SPIRITUAL WARFARE | PART 2 WHAT IS TRUTH?

Spiritual Warfare Part 2 – Belt of Truth – April 28, 2024
 
Ephesians 6:11-14 (NIV2011)
11  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…
The Belt of Truth
Explanation: Soldier’s Belt
What is Truth?
Generically defined: Truth is an objective standard by which reality is measured.
Example: Tuning Fork
Traits of Truth (this list will build):
Traits of Truth
 
Undemocratic
Universal
Timeless
Objective
John 17:17 (NIV2011)
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Specifically defined: God’s Word is truth
Traits of God’s Word (This list will build; each point and subpoint appear together)
Traits of God’s Word
 
Undemocratic
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:14)
 
Universal
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
 
Timeless
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. 
(Isaiah 40:8)
 
Objective
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
John 8:44 (NIV2011)
(The devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 
How Satan schemes against the truth of God’s Word:
Genesis 3:1-5 (NIV2011)
1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
 
Satan’s Schemes Against Truth
He creates confusion regarding what God says
1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV2011)
1  The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Application: Non-biblical worldview
Example: Counterfeit $100 bills
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV2011)
4  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
 
Satan’s Schemes Against Truth
He creates confusion regarding what God says
He creates confusion regarding what God wants
Example: Being a kid
John 10:10 (NIV2011)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Satan’s Schemes Against Truth
He creates confusion regarding what God says
He creates confusion regarding what God wants
He offers counterfeits to be worshiped
 
Romans 1:18 (NIV2011)
18  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
 
Romans 1:25 (NIV2011)
25  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
Example: Money
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV2011)
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Buckle the Belt of Truth
 
