To understand the importance of a belt for a warrior in Jesus’ day, imagine that warrior dressing for war in his tunic – a loose-fitting garment. His belt not only cinched the cloth against his body, it also had fabric or leather strips hanging down from it to help protect his innermost, sensitive parts and upper legs (pterugas). These sometimes had metal studs or plates attached for additional protection. Ranking officials and officers sported a decorative belt with metal-studded leather strips (cingulum militare). Some belts provided sheaths for storing weapons.
Clearly, there is an offensive purpose for the warrior’s belt. It allows a certain freedom of movement to the soldier by holding together his attire. For a warrior of Christ, the belt is more than a physical asset. It is a belt of truth offering spiritual freedom.
John 8:31-32, 36 (NLT) “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
I want to live in freedom! How about you? Jesus IS freedom.
The warrior’s belt is also clearly a defensive asset. This part of the armor protected vital and reproductive organs, life-giving organs. For warriors of Christ, it is a belt of truth that covers our wellspring of life from where living waters flow. Jesus IS the truth, the living Word. Jesus IS the living water flowing in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:6 (NLT) “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 1:1, 14-15 (NLT) “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God… So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
John 7:38 (NIV) “Whoever believes in me [Jesus], as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
John 16:12-15 (NLT) Jesus told his disciples: “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'”
Truth also refers to the Bible, God’s holy word.
John 17:17 (NLT) Jesus prayed to the Father: “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”
Warrior, you are putting on Christ when you don the belt of truth! You are choosing to live in freedom in Christ, empowered by Him (the Truth) in the Holy Spirit flowing in and through you and by the Word which you read and by which you know Him more fully.
Ephesians 6:13-16 (NLT) “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor [breastplate] of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”