, a lie designed to
undermine what God is doing in your life.
How do you answer an attack like this? You answer by remembering that
you already wear the breastplate of righteousness. In other words, you
do not stand on your own merits--and you never did. You never had
anything . worthwhile in yourself to offer to God. You gave all that up
when you came to Christ. You quit trying to be good enough to please
God. You came to God the Father on the infinite merits of His Son, who
died for you. It is not your own miserable, tattered righteousness that
covers your heart, but the solid, impenetrable righteousness of Jesus.
And His righteousness is durable enough to deflect any of the arrows of
Satan's accusations. (Ray
Stedman. Spiritual Warfare - Available online and highly
Phil Newton comments on the breastplate of righteousness...
The Puritan writers called this both the "imputed and imparted"
righteousness of Christ for our lives. Inattention to the law of
God in our obedience will flatten us before the enemies. And even more
so, forgetting your dependence upon the imputed righteousness of Christ
so that you put confidence in the flesh will leave you open to doubt and
from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians)
Lehman Strauss notes that the breastplate
of righteousness is a
defensive armor covered the body, both front and back, from the neck to
the thighs. It offered special protection for the heart. A warrior
without his breastplate was dangerously exposed to the thrust of the
can think of no better protection for the heart
than a walk in righteousness consistent with our position
Paul is not
referring alone to that imputed positional righteousness
which is the possession of all true believers, but the practical
righteousness which results from the positional.
It is the righteousness of both
standing and state.
It is not
enough that we have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; our walk
must be consistent with our position. Most certainly no man can live
righteously who has not had the righteousness of God in Christ
communicated unto him. All the righteousnesses of the natural man
are as filthy rags (Is 64:6), so that we must say with Paul
That I may … be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness,
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the
righteousness which is of God by faith (Php 3:8-note,
righteous ones are the redeemed ones, and to all such God says:
command to do this now. Don't delay. It is urgent.) yourselves unto God,
as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments
of righteousness unto God (Ro 6:13-note).
If we are
not living righteously we are easy targets for the enemy’s darts.
Sinning saints cannot stand
in the day of adversity when Satan attacks.
living is wound-proof; therefore
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world
If we fall instead of stand when Satan attacks, it is because we have
not been living right. Let every one with unconfessed sin in his
life confess it here and now, lest the devil gain an advantage over any
one of us.
Dr. Charles R. Erdman writes
One who binds himself about with a determined loyalty to the holy will
and law of God is secure against the deadly thrusts of the tempter. A
man who is conscious of being in the wrong is usually a coward; a man
who knows that he is right can withstand a multitude arid enters the
conflict without fear.
Righteousness is a matter of the heart continually; it is
not something we piously and fraudulently parade one day a week.
Strictest integrity must be maintained at all times, the heart being
kept purged of every lustful desire and the mind clear of every unholy
thought. Notice the words, “having on.” Christians are expected
to be ethical and righteous. None but the righteous can stand.
Righteousness is Jehovah’s breastplate (Is 59:17).
Make it yours.
Conduct and Duty of the Church - Ephesians 4-6) (Bolding
explains the breastplate of
What is righteousness? Righteousness is anything that conforms to
a standard. Something is righteous if it conforms to a right standard.
The world has its standard, and when people try to conform to that
standard, they call it righteousness. It is deeds. It is what you do. In
Isaiah God said our righteousness, conforming to the standard of man, is
filthy rags in His eyes. So when you determine righteousness, you’ve got
to find the standard. The standard is the truth and the truth is God.
When you go back to the truth, then He determines the standard. When we
start living lives, conforming to His rights over us and to His
standards, then righteousness results.
Righteousness is not what I do for God. Righteousness is a result of my
surrender to Him and my adherence to His truth. It is the deeds that
come from that surrender to the Spirit Who then fills and controls me.
Adhering to truth affects the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate was used by a Roman soldier to cover him from the
shoulders to the loins covering the vital organs. Paul is saying, "It is
like that Roman soldier. He wouldn’t go into battle without his loins
girded. But secondly, he wouldn’t go into battle without that
breastplate on, because that breastplate is what protects the vital
things of his life." (Ed note: The man who lacks integrity can offer no
successful defence to the foe; the dishonest man is vulnerable at every
When we live righteously, conducting ourselves in conformity to the
truth of who God is, what He has said, and what He has done, our
righteous life becomes a breastplate which protects our heart as we
stand in the spiritual war we live in each day.
believers have fallen into the trap of Satan. If you want to know where
warfare starts, it is the battlefield of your mind for as Proverbs says,
"As a man thinks so is he."...
We represent the living Lord Jesus Christ. The way we honor who He is
and what He says has to do with the motivation in our heart of never
wanting to bring attention to ourselves, but only wanting to bring
attention to Him. You see the new garment is Jesus being Jesus in our
life. When I honor His truth, the armor against the devil is not me and
does not draw attention to me. It is Jesus who draws attention to Him.
Friend, if you want to frustrate the devil, put on the garment.
In Romans 6 Paul speaks of righteousness
as a believer's weapon writing...
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey
its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting (implying they were
doing it - Paul says stop doing this!) the members of your body to sin
as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness; but present
yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments (weapons) of righteousness to God. 14
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but
under grace. (Ro 6:12, 13, 14-See notes
(Comment: The word for
instruments, hoplon, was used of implements of war, either offensive
or defensive and as used here in Romans 6 gives one the picture of a
spiritual war between armies, Satan's and God's. When the believer
reckons [see note
Romans 6:11] or
counts upon the truth or fact that the power of
has been rendered inoperative [see note
Ro 6:6] and he
conducts his life based on the principle that he is dead to
and alive to God in Christ Jesus, he is
strengthened by the Spirit Who renews his mind and enables him to
to reign like a king telling him how to live
[ungodly]. But the believer does something else. He is empowered to obey
Paul’s command to “Stop putting your members as weapons of
unrighteousness at the service of the sinful nature.” Under the
control of and strengthening of his inner man by the Holy Spirit, the
believer is now empowered to not only refuse obedience to
sinful desires, but is enabled to refuse placing
his members (his eyes, ears, tongue, mind, hands, and feet) at
disposal for use as
weapons of unrighteousness. When the Christian lays down his armor by
sin and disobedience, he in essence is choosing to put present his
members as weapons at the service of the sinful nature [flesh],
and he is guilty of "high treason", for he is then fighting against his
own Captain, the Lord Jesus.)
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Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness
Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am,
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame,
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.