Would you believe GOD to revive His work in California? This is what 40 Days of HOPE is about. Would you pray and fast for 40 Days and ask GOD to send a move of the Holy Spirit to our State and your region? Would you worship with others and seek the face of GOD like never before? We can believe GOD to open up the hearts of men and women in California to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom at levels we have never experienced?
Feb 26th – April 5th, 2020
Ephesians 6:14 (NKJV) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Last week we ended on the thought “stand.” Paul spoke of Standing in the “evil day.” Evil is what we are up against. Satan’s kingdom is evil. His evil is worked upon God’s creation man. His evil is imparted to man, and his evil is worked through man. Satan is in absolute opposition to God’s plan of “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” through the sacrifice of God’s Righteous One, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember beloved what we learned as we began our study in Ephesians, 1:7-9
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.”
We stand in that “purpose.” The purpose of Himself! Our battles are fought with this in mind. We are fully furnished with what we need to prevail, even in the evil day we win. Part of the battle for some is suffering in various ways in this life. In our last lesson I mentioned a few ways of suffering, the most sacrificial would be martyrdom. We all are waring for the same result, “His good pleasure, purposed in Himself so that He is all in all.”
Gird your waist with truth. This is also translated as “the belt of truth.” It is Truth that holds everything together. When I buckle my belt I think of how important that belt is. For one, it cinches my waist and gives me a sense of security. When the belt is worn properly, I do not need to be adjusting my pants for comfort, to keep them snug or moving from side to side. It is the truth that we hang everything else upon.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus spoke this word to His disciples, especially directed to Thomas who said in vs 5 to the Lord, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way.” Jesus is that belt of truth. The belt which Paul speaks of is a PERSON. The belt is a RELATIONSHIP. The belt is, knowing in our knower that we can trust Him who has made the Father known to us. And in that knowledge, we know who we are as a “son” and a “daughter.” We know who we are as a “family member.” A member of the family of God, (Ephesians 2:18 – For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.)
Peter give to us help and understanding in 2 Peter 1:5-21:
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (Here is the goal of having done all to stand), this is our checkpoint to evaluate how well we are standing. Vs 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 For this reason, I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover, I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
Peter referances “The Trustworthy Prophetic Word,” from (Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. NKJV
Those holy prophets, men who were sent by God, spoke TRUTH. They gave us a “BELT” that holds everything else together. The Father sent “THE TRUTH” in the person of His Son. Then, He spoke from heaven and confirmed Jesus to those disciples. Now, through their faithful and truthful word, we too have this truth in us.
One last point regarding “the belt of truth.” Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:13 to “gird up the loins of your mind.” Isn’t that interesting that Peter connects loins to our minds? Paul spoke of “girding our waist with truth.” Paul is using the metaphor of a “soldier going into battle.” Peter, is addressing where the truth must have its effect. It is learning to think the way God thinks and having “God like faith.”
“HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” When did we put this breastplate on? It was when the righteousness of Christ was given to us through faith. We received His righteousness as we “put His righteousness on,” in exchange for our unrighteousness and dead works. This is why “repentance from dead works,” is the first principle of the “doctrine of Christ,” mentioned in Hebrews 6:1. Faith toward God follows that first principle of Christ.
Picture taking off your unrighteousness and putting on His righteousness. This piece of spiritual clothing or in this case, armor is what has been given to us to wear all the time. It is how we guard our hearts and then our minds.
Romans 3:21-31 is an important explanation of what God has accomplished in Christ regarding this righteousness.
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. NKJV
Faith in Christ and the receiving by the faith of what Christ did for us in His redemptive work is the “BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Once again, we must understand the metaphor being used by Paul, It is not about a piece of clothing that is worn and removed, it is about a “Life Style” of righteousness that came from God through faith in God’s work in Christ Jesus our Lord!
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