Must do 3 things (list is all together):
Buckle the Belt of Truth
Know what God says. 
Trust what God says. 
Do what God says.
Story: Man falling off cliff
I have a lot to say in a little bit of time, so I hope y'all are ready to listen fast. We're in a series on spiritual warfare, and I said last week this is an uncomfortable topic because it presents a picture of Christianity that seems to be at odds with the cultural perception of Christianity. Today. The cultural understanding of Christianity looks a lot more like a cruise ship than a battleship. Christianity is this club that you can join to make life better, and everything will be fine. You'll have a life of ease if you'll accept Jesus as your savior. Well, the Bible presents a much different picture. In fact, the Bible teaches that when you accept Jesus as savior and you have your new identity in him, at that moment on, you are at odds with a very powerful enemy. We are all part of a war. God and all things good is on one side. Satan and all things evil are on the other side. And when we are in Christ, we have as our enemy this powerful fallen angel known as Satan. In the book of Ephesians, Paul spends a lot of time talking about this battle that we are in. Last week we talked about what Satan's identity, who he is, and his activity, what he's up to. This week, Paul describes to us how we can prepare ourselves for Satan's attacks. In other words, what equipment we need to have to be able to be ready for Satan as he attacks us. Every time I read this passage, I'm just gonna share this. Every time I read this, I think of a movie scene that I watched for the first time in the 1980s. It was in the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Do you all remember that movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark? Great movie. So there's a scene in that movie where Indiana Jones is racing through the streets of Cairo looking for his lost companion, and he turns around the corner and comes face to face with a master swordsman. Do y'all remember this scene? Y'all remember this? Okay, so everyone, the crowd parts, they're getting ready to watch the massacre because this master swordsman is just going to town with his sword. And you remember what Indiana Jones did? He glanced up at him, took out his pistol, shot him and walked on. Y'all remember that? Okay? The moral of that story, of course, is you don't bring a knife to a gunfight as we battle against Satan church. Listen, we have to make sure that our equipment matches well against Satan's attacks. And that's precisely what Paul is telling us in Ephesians, chapter six. I'll begin reading this morning in verse eleven, put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground. And after you've done everything to stand, stand firm in. Paul says stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Paul says the first thing you need to have in place as you go to battle against Satan is the belt of truth. The belt of truth. Let's just think about the picture Paul's using here. What does a belt do? A belt serves a very important function. A man's belt, for example, holds his pants up. At least that's what it's supposed to do. Holds his pants up, keeps his shirt tucked in. In other words, a belt keeps your outfit in order and in place. For a roman soldier, it was even more important because it kept the rest of his equipment in place. For example, he would have his sword on his belt. His breastplate would be secured by his belt. If the soldier needed to move quickly, he would take his long robes and tuck it into his belt. A belt was so important that if an enemy happened to sever that belt, that soldier was done for. Paul says the first thing we need to do christians in this battle against Satan is to buckle the belt of truth around our waist, meaning that if we lose truth in this battle, all else is lost. It is the most important piece of equipment because it holds everything else place. Now let me just at this point, address the obvious question, a question that has echoed through history. What is truth? What is truth? I want to do this two ways. First, I want to define this in a generic sense. Generically defined truth, an objective standard by which reality is measured. That's the generic definition, definition of truth. It's an objective standard by which reality is measured. If you want a picture of truth, here's one. I don't know if you can see this. This is a tuning fork. You know what this is? This. If you want to know what the note a sounds like, this is it. This is a tuning fork. Tune to the, to the musical note a, which means if the a on your instrument doesn't sound like this, your instrument is wrong. That's what that means. Cause this is the objective standard for what a is. Now let me just note some traits of truth for you. Given that picture, given that definition, here are some traits of truth. First of all, truth is undemocratic. What I mean by that is, the majority doesn't rule when it comes to truth. You say, well, my a doesn't sound like that a, but everybody else in the orchestra sounds like my a. You know what that means? Everybody else in the orchestra's wrong, because this is the standard, regardless of how many people believe it to be wrong or believe differently. Here's another trait of truth. It's universal. In other words, trumpets don't get one a and violins get a different a. No truth applies to everyone equally. Now, this is important today because there is a pervasive misunderstanding about truth. Because people will often say, I'm going to live my truth, and you can live your truth, okay? But based on the very definition of truth, truth makes no sense. When you put a possessive pronoun in front of it, it'd be like saying, I have my a and you have your a. No a. An a is an a. Truth is truth. But there's not multiple versions. There are not different versions of it. Here's another trait of truth. It's timeless. And a is what it's always been. Now, truth may go out of style, and oftentimes does, but truth never becomes untrue with the passage of time. Fourth and final trait of truth I'll share with you. It's objective. Truth is a standard. Watch this. Now, that's external to you. You say, well, wait a minute. I happen to like the way my a on my instrument sounds. I prefer the way my a sounds to this a. You can have that preference if you like. You're still wrong. Preferences, opinions. Ideas don't have no bearing on what truth is, because truth is an external standard. It's objective. It's an objective standard. It is not subjective to what you think or feel. That's a generic definition of truth and some traits that naturally flow from that definition. Now, let me provide for you a specific definition. When Jesus was praying to the father, as Miss Babby sang about just a few minutes ago, as Jesus was praying to the father, he was praying for his disciples, and he said something interesting. Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. Specifically defined, God's word is truth. When God's word says something about something, that becomes the standard by which reality is measured. Now, what I want you to notice just quickly is that all of the traits of truth we're talking about, that I've just described, the Bible declares those to be traits of God's word. Because God's word is truth. For example, the Bible says that God's word is undemocratic. Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Truth is not found in the majority. It's found in the minority. God's word is universal. Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Why? Because the gospel applies to everyone equally. God's word is timeless. The grass withers and the flowers fall. But the word of our God endures forever. And finally, it's objective. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways. Submit to him and he'll make your path straight. Paul's telling us here that if we're going to stand our ground effectively against Satan's attacks, we have to buckle up with the truth of God's word and know ahead of time that Satan's going to attack it. Because let me remind you from John, chapter eight, verse 44, the devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there's no truth in him when he lies. He speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of all lies. So how is it that Satan schemes against truth, schemes against God's word in this battle? If you're following along in your Bible, turn over to Genesis chapter three. Genesis chapter three is a fascinating passage of scripture. God has created Adam and Eve, placed them in the garden of Eden, and he says, look, you can enjoy this garden. You can eat from any tree in here except, except for that one tree in the middle of the garden. Don't, you can't eat from that one. If you eat from that tree, you're going to die. Now watch what Satan does now. The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden? The woman said to the serpent, we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree that's in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you'll die. You will not certainly die. The serpent said to the woman, for God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good, evil. Satan schemes against truth in several ways. First thing he does, he creates confusion about what God has said. He creates confusion about what God has said. He says, eve, did God really? Are you sure you got that right. Maybe you misunderstood what God was really getting at when he said that. After all, why would he say such a thing? Church, as I mentioned last week, Satan has a heyday with this today because I'll reread one timothy four one to you. The spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits in things taught by demons. People will follow things taught by demons because they don't know the truth. I've shared several weeks ago, Bible illiteracy runs rampant today. 