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The Believer's Armor, Part 1: The Belt of Truthfulness

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2021 4:00 am

The Believer's Armor, Part 1: The Belt of Truthfulness

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 11, 2021 4:00 am

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I believe the enemy attacks the believer to undermine God's character and credibility and this really is the heart of the matter in terms of Satan's effort he desires to undermine God. He wants you to doubt God's imagine being chased through a wooded area, shirttails, nagging branches, speed and mobility lost the consequences could be deadly. Well a similar principle applies to how you dress for spiritual war today. John MacArthur shows you that when the battle gets tough. You won't last very long without first putting on the belt of truthfulness stay here on grace to you as John continues his compelling study called the believer's armor.

Follow along if you can in Ephesians chapter 6 and with the lesson here is John MacArthur, the believers involved in a warfare, a battle we have seen that this battle is against a formidable enemy, Satan, and all of his host of demons effective in trying to point out to you that the committed Christian and Satan are on a collision course. It is inevitable that your life will intersect with the forces of hell as you live for God. There is absolutely no question about that. It's only a question as to how that manifests itself and what specifics may occur. The collision is inevitable, and by the way, it's rather constant as well so we must be ready for the war must be aware of the battle begin with, let me just give you a little bit of an introduction. In this manner. Since the believer and Satan are on an absolute collision course and by the way, it's a collision that constantly goes on.

We need to understand something of how Satan attacks us to give you a series of ways which I believe are not only biblical but I've seen manifest in my own life in the church in the lives of others that give us an idea of how Satan attacks. If you would like to jot them down because I think they'll help you to guard yourself in these areas. First of all, I believe the enemy attacks the believer to undermine God's character and credibility to undermine God's character and credibility and this really is the heart of the matter in terms of Satan's effort he desires to undermine God. He wants you to doubt God. That's the thrust he did in the garden with the path God really said and then he impugned God's motive by saying, well, the reason God doesn't want you to eat.

That is because God knows shall be like him and God can't stand the competition. In other words he wanted to ascribe to God a selfish, ulterior motive, you can't really trust God. He was saying you can't really believe God.

He may say one thing but down deep inside me and something else and so his word is not believable in effect in the New Testament it says if you deny God's word you make him a liar and that's what Satan wants to do.

He wants people to think God is the liar and he tells the truth. So while God tells us he is truth and Satan is a liar.

Satan tells us he is truth and God is a liar.

Second thing I'm convinced that Satan attacks us to make it hard to live the Christian life to make it hard to live the Christian life and want to be easy wants to be very difficult to really live the Christian life.

He wants to be hard and I think he attacks the three ways to make it hard to live the Christian life. One would be through persecution that would be the most extreme way may come on the job may come from your friends and so forth.

Second to that, I would say that he makes it hard to live the Christian life by a lesser kind of persecution in a way that I call peer pressure.

Some people really don't want to come out for God because they don't want to lose their friends.

I don't want to move out of the circle there and they don't want to be thought to be different. They don't want to have to change it to relationships with people. They are very comfortable with the acceptance they have. They like being liked and they're just not ready to take a different tack which may alienate. This is something of what the writer of Hebrews was dealing with when he was writing to those who were sitting on the fence in the Jewish community, never having committed themselves to Christ ago. They believed it was true for fear of what their friends and their family would say that they would be ostracized so Satan makes it tough in that area also as well as in the outright persecution such as Paul referred to what he said all that will live godly in this present world will suffer persecution is 1/3 way makes it hard to live the Christian life and that's by making it easy to live the Christian life. If you know what I mean. I think sometimes the hardest place to live the Christian life is in the easiest place to live the Christian life. You know it's so easy now. There's no price to pay. And maybe that's what makes it hardest of all to live the Christian life.

The third thing that Satan does when he attacks the believer is to confuse the believer with false doctrine. He confuses the believer with false doctrine.

There are many Christians, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine that many Christians who are deceived by the false teachers who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are riveting rules there's a problem today because the doctrines of demons are so rampant and Satan confuses the church. Fourthly, he tries as hard as he can to hinder our service to Christ.

He wants to stop effective service. He wants to stop Grace Church.

He wants to start my ministry and your ministry and the ministry of anyone who is serving Jesus Christ. Number five I believe Satan does all he can to cause division in the body.

He worked hard, causing division in the body, fracturing us. That's why our Lord was so explicit when he said if you have anything against your brother: be reconciled before you come back to worshiping so he cause division first 20 is one first pigeons to first give you three talks about the division in the church. Ephesians 4 Paul says endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Do all you can to maintain unity. Paul exhorts us and that because Satan rips us apart brings friction and factions into the body of Christ. Six. This is another area where Satan really hits his heart. He urges us to trust our own resources.

