John 14:6 and John 18:37-38
Many today ask this same question Pilate asked Jesus, but from a different perspective; relative truth, absolute truth, objective truth, subjective truth, etc. What is truth?
Truth is the first piece of armor. It’s also the most important. The belt of truth is a reminder that Jesus is the foundation for us as we enter into spiritual battle. He is the truth that stands against the lies, accusation and deception of Satan. Winning your battles starts with a fight anchored in the truth found of Jesus.
Society notes that many ‘things’ are true based on personal preference or perspective, which makes truth personal and individual. Some think there is no true truth about God, that there is only my truth and your truth and one is just as good as the other. Though this thinking is still strong today, it denies what Jesus said, “I have come into the world: to testify to the truth.” It denies what Jesus was, “the way, the truth, and the life.”
The Roman soldier’s belt was not like the belts we’re accustomed to wearing today. It was thick and heavy; the leather around the waist was covered with a metal band and attached to that a protective sheath that hung down in the front, like a leather apron. The belt kept the uniform close to the body, it supported the weapons that allowed the soldier to fight – it was the foundational piece in the centurion’s uniform.
Romans 5:17 and Matthew 6:33
Righteousness is a choice.
It’s the fundamental choice that all believers made when they first repented and became a Saint. Everyday after that, our Christian life will either reinforce that decision or deny it. In order for “all these things will be added to you” – lose your life, to gain it.
As believers, we have no righteousness apart from that which has been given us by Christ. Our breastplate is His righteousness. His righteousness will never fail. Though we have no righteousness of our own, we must still, by His power, chose to do right. Living a right life rooted in God’s Word will protect our heart, kill our flesh, and defeat the enemy. Ask yourself, “What does right look like?”
Our righteousness is worthless in battle. If you start to believe that your own righteousness, efforts, or good works can make you worthy of God’s protection, you’re sadly mistaken. The advantage will quickly shift to benefit the enemy. We need to get our eyes off of ourselves and back on the provision of the cross and the righteousness that is found in a relationship with Jesus.
The function of the breastplate was simple – to protect the soldier’s vital organs. In close hand–to–hand combat or during quick and unexpected advances of the enemy, the breastplate was essential for survival. No trained Roman soldier would venture into battle without it.
Romans 5:1 and Philippians 4:6-7
Peace is an awesome weapon!
The perfect peace of Jesus will calm us in every circumstance, giving us the courage and strength for every challenge. Walking with and in a foundation of peace allows us to step into the world with confident faith, unmoved by what see or hear. It enables us to smile in the face of intimidation or fear, secure in what Jesus has done for us.
It’s often said that the battle for peace begins and ends in our minds – with our thoughts. What we’re thinking on, will determine what our feet are standing in. It’s important to remember that we are fighting a defeated foe. We stand on the gospel of peace through faith. Go in peace. Walk in peace. Be in peace.
The Roman soldier’s shoes were not ordinary shoes, they were a combination of leather and metal, but functional by design. They were sandals called caligae and they were made to protect their feet during long marches into battle. On top of the shoe were very durable leather strips that wrapped perfectly around their foot to protect against blistering and sores. The bottom of the sandal was fitted with studs or nails. The nails held the soldier in place or they could be used as a weapon, to kick, wound, or kill an opponent.
Hebrews 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 5:7
God is our shield, He is our refuge.
We cannot rely on our own abilities in this battle. When we flee to Him and hide in Him, that’s what it means to walk by faith. We put trust in the one that can protect us. When we walk in faith we’re saying God is trustworthy, so I’m trusting Him.
Faith is the shield of the believer. Trusting in God’s power and protection is imperative in remaining steadfast. When the battle rages, we must remember that God works all things for good. He is always true to His promises.
The Roman soldier’s shield was his primary defensive weapon. It was an impenetrable, complex piece of armor made from wood, leather, canvas, and metal. The only protection against the flaming arrows that rained down from the sky in ancient warfare was the shield. If used correctly, it was a trustworthy piece of equipment. If dropped, it became useless and the soldier’s fate rested with himself. The enemy’s arrows and darts are temptations to sin, doubt, and fears.
Wiles, devices, and deception. The devil knows your mind.
He’s been collecting intel on you your whole life. The enemy likes to plague our minds by injecting worldly ideas that cause us to doubt ourselves and our salvation. Your salvation, just like a helmet, needs to be fitted around your mind. If not, you’re opening yourself up to the world and fleshly desires.
The very moment when you trusted Christ, when you gave your life to Him, you took a promotion whether you knew it or not. You have a position in the Lord’s Army and you’re assigned to a unit. Coming to Jesus by faith makes you “holy”, assigned to “sanctified” which sets you apart. You were promoted to Saint because enlisting in Christ makes you different from the rest of the world. You’re united to Jesus by faith and by the Spirit.
Therefore, when you put on the helmet of salvation, you avoid sinful thoughts, you abandon pleasure, possessions and status. Saints don’t live how the rest of the world lives. Saints exercise self-discipline and self-control. Saints are able to break free from the “me-first” pattern of the world. Our thoughts are changed in order to understand what God wants, so we’ll know exactly how to live.