94% of professing christians have a worldview that is not biblical. You know what that means? Vast majority of christians don't understand what the Bible says about life and the world. How do we guard against this? You know this. Bank tellers are trained to identify counterfeit $100 bills. Not by studying all the different ways a $100 bill can be faked. No. You know what they do? They study the real thing. And they know the real thing so well that when a fake $100 bill comes across their eyes, they know immediately that it's fake. I cannot overestimate, I cannot overstate the importance of knowing and doing what the Bible says. And if you've been around here any length of time at all, you know we are doing everything we can to help people know what God says and how to put it into practice in life. And then Satan says, you'll certainly not die. The serpent said to the woman, for God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Another way Satan schemes against truth is this. He creates confusion about what God wants. He says, God doesn't really want your best. Are you sure you can trust him? Because perhaps there are ulterior motives at work here. God doesn't really want what's best for you. I remember when I was a kid, I thought the same way about my parents. Maybe you did too. Why won't they let me do what I want to do? Why are they trying to make my life so miserable? As a parent, now I know they weren't trying to make my life miserable. They were trying to make my life best. It's the same way with God. Listen, when Satan calls into question God's aspirations for you, God's intentions for you, remember why Jesus came. Jesus said this, the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. God wants to listen. God wants to lift you up. God wants your best. Satan wants to destroy. He wants to steal and kill. Here's another way that Satan attacks God's truth. He often counterfeits. He offers counterfeits to be worshipped. Satan knows that if he can dangle something out there that appears to be more worthy of your worship, he can redirect your worship away from the place it belongs. And that is a victory for him. Satan counterfeits, offers counterfeits. Now let me just say one thing here. Everybody worships. Worship is not just for religious people. Everybody worships something. There is something that is most important to you. There is something that is a priority pursuit for you. The question is not do you worship? The question is, what do you worship? Let me give you an example of one of the counterfeits Satan dangles out there that demands, calls for our worship, money. Money is God's number one competitor for your heart because it is an effective counterfeit that Satan offers to redirect our worship from God so that money becomes the object of our worship. And in fact, many listen, many pursue after money at great sacrifice. They will sacrifice their loved ones. They'll sacrifice time with their family. They'll sacrifice the body of Christ. They will sacrifice so much just so they can earn a little bit more money. You know why? Because Satan dangles it out there and says, this is more worthy of your worship than God is. And when you think about it, money offers many of the same thing God offers. Money says, if you have enough of me, I'll provide for you. If you have enough of me, I will meet your needs. Does that sound familiar? God said the same thing. I'm able to bless you abundantly. God says, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Money says, if you have enough of me, you'll have security. I'll take care of you. Does that sound familiar? God says exactly the same thing. I am your refuge and strength and ever present help in trouble. Money promises self worth and identity. If you have enough of me, you'll be important. You'll have significance, you'll be valuable. God says to those who believe he gave the right to become children of God. This is why Paul told Timothy in one Timothy, chapter six, command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Money is one example of a counterfeit that Satan dangles out there in attempt to redirect our worship toward created things and away from the creator, let me finish with this. If Paul tells us the belt of truth is so important to this battle, so we as christians, our role is to buckle the belt of truth. What does that mean? Know what God says. Trust what God says. Do what God says. I'll conclude with this story. There was a man walking along the edge of a cliff. One day he got too close and he fell over, and he begins free falling into this deep ravine. And in desperation, he reaches out and grabs hold of a sapling growing out of the side of this cliff. And he's hanging there, dangling, looking down below his feet, he sees a deep ravine. If he were to fall, he would certainly die. So in desperation, that man clinging to that sapling looks up into heaven and says, God, please save me. At that moment, the clouds part, a bright light shines, and the man hears a voice from heaven, and it says this. Let go. The man, desperately grasping this sapling, looks down beneath his feet again at the ravine below, thinks for a minute, looks back toward heaven and says, is there anybody else up there? But don't we do that. Don't we do that, God, tell me what you want me to do. God, would you please just give me some instructions to follow? And then he reveals something from his word to us, and we say, is there another God that might offer a better option? If we're going to stand in this battle against Satan church, we have to buckle the belt of truth, of God's word around our waist. And I want to finish this part of the service by sharing the truth of the gospel. Let me share the truth about you and me. The Bible, God's word says that you and I have sinned, and we fall short of God's glory, meaning that we are automatically, by our very nature, disqualified from heaven. That's what the bi, that's the truth of the Bible. In fact, the truth of the Bible says that our sin is going to cost us our own lives. It leads to death, eternal separation from God. But God had a plan. God's word also teaches how God sent his son Jesus, into this world to die on a cross, come back to life, so that Jesus could pay the penalty that we owe for our sins. And the truth of God's word says that whoever places their trust in what Jesus has done for them will have their sins washed away, and we can once again be restored to a right relationship with our creator. I'd like to lead the entire congregation and all those watching online in a very simple prayer, a prayer where you can respond to the truth of the gospel by placing your faith in Jesus. Heads are bowed, eyes are closed. If you've never placed your faith in Jesus, your prayer might sound something like this. God, I recognize that my sin separates me from you. I believe Jesus, your son, died and rose again so that my sins could be washed away. And I'm placing all of my trust in that act to rescue me from my sin so that all can be made right between you and me. In Jesus name. Amen. If that was your heartfelt prayer, or you would like to know more about that prayer, there's free literature for you back at guest services as you can pick up on your way out. Just go by and say Pastor Jeff mentioned some literature. Can I have a copy? They know what to do. Put it in your hand. You can be on your way. If you're watching online and you placed your faith in Jesus just now, or you'd like to know more about that, we set up a website called I made a decision.com. There you'll find many helpful resources about what it means to place your faith in Jesus. You can also receive the same literature at your home through the mail that we're giving away here this morning. If you'll provide us your mailing address there at that website, we'll put that same literature in the mail to your home, wherever you are this coming week. Thank you for watching this video on First Redeemers YouTube channel. If you enjoyed it, click like below and leave us a comment. And if you'd like more content like this, click subscribe and turn on your notifications. Thanks again for watching.

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