Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. [Matthew 5:5 ESV]
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [Ephesians 6:10 ESV]
If faith is the conduit through which God delivers the tools needed to live a godly life in this world then faith is not the only tool. It is one of the tools. We are attacked by sin from every side, from within and without. Since God has left us in a sinful world and in sinful bodies to teach us to war, to discipline us and to prepare us for eternity then it is imperative we have the tools He offers and know how to use them. Intimately knowing these tools and effectively using them is an act of our wills directed by God as we come under His control.
Paul, in Ephesians 6, gives a list of characteristics all from God which prepares us for battle with the world, our own flesh and our adversary. There is no place for passive attitudes in this war. We must be fully engaged and totally committed. We cannot sit or lie down in this war. Whether we are on the offensive or defensive is dependent upon the circumstances.
Paul’s first involves strapping on or fastening on the belt of “truth” (Ephesian 6:14). We are to allow truth to hold us together just as a belt holds together the garment and carries the tools needed to work. God demaned we know and adhere to the truth. Look back at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, two verses before “blessed are the meek.” Those who are “poor in spirit” love the truth so completely they cannot abide a lie, in themselves or in others. No one is meek, no one has God’s strength in them under His control, until they have submitted themselves to the truth of the reality of sin and the truth of God’s perfect righteousness and holiness. In everything the truth must prevail, not just precision of thought and speech, not just adherence to superficial rules which exonerate behavior without admission of internal guilt. Sin corrupts the whole person. Deciding a lie is true is the benchmark of the world’s insane thinking. God is truth, in Him there is no lie. Those who think clearly know the truth.
I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. [1 John 2:21-22 ESV]
How then do we measure and validate truth? According to John, those who deny Christ deny the truth and try to make truth a lie then make the lie truth. But isn’t John speaking about Religious things? Isn’t he giving Christians a way to test the claims of those who teach the Bible, proclaim the Gospel and show them how to live? He is. But don’t limit truth and its measurement to simply the written or spoken Gospel message for the Gospel touches every part of life. Jesus’ intent in these first verses of the Sermon on the Mount is to describe the whole person as a citizen of the kingdom.
Those who deny God and the truth of God have formed the foundation of their thinking based upon falsehood. We cannot separate God from any part of our thinking or understanding of the truth whether of the laws of the physical universe or the moral code which govern our lives. If we do not believe God is who He is then all of the rest of our thinking will be ungodly. Every decision we make based upon ungodly thinking and reasoning will deny Him and deny the worth of all made in His image. All of the evidence of the breakdown of the structures of society shows this. Compromising the moral code destroys relationships. Even though people may do “good” things none of what they do brings glory to God, nothing done is from obedience to Him.
Those who believe abortion is acceptable cannot then think, or espouse the value of every person other than the unborn. The evidence says they do not value every person but have decided some have more value than others. From conception to death to eternity the person has the complete image of God. Those who believe deviant sexual behavior is acceptable cannot then think or espouse the truth and sanctity of marriage. Their beliefs deny the truth of the relationship Jesus has with His Church, or God has with all people. Those who think God is something other than who He is cannot them espouse the value of knowing God. They know an idol, a figment of their imagination, not the truth of God revealed.
Our first weapon in defense against the sin which surrounds and is within us is truth. It is the truth which holds everything together. The universe is held together by the grace of God’s might and the truth of the physical laws He has set in place. The truth of the moral code holds together those made in His image and provides a good relationship with God and others covered with Christ’s righteousness. It is the citizens of Gods kingdom which shows the evidence of the full measure of His moral code kept perfectly. We must have a rigorous discipline in the thinking of our hearts toward the God of creation and then those created in His image.