< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The Belt of Truth

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Belt of Truth

Here's the final part of my Sunday School lesson based on Larry Richard's book The Full Armor of God:

Ephesians 5:8-6:9 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

Christ once said, “When Satan lies he uses his native tongue.” And Satan has been deceiving us with lies since the Garden of Eden. His lies are designed to appeal to the sinful nature of man. The world values possessions more then persons, achievement more then relationships, believes a bigger house or a new car will make you happy. And the world is more attracted to beauty, then charity. Satan spins these lies. Satan and his demons don’t have to influence people individually. They influence culture and get a whole lot more bang for their buck! We need the belt of truth. Living by God’s word, wrapping His truth tightly around us like a belt, provides us with the support we need.

Paul uses “light” here for truth. God has given us a beacon of light: His Word. The truth! Jesus is also the light and the truth. If you remember John 1:1 He is also the Word. And we are not called simply to believe the truth; we are called to live the truth. And according to Jesus; that will set us free. Paul talks about how family members should treat each other. We are to live out the truth in our families.
Many ancient writers wrote about household management and Paul wrote about it in many of his other letters too. The secular writers though were all about the father as the absolute head of the family and what the wife, children and slaves owed him. The Biblical ones hold him accountable for loving his wife, nurturing his children and treating his slaves with respect. He’s not a dictator but rather God’s servant.  Where he says wives submit to your husband and husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church: husbands and wives are to care deeply for each other and be concerned with each others personal and spiritual growth.

Marriage is a partnership in the deepest sense of the word. If one partner believes he or she is more important then the other that’s allowing the door to open to demons by preying on the other spouse’s resentment or hurt. We’re to serve each other. And we’re to help each other put on the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:17-18 adds 2 important lessons to our goal of defending ourselves from the schemes of Satan. Take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Paul emphasizes prayer. Our safety depends on God’s mighty power. We must rely on Him and look to Him at all times, expressing our needs and concerns.
The author ends his book by telling Christians that we are authorized to cast demons out! He says any Christian living in fellowship with Christ can command demons in Jesus’ name and they will obey Him. First you have to deal with what’s going on in your life that’s letting them in though. Fix that and then cast them out. Then keep the door closed so they won’t come in again.

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

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