Belt of Truth

2nd of 8 messages delivered at the ERCS Family Camp, 19-22 Jun 2006

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth" (Ephesians 6:14a).

We are standing inside the armoury of the army of Christ.

Earlier on, we have been reminded to be brave; to take courage and to draw equipment and strength from the Lord as we enter into the fight.

We have also been briefed on what kind of war we are fighting and the strategy that we must adopt in the battle. It is a spiritual war. The enemies are invisible terrorists. We must fight a defensive battle. Christ our King has already conquered. We must stand and withstand as Satan the Prince of the enemy army schemes and plots to regain lost ground. And in order to fight, we must put on the full armour that God has provided for us and use them effectively.

But now we must begin to learn about various parts of the armour that is available to us. In this second study, we must consider the belt or girdle of truth.

Let us study this piece of equipment by asking: What kind of belt or girdle is it? What does this belt represent? How to put on this belt?

1. What is the Purpose of a Belt?

In modern days, belts are either decorative or used to hold up pants for men….

In the Ancient Near Eastern cultures people wore flowing clothing. When they were relaxed and not doing anything, they would let the garment hang loosely. But if they are about to do some vigorous activity, they would put on a girdle or a belt around their waist.

So the Jews during the time of Moses were commanded to eat the Passover with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand (Ex 12:11) to symbolise their preparedness to leave Egypt at the Lord’s command.

So girding of the loins was for the Jews always associated with preparedness.

But Paul was quite obviously thinking about the belt used by the Roman soldiers, for when he wrote this letter, he was suffering his first Roman imprisonment around A.D. 61. He was chained to a centurion 24 hours a day. It is very likely that what he saw of the Roman soldier’s panoply led him to write about the panoply of God. Although he wrote under inspiration, the Holy Spirit would have made use of his experience to write what he wrote.

Now, for the Roman soldier, the girdle or belt around the waist serves a slightly different purpose compared to that of the ancient Jews. In the first place, the Roman soldier’s belt or cingulum was a kind of a badge of office (just as boy scouts today are allowed to wear their belt and scarf only after they have made their scouting promise and pledge).

In the second place, the belt has an apron or groin guard which makes a kind of jangling noise that helped to intimidate the enemy whenever the legionaries marched.

But in the third place, the belt has a practical purpose of holding the rest of the panoply together. The Roman soldier puts on the girdle first before he puts on his body armour or breastplate. The breastplate, kind of sits or hangs on the belt. And similarly the soldier’s sword and dagger also hangs on the belt. The belt is therefore a very important piece of equipment.

You need to put it on first if you are to go into the battle. If you do not have it, you would not be prepared for battle.

Now, the belt that we must put on for the spiritual battle is the belt of truth.

2. What does this Belt Represent?

This belt is the belt of truth. Paul tells us to put on this belt of truth, but he does not tell us what truth he is referring to. Is he speaking about objective truth as in the doctrines of the truth of the Gospel, or is he speaking about subjective truth as in sincerity, integrity and faithfulness?

Well, commentators are divided on what the apostle has in mind.

Some say that he is referring to the facts of the Gospel, for unless we bind the truth to ourselves, we will easily be tempted by the devil to stray into heresy and lawlessness. If we hold fast the truth of the Gospel, we will be restrained from straying from the Lord.

Others believe that Paul is not speaking about the objective truth of the Word of God, but about sincerity, integrity and faithfulness.

Well, I personally believe that Paul is referring to both aspects of truth, for unless we hold fast to the truth of God, we cannot truly be truthful. How can we be truthful when we are holding on to lies and reject the truth of God?

So then this belt of truth speaks of everything that has to do with truth whether objective or subjective. We must not deceive ourselves by speaking about our sincerity if we deny the truth of God. On the other hand, if we know the truth of God, we must live faithfully and honestly in imitation of our Lord.

Only when we have the belt of truth gird about our loins, then will we have ease and freedom of movement to fight the spiritual battle.

Without the belt of the truth of the Word of God, we will fall into the trap of Satan, for you can be sure he will ask us as he asked Eve, "Hath God said?"

And without the belt of the truth of honesty, we will also fall into the trap and temptation of Satan, for he will trap us with our own words so that we find ourselves unable to fight the battle. How to fight the battle if we do not sincerely believe the truth of the Word of God? How to fight the battle if we are being hypocritical in our faith?

So then, we must put on the belt of truth—both of the truth of the Word and of honesty and integrity.

3. How to put on the
Belt of truth?

a. Firstly, the objective aspect of the belt of truth is made up of a fabric of biblical propositional truths.

Therefore, if you are to have the belt of truth, you must begin by listening to the Word preached diligently and studying the Word faithfully.

When we bind the truth of the Scripture to ourselves, we are putting on the belt of truth. Otherwise we may be putting on a belt of error. We must, therefore, be concerned that what doctrine we hold to is the truth and not just some arguments and traditions of man.

