If a Jehovah’s Witness were to come to your door and emphatically state that they alone are the only true religion, which alone, honors “Jehovah” as the only true God. Similarly, if two rosy-cheek LDS (Mormon) missionaries sincerely tell you that that Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and the LDS Church is the only true Church on earth today, how are you going to respond? How are you going to respond to their advice for you to “pray about it?” Will you think about joining one of these groups due to their relentless love bombing? The fact is, only by having an accurate understanding of the truth of Scripture and the gospel will you be able to answer correctly. Biblical truth not only guards you, but it enables you to faithfully affirm the basic truths of who God is, and the gospel of the Son.
Truth both saves us and protects us. Paul directly tells the pastors in Ephesus through Timothy: “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:6).
In Ephesian 6:10-17, Paul’s places TRUTH first in his list of pieces of the armor of God—Truth, is foundational to the subsequent pieces. Without a biblically true understanding of the following pieces of armor —namely, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, we will not “be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (v. 11). It would be a plastic armor and a sword of straw, which cannot defend against anything nor can it properly affirm the gospel; leaving one wide open for “all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (v. 16).
Although there are many biblically false views of demonic warfare posited in both charismatic and conservative circles—from a denial of demonic warfare altogether, to the notion that there is a demon under every rock and in every computer. Not surprising, some even see the devil as the sole cause of any moral failure one may have removing any personal accountability!
Paul starts the context of spiritual warfare in verse 10: “Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power”. Then Paul provides the means of accomplishing this—by putting on the armor of God. In verses 10-18, Paul’s idea of the full armor of God consists of six pieces in the armor. All but one, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” are defensive pieces.
Eph. 6:11 “Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” The word translated “put on” is from the Greek verb, enduō, which denotes clothing oneself with or sinking into a garment.
Same word is used in Colossians 3:12: “Put on [enduō],” that is, sink into “a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (NASB). The particular tense of the verb, aorist imperative, denotes urgency, literally, “Put on right now! the full armor of God.” The “full armor” is from panoplia—a compound word from the Greek adjective pas (“all, every”) and hoplon (“weapon”). Thus, the term signifies every piece, or a complete set of defensive and offensive armor or weapons. Same term in 2 Cor. 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds.”
12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” The term “struggle” is palē, carries the meaning of a “hand-to-hand fight.”
13 “For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.” The phrase, “take up” is also in the aorist imperative—namely, an urgent commandment: Do it now!
14 “Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness.” Paul commands his readers to “stand firm.” Again, to express the gravity of this situation, Paul uses the same tense of urgency (aorist imperative): Stand firm Now! In the following verses, he instructs his readers as to how to do this in the midst of spiritual conflict. Note the three aorist imperative verbs: “Clothe yourselves” (v. 11), “take Up” (v. 13), and here, “stand firm” (v. 14). Why such urgency? Verse 11 contains the Greek conjunction, hina (“in order that, so that”). This is a “purpose and result” clause. Hence, the purpose of putting on the full armor of God is for the result of being “able to stand firm against the methods or schemes of the devil.”
Secondly, note the four participles in Paul’s list (vv. 14-17), which are semantically, “participles of means,” indicating the very means that God has provided to stand firm against the devil’s methods or schemes against believers: “by fastening,” “by putting on,” by fitting on,” and “by taking up”:
Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news [gospel] of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In verse 17, the aorist imperative (again) “take” expresses an additional means by which to accomplish the standing firm—namely, by the word of God. Peter also speaks of our warfare against devil in 1 Peter 5:8-9. Notice the repetition of the aorist imperative commandments:
Be sober and alert [aorist imperative]. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking [zētōn, present participle, ‘always actively looking or seeking’] for someone to devour [katapinō, lit., ‘drink down’]. 9 Resist [aorist imperative]. him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering (cf. James 4:7).
God has provided six pieces of armor that equip the believer for spiritual battle:
- Belt of truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Gospel of peace
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit, the word of God
As mentioned, of the six pieces, Paul provides truth as the first foundational piece: “By fastening the belt of truth around your waist.” As with justification, truth is objective—and sometimes it is in opposition to our feelings. So Solomon says, “The one who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26).
Biblical truth is foundational to our faith, salvation, and our sanctification.
- Guards and protects us against false teachings.
- Reveals that God is triune and Jesus is God in the flesh.
- Reveals the gospel of the Son.
- Teaches us that we are saved, justified through faith alone, not by works.
- Transforms our life.
- Resides in us and encourages us.
- Ensures us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In fact, truth is predicated of each person in the Trinity. The Father (John 7:28; 17:3), the Son (John 1:14 14:6; 1 John 5:20), and the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).
Paul stresses to the pastors in Ephesus through Timothy to “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately” (1 Tim. 2:15). The term translated “accurately,” is from orthotomeō, which compound word is from orthos (“straight”) and temnō, (“to cut”), literally, “to cut straight.” Thus, it carries the meaning of precision. An accurate truthful hermeneutic will protect the true intended meaning of the biblical text (2 Pet. 3:16).
Thus, truth starts with the veracity of Scripture (Sola Scriptura). In the Temptation narrative (Matt. 4:1-11), Jesus combated the devil and his false words with Scripture. Paul states that, “all Scripture is theopneustos [‘God breathed out’].” Truth seekers bow and submit to Scripture as their sole infallible authority. Unlike those who only see parts of Scripture they like as “truth,” while the ones they do not like, they see as false. They do not believe in Scripture, but in themselves (Augustine). We worship a God who calls Himself Truth (John 14:6), so we have a higher obligation to be truthful in our life and our handling the word of truth. Those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). In light of this, Christians should exhort one another as “fellow workers with the truth” (3 John 1:18).
Without this biblical truth, we have no protection against the schemes of the devil. So Jesus says, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). According to Jesus, Satan “does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Since Satan uses falsities to attack Christians, biblically unread Christians are easy targets for him. So it is vital, therefore, for the believer, “Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist.”
- Error and falsehood (ignorance or purposeful) will not extinguish temptation.
- Untruth will not bring God’s favor in your life.
- Falsities do not glorify God—it dishonors Him, no matter how many “good works” one performs (Prov. 15:8).
- The devil has been using false doctrine since the beginning of time (Gen. 3:1-7; 2 Cor. 11:3).
Therefore, “Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. . . . 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. . . . 14“Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist” (Eph. 6:11, 13-14).
 Unless otherwise indicated, all biblical citations in this article are taken from the NET.
 Prominent Greek scholar Dan Wallace defines the tense as a “Do it now” verb (cf. GGBB).