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Monday: Belt and Breastplate — 12 Comments

  1. The symbolism of belt (tunic) and breastplate are linked to truth and righteousness respectively and it is very easy for us to put an Adventist slant on these simply because we use them so frequently. Perhaps we need to re-examine the metaphors for a better understanding of these terms.

    The tunic was designed not only for protection but for mobility. One of the issues with some of the later suits of armour was that while they gave good protection, they were quite cumbersome and made it difficult for the wearer to move. Roman soldiers were able to move quite quickly and respond to new situations with comparative ease. Perhaps we need to ask the question; are we wearing our perception of truth like a suit of armour or like tunic? We often think of truth as a set of facts that we agree to (like the 27/28 fundamentals) but what if we were to treat truth as something more dynamic – a relationship with Jesus that enables us to share with others.

    I note that in Paul’s description of armour, there is no mention of a protective back-plate. Does that mean that a Christian is left vulnerable at the back? I don’t think it is stretching the metaphor too far to suggest that if we wear the righteousness of Christ as a breastplate and share that righteousness with others, they in turn become our shield from the rear. I have good Christian friends who watch my back. They tell me when I go off the track or take a wrong turn (even in Sabbath School Net discussions). Righteousness in not some meta-state of Christianity but rather a practical working of relationships centred on the righteousness of Jesus.

  2. Today, obviously, we are talking about putting on the breast plate and belt, to protect us with genuine truth and Christ righteousness. So how do we put these armors on?

    Christ told us how. He said: "Ye are truly My disciples if you..."

    Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    John 8:31‭ NLT.
    John 8:32 NLT.

    Now what are Christ teachings?

    Matthew 5:1-48.
    Matthew 6:1-34.
    Matthew 7:1-28.

  3. I remember what D.Chadwick wrote about this subject, quoting:
    „ The first piece of the armor is the belt of truth. Truth, by its very definition, is exclusive. It means something is true, and other things are lies. The evil one is the father of lies (John 8:44). Every lie finds its origin in him.
    Every other piece of the full armor of God is attached to the belt of truth. If you don’t begin with truth, you’ll never defeat the enemy. And Jesus said God’s Word is true (John 17:17).“

    In my opinion, the full armor of God also starts by knowing my identity that I am a child of the living merciful and forgiving God. It is clear that the enemy tries very frequently to reshape our sense of identity. When Daniel was taken captive by the Chaldeans, they changed his name, attempted to change his diet and worship, yet he stood tall. The enemy uses society and the masses to change our identity as individuals. Since the church consists of individuals, we need to preserve our identity collectively in order to fulfill God‘s plan.

  4. Goodness, holiness, and truth. These can destroy whatever evil seems to blast. They are part of one single shield called Love. For God is Love and cannot be self-contradicted. Does evil worry you? Be shielded, for against Love, there is no greater power.

  5. Taken from God’s Amazing Grace:
    “Each one will have a close struggle to overcome sin in his own heart. This is at times a very painful and discouraging work; because as we see the deformities in our character, we keep looking at them, when we should look to Jesus and put on the robe of righteousness.
    Everyone who enters the pearly gates of the city of God will enter there as a conqueror, and his/her greatest conquest will have been the conquest of self. “
    Dying to self can only be achieved by total surrender to God.

  6. It may be of value to consider that often winning the battle from a spiritual perspective may mean losing the battle from a worldly perspective. It was through death that Jesus defeated him who had the power of death. The blood of the martyrs we are told was as seed that caused the truth to prosper. And we are told that our plans may fail in order that God’s plans for us may succeed.

  7. What do all the pieces of the spiritual armor have in common? When employed, what are they born from, what is their foundational, spiritual source? Eph.6:10 tells us to ”be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power.” God’s armor given to us to ‘put on’ is the New Way we ought to follow – our Lord and Savior’s Way of living life through loving our heavenly Father and our fellow man.

    When putting on this spiritual armor we make a commitment to never take it off; it is to stay on for the rest of our lives. God’s armor is a passive/protective as well as an active/engaging weapon. It protects us and at the same time, when being employed to engage, it builds up the spiritual strength of the one who wears it. It is so unique, a believer's life depends on wearing it.

    I think the lesson writer put it well when saying: “They do not so much possess God’s truth as God's Truth possesses and protects them.” I consider all parts of the armor to fall into this same category. For us to experience peace within and to wage peace without, we need to put on the full/whole armor of God. No piece is superfluous! Luke 6:23-42; Rom5:7-8.

    Walking the path of righteousness is never easy, but knowing that it is God’s Way for man to live righteously takes away the insecurities - doubts and trepidations -, should one become a ‘stranger’ to family and former friends. We know why we have believed and stand strong in our faith that on His shoulders He will carry us home. Isaiah 46:4; Deut.32:11.

  8. very interesting to me as to how Paul uses the symbolism of a "Belt" for "Truth." But here I am with "Shingles," and stabbing pains to go with it and going on two weeks and still no relief yet from this. I was told by a Doctor that even after the rash is gone, I might still experience pain for over six months in that area of my body. In case anybody does not know (which I did not know until I came down with this affliction) the reason it is called "Shingles," is because it comes from a "Latin word for belt---Singulum," because most people get the rash around their midsection of which I did too. Then the Apostle Peter mentions "Suffering in the flesh like Jesus." But I am sure that Jesus did not suffer with "Shingles" at all in His Flesh. Yes, I know, Job, did suffer for a long time with "Boils." But now I have another question: WHy did Paul not mention "Job" and his sufferings in any of his Epistles?

    • He does mention Job indirectly in 1 Cor 3:19-20... "The curious thing about Paul’s quote from Eliphaz is that Eliphaz does not correctly diagnose Job’s condition. Job has not been “crafty” in way that caused God to punish him. To the contrary, Job is being tested by “the accuser” (ha-satan, a being in the Heavenly Court who roams the Earth on God’s behalf) because Job has done everything right." By dopderbeck.

      Everyone is fighting a different battle... and not everyone will experience Shingles for example, but whatever battle (personal/corporate) we are engaged in comes with its own pain, wounds, scars, and trauma. What I am experiencing as going through trauma, might look to someone else like a walk in the park, proverbially... I think Paul saw this in all his journeys dealing with different cultures and being able to compare, God saw it fit to present to him this one-size-fits-all battle strategy that would suit any soldier willing to go to battle within his/her own league...? Job, was one example of many.


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