This is subtle, so easy for us to lean on our own understanding depend on our own knowledge, wisdom, insight, erudition, education, and we failed to cast ourselves upon the power of God with the sense that Isaiah had when he said will was on the me he knew he had no resource apart from God. 1/7 way in which Satan attacks us and I think this is also common is that he causes us to play the hypocrite to be hypocritical God smugly glibly with a smile. The mask spirituality buying all think that we're finding in all we do is pollute the fellowship in all we do is mask ourselves so well that we never deal with the real problem would never let anybody see what were really like would never open up and tell the truth, so that nobody can ever come in wrapped their arms around us and helped it to deliver us from the problems she's just two other things. Number eight Satan attacks us to make us worldly to shut us into the mold formed by the world and I mean he is so successful at this. People the church today is so worldly, affluent, materialistic, self-indulgent, self-satisfied smog so much like the system around it that it's hard to even separate the two, and yet does John say to us. Love not the world knew the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life is not of the father but is of the world and the world passes away in the lust thereof either do with the will of God abide forever. He saying luck.

You have no business having anything to do with the world. The world is passing in your eternal. The very dimensions of life are incoherent, incongruous, and can't come together. What you doing with the world and yet the church gets engulfed because Satan constantly pushes us into the world final thing I think Satan wants to cause us to act in disobedience to what we know is God's word. This maybe is the pinnacle of it all.

Satan wants us to act immorally if God is moral and God sets the moral law, then any act against God's law is immorality, whether it's sexual or social. Whatever acting immorally is acting against the moral law, and God is the one who established and so he wants us to disobey God that gives Satan opportunity that gives him his advantage with their yard people. These areas Satan works is where the battle lines 90 say will how do I do is a pretty big order of attacks for the wonderful thing people. This is what I'm so thrilled is that all nine of the things I gave you can be dealt with in 1 Simple Way. But in verse 13 of Ephesians 6 wherefore take on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. It doesn't matter where the enemy comes from. It doesn't matter how subtle his attack is in a war if what he gets there. You're ready for it.

That's it doesn't matter what Satan takes. It doesn't matter what path he comes on. It doesn't matter whether is crawling on his belly or flying overhead.

It doesn't matter how subtle his attack on how blatant it is. If you're ready when he gets there. That's all that mattered in the believer with his armor. I will stand whatever the attack, so having said all that, I just said to let you know where he comes from. Be aware of those areas, but the major issue is not Halley's Comet or what the attack is but are you ready are you ready because if you have your armor on, you can handle it.

I was looking just the first piece of armor is very simple but very very important.

The first one is in verse 14 stand therefore not takes us back the end of verse 13, having done all the stand in the middle of verse 11 that you may be able to stand the idea is to stand against the attack of Satan to be firm against his onslaughts to be victorious when he comes.

Therefore, if you go to stand against those things. You must have your loins girded about with a lake. They truth or truthfulness. When we describe the belt to get the imagery of Paul's day, a Roman person, even a soldier were tunics tunic is a big square piece of material. For the most part at a hole in it for your hand tools for your RX. I was about it is through not. It was a kind of a non-gathered piece of material, but a few of them to go into in a war you wouldn't go into a lot of things lying around.

In fact, you didn't even take a journey within that situation.

In other words, guarding your lawn was gathering up all this loose material so that you could get ready to go. What that means in his readiness preparedness.

The idea the belt was preparedness a Roman soldier battle with his dress flapping in the breeze. Somebody pulled over his head. Would that be the end you and fight a battle without flapping all over the place and so when a soldier went into a war. If a man on a journey would do it. You can imagine a soldier would it would take about. It would since around his waist. It could be made of a sash material. Most likely of soldiers would be out of leather he would tighten that leather belt up, take the four corners of that tunic pulled up through that belt, making it a kind of a mini tunic you have mobility, flexibility be able to move and it would be in his way. That's really the imagery that is in the mind of the apostle Paul further on that same belt was common for a Roman soldier to have a strep come down connect to the belt go over his shoulder connecting the back. It would attach his sword to it so that later on will see the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God is attached to the belt of truth.

In other words, truth is revealed in the word. You have the truth, as it were to take out the fight the battle right so that the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God is attached to the belt but over the shoulder was a strep and on the strap were emblems and insignias of previous victories. You could just like decorations you see a soldier's gullet stuff all over from the battles he fought in the things he's done in the accomplishments will that's where they put them on a Roman soldier. All of the metals and the awards of his accomplishment were placed there, and it connects with the belt of truth and blood, but this is it when you where the belt of truth and you draw the sword of the spirit you going to win the battle and get the metals to see. This is where it all begins.