The Roman soldier’s helmet, decorated with engravings and etchings looked more like a piece of artwork. It was made of bronze or iron which made it extremely heavy. It had recesses for the ears and included small circular bosses on the helmet and cheek pieces. A huge plume of feathers or dyed horsehair stood straight up from the top of the helmet. However, the plume wasn’t part of the battle-dress, it was for decoration, worn during parades after triumph. The plume indicated your rank and what unit you were in.
Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God doesn’t want you to break or shoulder the burden.
He wants you to rely on Him so you can overcome adversity. Paul tells us that the sword represents the Word of God, the written picture of Jesus. He is the living version of everything God wants to say to you. God’s Word is a powerful weapon against our enemy when it’s used under the Spirit’s power and direction. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy you, everything you are, and everything you have. He wants you to break, like dropping an egg on the floor. The Sword of the Spirit is an aggressive offensive weapon that can also be used as defense.
If you’re recall, when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus used the Word of God to defend himself against the enemy. The sword is speaks truth. It attacks, pierces and destroys accusation, temptation, and deception.
Roman soldiers were trained killers during their time in the first century. They were revered by many and considered the finest weapons of war, training with and using multiple swords. In (Ephesians 6:17), the apostle Paul refers to a sword called mákhaira in Greek, gladius in Latin. It was a potent offensive weapon during close combat.
Primarily used as a thrusting weapon to stab the enemy in the torso, a blow from this razor sharp, two- edged blade was fatal. Combatants were also trained to take slashes of opportunity at exposed limbs, such as the knee, arm or shoulder. Centurions were trained to deliver blows that killed, at a minimum, disabled their opponent.
Use the Word of God the same way.
Hebrews 6:19 and Matthew 6:5-15
Prayer is talking and communing with God. A life without prayer lacks spiritual activity.
Prayer is two-way communication, an open dialogue where we speak to God and listen to what He says. Conversation is how relationships are formed. It’s also the way they’re lost. Speaking with our heavenly Father gives life to our relationship with Him. When we stop talking to God, our lack of communication disconnects the relationship. The relationship starts to die and we began to fell lost.
On the other hand, we can talk to God all the time, we can hear what He says, but if we don’t actually take the time to listen…we’re not praying. Hearing happens all the time and doesn’t require a conscious effort. Listening isn’t automatic. It takes practice. It takes intention. It’s a skill that you can grow in or lose.
Listening to the Lord during our time in prayer brings us closer to Him, an intimate, face-to-face relationship with God. Many people claim to hear God, but few know Him.
When you spend time with someone you love, you get to know them intimately. As you spend time with the Lord, whether a quiet space at home, driving to work, lying in bed, an evening walk, doing chores, running errands – speaking to Him and listening to what He has to say strengthens your relationship with Him. You have access to the Father through Christ. He wants to grow in relationship with you. And you should want the same.
An anchor was a common figure of hope in the ancient world. Our hope in Christ is securely anchored in the Word of God which contains His will and His purposes for our life.
What is God’s will and purpose for my life?
–For you to know Him deeply.
How do I get to know Him?
–Make God a priority in your life. Cultivate the relationship. Growing with God requires you making Him a priority. You will grow in relationship speaking directly with Him, listening to what He has to say and reading His word.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18, John 14:26 and Galatians 5:22
The Holy Spirit’s role in our life is that of transformation.
He wants to change who we are from the inside out – thoughts, desires, will, relationships, purpose. This transformation isn’t just for us, it’s so that the Lord can bear fruit through us.
The Holy Spirit is spiritual authority and power and His presence within us signifies that we belong to God – we are under His authority, by His grace. Authority has to do with permission, the access or right to do something. Power, on the other hand, is the ability or means to do something. Jesus took back the authority that the devil stole from Adam and Eve. He then commissions us under that authority, as proof of the victory, the presence of the Holy Spirit in us.
As Saints, it’s important to know and understand this authority and power, learn how to operate out of authority and power, and when to lean into which one. The Holy Spirit’s authority and power is the rule of God on earth through us, making the kingdom of God a spiritual reality in our lives. It isn’t centered on external matters, but on our relationship with God and with others.
The kingdom of God and the Holy Spirit are inseparable.
The question of authority is a hot button topic during our time.
Authority is challenged everywhere you turn – family, school, church, community, society. It’s not hard to see that the revolt against authority has contributed to a breakdown in law enforcement, which has lead to an increase in crime and violence.
The concept of authority is known, to some degree, by every responsible person. It’s fair to say that in order to properly function – every kingdom needs a king, every ship a captain, every business a boss, and every home a head of household. We can also say that without some sort of central authority, society will continue to crumble into chaos and anarchy.
If this is true of society then it’s also true for our lives, which begs the question, “Who possesses this authority?” As believers in the kingdom, there are only two options. Authority either rests in our hands or in Christ’s.
Authority, exousia in Greek, translates as ‘out of the substance’ …[of who the Father is.] God’s authority is resident in his nature. Everything Jesus lived and spoke relied on his constant dependence upon God the Father. Jesus did nothing without the Father’s authority and guidance.
Jesus doesn’t give us authority, he puts us under His authority because He is Lord of all.
For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”