Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ephesians 6:13-15

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I am somewhat of a slacker when it comes to fashion. On the rare days when my only responsibilities are homeschooling and running the household I am often known to stay in my pjs all day. I would find it absolutely tedious to have to dress with the precision of a Roman soldier. This quirk among other facts would likely leave me not standing firm at the end of a battle.

I can be equally ambivalent about checking my spiritual armor, forgetting that each day this side of paradise is an evil day in which I will be under some sort of attack. When I begin my day in the Word and live through the power of the Spirit I have the ability to resist any attack. No matter how beaten I may feel after a battle, in the end I will stand firm.

I love the expression “gird up your loins.” The phrase is used in the book of Job when God addresses Job’s complaints and tells him to “gird up his loins like a man.” It is also used in Exodus when the Hebrews were told to eat the Passover with their “loins girded.” In biblical times men wore robes, and if you were going into battle or taking a journey you would want to tuck in the extra material to have it out of the way. So to “gird your loins” is to get ready and be prepared. And the “belt” that holds the material of your life together is “truth.” The Greek word aletheia can be translated as "unclosedness," "unconcealedness," "disclosure" or "truth". So we are to be sincere, with nothing to hide through hypocrisy or falsehood. The truth of God should strap together all the loose ends of our lives. This strap also held the weapons of a soldier, so truth holds our spiritual weapons.

A Roman soldiers’ breastplate would protect his most vulnerable areas whether engaged in hand to hand combat or being shot with arrows from afar. The heart was seen as the center of man’s thinking and his bowels the seat of emotions. So righteousness protects both your mind and your emotions. Righteous living based on a complete knowledge of Scripture protects believers in both these areas as we strive to live as Christ would live.

Thick leather straps were bound together to create a shoe that would protect a Roman soldier’s feet from being punctured and rendering him incapable of fighting. The shoes might also have spikes on the bottom to help the soldier dig in  and stand his ground. The feet of believers are protected with the “preparation of the gospel of peace.” As we are assaulted our shoes keep us firmly planted on the promises of God as revealed in the gospel, and we believe them to be true no matter what occurs in the battle raging about us. We have peace with God no matter what storms assail us In life.

From the cradle to the grave, life is war. Your soul, your mind, your body, your family, your career are fields of conflict. Until Satan is finally thrown into the lake of fire our peace with God will have to be a vigilant peace. Because Satan will certainly give us no peace if we are at peace with God. – John Piper

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