It became the emblem of accomplishment and battle fitting combination only those ready girded only those with the sword of the Spirit hanging on the side were the ones who won the metals and winning the battle is having been victorious and so this is the heart of the term that was. It does refer to truth, I think you can take a life.

They are in the sense of content, but that's not the primary thought here, because that's dealt with in the sword of the Spirit that will be dealt with in that last piece of armor. The main thrust here is the idea of truthfulness which the word also can mean and Darren is speaking out to not content what he's saying is put your Belmont that shows an attitude of readiness and attitude of commitment and attitude.

This is I'm ready for the battle I'm dressed I'm alerted I'm writing see what it means is you fight without hypocrisy. It means you are you going and serious know. Frankly, most Christians never get the building they just sort of flopped through their life blown in the breeds you as a little commitment never sash on that truthfulness never get to Minnesota soldier put on his belt, but that strap overbooked on his sword he was saying, I am ready to fight, and I think the most Christians lose because they don't care that much. I don't care that much energy soon flop around like he was 12, say were compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run the race right can you imagine a guy in a track meet. Running an overcoat and combat boots. And that's absolutely stupid. Don't do that. Those guys were so little.

It's embarrassing there out there running around with as little out there going to be mobile. They want all flexibility there is and yet there Christians try to run the Christian race with combat boots and an overcoat and wonder when I get so tired witnesses tire never seem to get very far. Five years later the 10 feet from the starting line. You that's because is no commitment. I think the greatest synonym for truthfulness is commitment. What Paul is saying here is what you do realize this is what you are and get serious. You are going without hypocrisy. Sincerely, with her right now to having a heart for the battle. I am a soldier. I will endure hardness for the cause of Jesus Christ. A second Timothy 23 says I will endure hardness. I'm willing to pay the price that I may please the one who chose me to be a soldier. I have a heart for battle was in the true Christian loves the fight in the true Christian loves the Lord so much he won't lose he won't give up look at first Corinthians chapter 9 and you know I just I can't relate to a Christian who is content to be defeated. All just flopped through his life falling to temptation filing to all the sins that come to the flesh in the mind.

I don't understand how you can give in so easily in first Corinthians 9, Paul says, don't you know in verse 24 that they who run in a race all run when the race starts. Everybody runs but only one receives the prize so that you may win look. He says if you going to get in this deal when it wants to lose what Paul's tongue about here's desire we used to say in athletics desires 90% of the issue through you want it bad it's there are coaches used to say, if you want bad enough you can get. You want victory that I didn't know son was a good father, but always wasn't true. Sometimes I get across and the guy who was tougher than I was and I wanted it bad.

In fact, I want it worse all the time but nothing I did ever worked as he endured all day just because I couldn't get some of the greatest effort was against the worst adversary and I could win, but you know in the cause of Christ. If the desire is there, the victory will be there because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world right so it's always a bit and so Paul is saying the desire has to be there and he says in an athlete.

He runs and a lot of people run, but only one gets the prize. So if you get this deal when when it will God give us people with this commitment. God give us people want to win the Christian life. Not so they can stack up their own crowns but so they can give them to Jesus Christ so they can say this is my active love. This is my act of worship. This is my active praise that I gave my life a living sacrifice. That's what he's after commitment. He says every man that strives for the mastery. Every athlete is temperate in other words, he disciplines his life. He's careful what he eats and how he trains and he does it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.

He says if these guys can work that hard to win a corruptible crown can't and we have the desire to be victorious in our lives. God's glory so he says I run not as uncertainly. I don't flip-flop all over the track one half speed three-quarter speed one quarter speed. Rest in a while I run fullbore down the track I fight, not as one who beats the air.

I'm not just bouncing during funds and around the year on it. My opponent right in the chop I'm going after the fight he says, and in so doing I keep under my body. I bring it into subjection.

See here is the discipline the life of a winter. This is what God wants. So the call of the armor of the believers for commitment.

At the very start to beat Satan you come at you and all these nine ways and a few others that I haven't even figured out yet to come at you and all these combinations of ways are you knocking to know what to do unless you really are ready to fight.

Commitment all beloved only one thing matters in this world and this life and this is the dimension of the spiritual rest of the stuff is a matter a bit, and I'm concerned about a lot of things are well, but frankly I could care less about most of the things unless they relate to the things of God. I'm not even interested because only the spiritual matters only that God be glorified. We need to get our focus on the right things. How badly do you want to win bad you really want.

I've been in athletics all my life and I've seen people didn't care about winning. We talk about that a lot will work with pro athletes affect you can lose the you can lose the desire you been there… You just go through the motions that can happen in the world.

It can happen to us because Satan pumps it into us all the time you can be content with mediocrity. You can be content with lethargy you can be content to just your life the way it's going to come week after week the whole, nothing changes methods different attitudes of the same reactions of the same your home stays the same. Nothing ever happened.