Bear in mind that if the truth is not tightly bound to your waist, then you may be fighting the devil’s battle.

The belt of truth, at least in its objective aspect, indicates whom the wearer belongs to, and whose battle he is fighting.

Think of the liberals and cults such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. They call themselves Christian, but whose battle are they fighting? They wear a belt, but it is not a belt of truth. It has some truth but a lot of errors. You do not want to fight alongside them. In fact, you want to fight against them by denouncing their heresy.

So what belt should you bind to yourself? Remember that in a certain way the belt determines whom you should be fighting alongside and whom you should fight against. So you do not want to define the belt too narrowly, or you will be fighting against everyone. What then, should you wear practically? Well, I would suggest, that the Confession of the Church provides a good definition of the objective belt you should wear. Bind these truths to yourself. Fight against anything that is contrary to these truths. So fight Arminianism, Dispensationalism, legalism, antinomianism, etc. But refrain from fighting about issues that are not found in your Confession.

Unless you are steadfastly entrenched in the major tenets of the truth, the devil will try his best to shake you from the faith. He will try to dislodge your armour piece by piece. Be sure of that.

b. Secondly, you must put on the belt of truth by resolving not to bluff yourself. Be honest with yourself. Resist the temptation to compromise, or to cast aside your conscience.

It is easy to bluff yourself. Lot bluffed himself that it was alright for his family to live toward Sodom and Gommorah. Perhaps he was resolved only to stay outside the city and benefit from the pagan city without being involved with the city life.

But slowly he found himself moving nearer and nearer into the city. Perhaps he bluffed himself that it would be OK. He would teach his children well. He would make sure that they were protected from the influence of the people in the land by daily family worship.

But slowly his family began to assimilate into the culture of the land. This righteous man was daily vexed with the filthiness of the land and was weak to resist the suggestions of the devil because he compromised. He bluffed himself. He did not put on the belt of truth.

By the grace of God, Lot was preserved. But the price of his self-deception was great. He lost his wife and sons-in-law; and his daughters had little qualms committing incest.

Beloved brethren and children put on the belt of truth. Resolve to be honest with yourself. Do not bluff yourself by telling yourself that you do not need to repent or to change the course of your life.

So for example, if on account of backsliding you find yourself not willing to come for the means of grace, you must resist the temptation to bluff yourself by saying, ‘I am tired’, ‘I don’t feel very well,’ or ‘I have stomach ache’ etc.

You should rather go to the Lord to seek His help. Put on the belt of truth. Be honest with yourself and with the Lord. Unless you are truthful in your assessment of your heart, you will not grow spiritually and you will easily fall under the temptation of the wicked one.

c. Thirdly, you must put on the belt of truth by resolving to be truthful with others.

Children, this will be your particular temptation. Some say that children will never tell lies. I don’t believe that at all. Every child is born with a fallen nature. They know how to lie from the earliest age. If you did something wrong, and you know that your daddy or mummy will scold you or discipline you, what will you be tempted to do? You’ll be tempted to tell a lie, wouldn’t you?

I remember when I was a young boy. I forgot to learn my ‘ting xie’ (i.e. Chinese spelling test). I scored zero or near to zero. I was called up by the teacher. What did I do? Immediately I told her: I lost my paper. It seemed less wrong to lose the paper than to forget to learn. I got a spanking.

I did not know it was sin against God to tell a lie. I lied so much that it became very easy to lie. It was very shameful. Children, put on the belt of truth. Do not allow Satan to tempt you to lie because with each lie, you will find it easier and easier to lie so that after a while, your automatic reaction is to lie whenever you feel threatened. I have been through that. It is a terrible feeling to know that you are a liar.

But brethren, make no mistake. The temptation to be untruthful is not only a problem amongst children. It is a problem amongst adults too, for we are always tempted to want to look better before others. But put on the belt of truth. Let us be candid and honest with one another. If you hold anything against another person, and the person asks you if you hold anything, be honest about it. Do you say, "no," and then say bad things about him behind his back.

Unless we put on the belt of truth and are prepared to tell the truth one to another, we shall have occasion of stumbling one another and Satan will have occasion to re-claim lost-ground.


Beloved brethren and children, put on the belt of truth. It is very important for us always to know the truth and to tell the truth. If you know not the truth, you may end up fighting the devil’s battle; and if you tell a lie, you would be doing the devil’s work.

Liars are children of the devil. With each lie they speak, they become more and more like the devil. Liars are easily persuaded by the devil to shame the name of Christ.

The devil will try to tempt us into telling lies when we are confronted with a fault. He will suggest to you that no one else knows the truth. But you must remember, God knows the truth. And He is deeply displeased with falsehood.

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (Prov 6:17).

Out of these six things, three has to do with falsehood or half truths.

We must put on the belt of truth if we want to fight the Lord’s battle. Let us ask the Lord to help us to know the truth, to be honest with ourselves and to be sincere and truthful towards others.


—JJ Lim