I. THE WHOLE ARMOR THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND, i.e (THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, AND RULERS OF DARKNESS, AND THE WILES OF THE DEVIL.) AND HAVING DONE ALL TO STAND.
A. We are in a spiritual war, and we need the whole armor of God to withstand the attacks of the enemy.
B. We then need to stand up against him.
C. Commentators have noted that there are six pieces of armor that we are given.
1. Most of it is defensive.
2. One is a defensive as well as an offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit.
3. One commentator has noted that there is no armor for your back for the Lord does not expect you to run from the battle, but to stand your ground.
4. Though it is not listed as a part of the armor, there is really the seventh weapon mentioned here and that is praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
II. WE BEGIN BY GIRDING OURSELVES WITH THE TRUTH.
A. This is the first thing that a soldier would do before going into battle. He would gird himself.
1. They wore long robes in those days which restricted rapid movement.
a. You can imagine how difficult it would be if you sought to run in the Boston Marathon wearing a long robe.
b. Preparing to go to work or to run, or to fight, one would first gird up his loins.
c. The girdle was a sash that was like a belt around the waist, and they would pull up the long robe and tie the sash around the waist with the excess material above the sash, so that the legs are free for movement.
2. Paul mentions this first for it is the first thing necessary in preparation for conflict.
3. It was something a servant would do before beginning to serve. Jesus at the last supper with His disciples.
B. Jesus said to His disciples,
Let your loins be girded about, and [your] lights burning;
And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
III. WE ARE TO GIRD OUR LOINS WITH TRUTH.
A. The first thing necessary to prepare you for the spiritual conflict is that you know the truth.
1. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, be men of courage, be strong." Faith here is the faith in the truths of Jesus Christ.
2. We must have a strong foundation in the truth if we are to stand.
B. Jesus said to the Jews that believed in Him,
If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
1. Jesus speaks of knowing the truth. The idea is the whole body of truth that is encompassed in the Christian faith.
2. He said that the truth would make them free, free from what? Free from the power of darkness, where you were once held as a captive.
C. In His prayer in John 17
, He asked the Father to sanctify the disciples by the truth, Thy word is truth.
D. John in his first epistle speaks of the spirit of truth and the spirit of error and the importance of discerning between the two. We are thus exhorted to try the spirits to see if they be of God.
E. In promising the Holy Spirit to His disciples, Jesus referred to Him as the Spirit of truth.
1. He promised that He would lead us into all truth.
2. There are some people who seem to be drawn to every false and deceiving spirit.
a. They go from one bazaar doctrine to another.
b. They seem to be attracted and drawn to heresy.
3. There are others who seem to be born again with a discerning spirit.
F. The early church sought to guard against error creeping in.
1. The first church counsel was called to settle a dispute that arose concerning the relationship the Gentile believers had to the Mosaic law.
2. The troublemakers from Jerusalem who visited the church Antioch.
G. I would say that one of the great weaknesses of the church today is the lack of a strong foundation in the truth. This is why such things as the so called Toronto Blessing can sweep through the church world.
1. Peter spoke of the damnable heresies that had crept into the early church. They are still a plague in the church today, because people are not gird about with the truth.
a. It is the will of God to heal everyone.
b. That riches are a sign of godliness.
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
c. That you can get whatever you want from God, if you just learn how to write your own ticket.
d. You can purchase the blessings and favor of God by contributing to the telethon.
2. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul associates truth with the armor of righteousness.
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness.
3. It is interesting to me that in all of the spiritual armament Paul says nothing about experiences.
a. When it comes to the real spiritual battle, the exotic experiences of the past are of no value.
b. When the battle gets really heavy it is the truth that will sustain you.
4. Get ready and prepare yourself for the battle. Gird your loins with truth.
5. Wrap yourself up in the truth.
6. It is so important that we know the truth concerning Jesus.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
7. In the early church they had what was known as the Arian heresy. Arius basically denied the deity of Jesus Christ.
a. The Nicean council was called to deal with this heresy.
b. According to this heresy, Jesus was a created being less than God.
c. He would have been more in the ranking of angels.
d. This is the heresy followed by the Jehovah Witnesses today.
e. We will deal more with this when we come to the helmet of salvation.