Just come and go, come and go, come and go in the commitment never changes.

God help help me if that happens, we must be committed to fight so the apostle says the first piece of equipment. The belt of truthfulness is based on content.

It's an attitude he's after we close with the words of John oneself wrote this him.

Listen to it. Fight the good fight with all I might. Christ is thy strength in Christ. As I write lay hold on life and it shall be thy joy and crown, eternally run the street race through God's good grace and lift up thine eyes and seek his face life with its way before the lies Christ is the way in Christ.

The prize cast care aside lien on thy guide lien and his mercy will provide lien in the trusting soul shall prove Christ as its life in Christ it's love.

And he said this fate. Not more fear. His arm is near fee changes, not thou art dear only believe and thou shalt see that Christ is all and all, to the love of the victory is there, it's ours to the glory of God. The matter how sophisticated Satan.

If we have the built commitment. I pray God so in your life. Father, thank you.

As we have gathered to worship your holy name. As we have sung your praises that we have thought of your virtues as we listen to your tremendous truths out of the word father we feel we been drawn in your presence. We sense that you're here and that the message is not my message is not a human message is not simply the message of paper and ink any more than a message of a human voice, but it is the breath of God. The call to commitment is not from us. It's from you. The consequences are not to be dealt with by us by you, or father, help us to hear your voice somehow drop aside all of the human elements all the physical factors and may we know that God spoke through his word calling us to commitment all Lord Jesus makes a kind of people he wants to be.

You might be glorified.

We must stand as a beacon light in the midst of it wicked and perverse generation, holding forth the word of life that we might solicit to silence the critics that we might not be of those who use Jesus and abuse Jesus and of those who give him glory. Lord help us to win the battle because more than anything else we want to win, and we depend upon your powerful and yielding this.

We pray Christ. That's grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. John is pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and his current study is showing you how to use the believers armor John today you gave several examples of how Satan tempts believers to sin through false doctrine through divisions in the church, and so on.

And of course each of us has a sinful nature we can see and we do see and even apart from Satan's temptations. So for that person who is wondering how I know when it Satan was tempting me, and how do I defend against that temptation. What would you say well I would say that you wouldn't necessarily know but a better way to understand it is this you don't need to think of Satan has picking you out. Of all the people in the world since he's not that I present you don't need to think of Satan picking you out of the whole world and coming at you and whispering temptations in your ear you rather need to understand that Satan is the god of this world. He's the spirit that works in the children of disobedience, but he works there by the influence of the corruption of everything around us. If Satan were the cause of our sin, we would assume then that he would have to get to every single human being and if he wasn't around. You'd be living a different kind of life with less sin. We know that's not true. So you can't reduce your sin to an actual one-on-one satanic invasion.

I think it's much better to understand that he basically has created the kingdom of darkness full of lies and deception, and he is the God of this world and everything that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life is not of God but is of the world. So he operates through the systems.

The corrupt systems of the world that come at the believer all the time that this is obviously a battle that all of us fight in face all the time and it isn't just when Satan shows up it's because were in the world and the world is what it is I want to mention a book that I wrote some years ago called standing strong and we want offer this to anyone contacting us for the first time as a gift, a free gift. Listen, this is a full-size book. It describes the role that Satan plays it describes how his strategies attacked believers and the church. It talks about how we are to fight Satan and his forces.

12 chapters in all and the questions, along with those chapters that allow you to discuss things.

Maybe in a Bible study or a Sunday school class. Here's a special offer will send you a free copy of standing strong full-length book.

If you've never contacted us before do it today. Yes, do and again to learn more about Satan's devices and how you can protect yourself from him pick up John's book called standing strong and if you've never contacted us before will send you a copy free of charge. Just ask for your book today.

Call 855 grace or go to Jide TY.org standing strong shows why no matter what Satan throws your way, you can honor Christ and you can keep your spiritual footing. This book has chapters on protecting your mind and your emotions. The role of prayer in spiritual warfare and very important. How to use the sword of the Spirit God's word to repel Satan's attacks against standing strong as our gift to you. If you've never contacted us before. Just call 855 grace or go to Jide TY.org.

I would also encourage you to visit our website Jide TY.org where you can download any sermon you hear on the radio, including all 12 lessons from John's current series, the believers armor. Those messages are part of our sermon archive more than 3500 sermon that are yours free of charge in audio and transcript head to our website today and start downloading again.

You'll find us@jidety.org now for John MacArthur and the grace to use staff.

I'm Phil Johnson urging you to be back tomorrow when John looks at the breastplate of righteousness.

What is it, how do we use it effectively. Don't miss our next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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