Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 6

Truth and righteousness

Ephesians 6:14

In this passage, Paul describes how a soldier prepares himself for battle. Christians too must be ready, because the devil and his evil forces will certainly oppose them. In that situation, Christians cannot defend themselves by physical strength, clever arguments or intelligent thought. Rather, they must use the methods that God has provided for their defence.

In the Bible, men typically wore long clothes with a lower part or skirt, that almost reached the ground. So, to prepare for any physical activity, they must first raise their clothes higher, by means of a belt (for example, 1 Kings 18:46). That would be a man’s first reaction when it was necessary to fight.

In the same way, a Christian must first recognise that he can only defend himself from the devil’s attacks with the truth. The devil, on the other hand, will attack that Christian with lies. The devil says that God’s word, the Bible, is not true. The devil pretends that God is unable to save (rescue) his people. With these and many other lies, the devil opposes Christians.

God’s word, however, is the truth. As God’s people declare his word, they defeat the devil’s lies (4:25).

It is the breastplate that protects a soldier’s upper body, and in particular his heart, during the battle. Christians too need to guard their heart (Proverbs 4:23). We mean not the physical heart, but their inner thoughts (Mark 7:16-23). Only true righteousness, the goodness that comes from God, can do that (Romans 3:21-22). That righteousness is God’s gift to his people by means of Christ. It shows itself in their right attitudes and their desire to please God (4:24).

Next part: The gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.