There are new levels of hostility to born again Christians in 21st century Scotland. Enmity and opposition to the Gospel is increasing daily in society at large. Even within what can be loosely described as the church, orthodox Bible believing evangelicals are increasingly assailed on the one hand by liberals who deny the foundations of the faith. On the other hand, they are faced with the covert infiltration of the church by a new breed of self-appointed church and ministry leaders who promote their own pronouncements over the veracity of scripture.
Orthodox true believers have two options in such a situation……curl up and withdraw from life, or do what the Bible says: recognise they are in a spiritual battle taking their stand for Christ while wearing the armour of God for protection.
The Apostle Paul describes this armour in terms of 6 items that a Roman soldier of his day would have worn: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Interestingly, the Apostle begins with the ‘belt of truth’. The belt was a very important item of the Roman Soldier's armour. Worn round the waist the belt was very wide to give it the strength to hold a variety of items….at least one sword, a rations sack, a rope and other specialist pieces of equipment. The belt was tied in several places so that it would stay in place no matter how the soldier moved about.
It’s no coincidence that the belt the Apostle Paul talks about is the ‘belt of truth’. In an article entitled, ‘The Battle for Truth’, the late Dave Hunt wrote: “There is a battle raging for man's soul and for control of the universe. It is a very real war between the "God of truth" and Satan, "the father of lies" in whom there "is no truth". One either believes God's truth or Satan's lie. There is no neutral ground. The cosmic battle of the ages is the battle for truth. But what is truth?
An editorial entitled "Truth" in the Los Angeles Times noted that "in a contemporary eight-volume encyclopaedia of philosophy, 'Truth' has only three lines……. Yet in the King James Bible the word "truth" occurs 235 times in 222 verses. …….It is to God's Word, then, that we must turn to learn of truth.”
A Christian's survival in the world requires a firm grounding in the absolute truth of the Bible. The power of truth is that it sets us free by breaking the power of Satan’s lies. In the Genesis account of Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan downplays the consequences of sin and promotes its pleasures. When true believers are firmly rooted in the truth, they are best equipped to recognise lies, stand up to Satan and do God's will.
In modern warfare, Intelligence data and its interpretation plays a vital role in the outcome of conflict. The Bible as God's word reveals the truth which enables believers to recognise and decisively defeat Satan’s lies. The writer to the Hebrews sums up the role that the Bible should play in the life of a true believer: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
When we put on the ‘belt of truth’ every day, we arm ourselves with the power and truth of God’s word. Absolutely trustworthy and applicable to every situation…it’s ‘gold standard’ protection.