Friday, January 30, 2009

The Truth about the Belt

In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul begins the discussion of the armor by describing a belt of truth. What is this? It's our truth system in Christ. "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth" (verse 14a). We are to gird, or encircle, ourselves with four great resources of the truth: 1. Jesus Christ, He is called the truth (John 14:6; 1:14; 8:31-32). 2. The Word of God. Again, it is the "Word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). 3. The Holy Spirit. He is called the "Spirit of truth" (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). 4. The local church. It is called the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). Each of the four resources can help us spot a lie and help us see the truth that will destroy that lie. Whenever the "father of lies" assaults us, the lies will become apparent as we seek Christ, learn from His Word, allow the Spirit to work in our lives, and give the church a chance to speak. Often such attacks are frontal, right at a basic point of doctrine. Bart and I were talking about the belt of truth in a counseling session. Being desperate for the victory in his life, he took notes as fast as he could. Bart is a medical doctor, so I asked him, "Bart, how are your going to read your handwriting at the speed you are writing?" He laughed and said, "I will get a pharmacist to read it to me." When I mentioned the church as being part of the belt, he blurted out, "The church has failed." We have church at home, just our family. We watch preaching videos." I explained to Bart several New Testament passages about the function of the church. We talked about the fact that it is Jesus who builds the church and walks in the midst of the church. I explained that the church represents authority and the church leadership will give an account to God as to how they watched over our souls (Hebrews 13:17). As we talked, Bart's eyes fell and he nodded with repentance. "I really don't have a true church at home; it was just my excuse for not being part of a local assembly." Bart saw the lie he had been believing: that the church had failed so he need not be part of it. Bart repented of his rebellion toward God's church and confessed that he had been deceived about the place of the church in his life. His repentance did not prove empty, either. He began attending a Bible-believing church, took the same kinds of notes he took for me (I don't know whether or not he has to take them to his pharmacist to decipher), and he realizes well the power the church brings into his life, giving his family harmony, friendship, and love. Today, he actively serves the Lord there as an elder and Sunday school teacher. Moreover, he and his family are growing Christians. Our entire life must be held together by God's truth. When we were saved, the Lord gave to each of us the belt of truth. We all have it. This is the first piece of the armor, and, as a result, it's the first thing we must buckle on each morning. Without truth, Satan's lies will not seem at all like lies, that's the way "things really are." That is the subtlety he works toward. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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