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First Baptist Lafayette, Louisiana (OLD)

TAKE YOUR STAND - Truth Must Be the Under Armour

Take Your Stand

Truth Must Be the Under Armour

Ephesians 6:10-18

January 19, 2014

Dr. Steve Horn

Text Introduction: I am continuing a series this morning that will take 8 weeks on this passage—Ephesians 6:10-18. Last week, we overviewed this passage and simply said that as Christians, we are in a battle. We are in a battle for our convictions, our culture, our children, and our churches. As a result, we are in a battle for our families and our future. We are called to take our stand in this battle. Actually, there are 3 main imperatives in this text: Be strengthened by the LORD, Put on the full armor of God, and Stand.

Having given these three imperatives, Paul underscored 7 spiritual weapons that we should avail ourselves to as we stand. Beginning today, we will take each in turn starting with truth.

Text: 10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
15 and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace.
16 In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Introduction: If you have kids who play sports, you probably have purchased some piece of clothing that is the UnderArmour brand. Most of you certainly have heard of this brand. Kevin Plank is the founder of this relatively new company. Kevin started the company in 1995 when, as a football player at the University of Maryland, he decided that he didn’t like the fact that his t-shirt underneath his football uniform became soaking wet with sweat and therefore heavy. He searched for a material that would remain dry and light. From those humble beginnings in 1995 selling his shirts out of his grandmother’s basement, Kevin has built a sports apparel business with a billion dollars of annual sales.

When Paul begins to describe the spiritual armor of a Christian, he begins with the under armor. The belt in those days was not the same as a belt in our day. Remember that those of the first century wore long flowing robes. The belt tied around the waist is representative of the belt that would hold up the robe as the soldier would prepare himself for the rest of the armor.

Truth may not be the most important piece, because all of the pieces are of equal importance. However, truth must be the first piece. Without accepting truth, we cannot know righteousness. Without being armed with truth, how can we be ready to share the gospel? Without truth, what good is faith? Without accepting the Gospel as truth, we cannot be saved. In that sense, truth, like the belt of the soldier, is the under armor. This passage tells us how important that under armor is.

Truth must be the under armor because of the tactics of Satan.

We mentioned last week the reality of our enemy—Satan. We mentioned his scheming ways—his tactics. Let me get a little more specific today because in so doing we realize how important truth is.

  1. Satan causes us to doubt the Word of God. (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-6)

Notice the way that the serpent begins the conversation with Eve. “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?’” In Genesis 2:16-17 we read what God said. Satan comes behind that and distorts the word of God and thus creates a doubt for the word of God. Interestingly enough, we see from Eve’s response that she even added to God’s word for she added “or touch.” God, according to 2:16-17 never said this.

That still is the scheme of Satan. Take any issue that we do not like what God’s Word says. Our first temptation will be to say, “Well, maybe that’s not what God meant.” We take away and sometimes even add to God’s Word.

This is the place where all sin starts. Here’s the way this doubt works. First, we doubt the word of God. When we begin to doubt the word of God, then we begin to question the Bible’s accuracy. If we question the accuracy, we replace the truth of the Bible with another view—a view that comes from the world.

Someone has said it this way: “Satan puts a question mark where God put a period.”

  1. Satan deceives. (John 8:44)

The second scheme of the devil is that he deceives. He lies! In the Gospel of John (8:44) Jesus said, “Satan does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” In this same scripture, Satan is called a “liar and the father of all lies.”

Once Satan begins to cause us to doubt the Word of God as accurate, he will begin to fill us with lies.

  1. Satan promises what he cannot deliver. (Matthew 4:8-9)

The Third scheme of Satan is that he promises what he cannot deliver.

Whatever the destruction of Satan, he works in this way. Consider the example of Jesus’ temptation as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 4:8-9. 

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Satan could not deliver on this promise, and neither can Satan deliver on what may be promised today by his schemes.

This is why Paul implored the Ephesians and implores us that we must stand with the belt of truth being our foundation.

The Truth about Truth:

Jesus is the personification of truth.

  • John 1:14, 17—The Word became flesh
    and took up residence among us.
    We observed His glory,
    the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
    full of grace and truth.

for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

  • John 14:6—Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Truth is a person!

The Bible presents the truth.

We discover truth in the Word of God. Some people want to rely on opinions for the basis of truth. Some people want to rely on feelings for the basis of truth. But these are so subjective and ever-changing. We need a better source for truth.

  • John 17:17—Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.
  • Psalm 119:160-- The entirety of Your word is truth,
    and all Your righteous judgments endure forever.

Chuck Swindoll was quoting a Puritan preacher when he said, “Two things I want to know. First, does God speak concerning a matter? Second, what does He say?

But, we don’t always agree on what the Bible says. So...

The Holy Spirit points us to the truth.

  • John 14:17 {Speaking of the Holy Spirit which is introduced in verse 16} “He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.”
  • John 16:13—When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.

The Church must be the pillar of truth.

  • 1 Timothy 3:15-- But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
  • Protect the truth

Here is how we protect the truth…

  • Preach the truth

It is not enough to preach the truth, we must …

  • Practice the truth

The motto of UnderArmour Sports Apparel is “Protect the House.” Usually accompanied with this motto is the phrase “I will.” Will you?

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