“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14, NKJV).
Though it’s a little difficult to know the exact nature of the girdle, it seems that in Ephesians 6:14 Paul may have been referring to a leather apron that offered some protection to the lower abdomen but also made freedom of movement and readiness for action possible. In this sense, the girdle was a piece of basic armor. And that armor, said Paul, was “truth.” Along with the girdle of truth was the breastplate of righteousness. Thus, in this one verse Paul links the concepts of truth and righteousness.
Look up the following texts. How could they help us to understand the link between truth and righteousness, and why are they are so crucial for our spiritual protection in the great controversy? 1 Kings 3:6, Ps. 15:2, 96:13, Prov. 12:17,Isa. 48:1; 2 Cor. 6:7, Eph. 5:9.
When the apostle Paul speaks of righteousness as a breastplate in the context of spiritual warfare, he has moral issues in mind. Doing right and practicing righteousness, or in other words, living out the “truth,” are as vital to Christians in the battle with the powers of evil as the breastplate is to the soldier on the battlefield. When we neglect to do what is right, when we turn our backs on what we know to be the truth, we are easy prey for Satan’s attacks, because we are leaving a wide open hole in our armor.
At the same time, though this “righteousness” includes living a righteous life, we must always remember the other aspect of righteousness, and that is the righteousness of Christ, which covers the believer and remains the believer’s only hope of salvation. As long as we cling to this truth-that our salvation rests in Jesus-we can be protected from one of Satan’s most efficient spiritual assaults against us: discouragement.
Have you ever been tempted to give up your walk with Jesus because you’ve been discouraged over your life, your character, your actions? If so, why is understanding the truth about Christ’s righteousness so crucial to a strong defense against Satan’s assaults?