Paul tells believers in Ephesians 6 to wear the belt of truth. In our culture, however, truth is relative. Your truth and my truth can completely contradict one another. Not only is this type of thinking considered okay, it is actually encouraged. Our culture even has a polite, socially acceptable word for it – tolerance.
Hear me out. Tolerance isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Bible calls us to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves. Bullying is never okay – not only by our culture’s standards but also according to God’s standard. Using the truth of God and His Word to condemn others is something Jesus never did. (John 3:17) On the other hand, the underlying message of tolerance in today’s culture is one that teaches us that everyone has the right to their own “truth.”
The Bible speaks a great deal about “truth.”
The Word of God:
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 (ESV)
The Gospel Message:
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)
Guidance from the Holy Spirit:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. – John 16:13-14 (ESV)
Ultimately, God is the only absolute truth we have as human beings.
Know it. – There are two ways we can know truth. One is the Holy Spirit. God has sent Him as a gift to all believers. The Bible tells us that He helps us to discern truth from lies (1 John 2:20-21). The second is through the study of God’s Word. The Bible is our written truth from God, and it can be trusted (2 Timothy 3:16).
Live in it. – Once we know the truth, we are accountable to walk in it. We are called to a life of obedience. We can’t claim to know God and His truth, yet go on living a life of sin (1 John 1:6).
Teach it. – God expects us to teach His truth to others. Since the Gospel message is the only source of salvation and life, it is our responsibility to spread the truth to everyone we can.
Fight for it. – We are called to stand firm in the truth. This does not give us license to judge or condemn others. Truth is a defensive weapon…not offensive. We don’t attack with it; rather we stand up for it and defend it.
We have a very real enemy, which is why Paul tells us to prepare by wearing the armor of God – including the belt of truth. The truth of God doesn’t just set us free. It helps us to defend ourselves against the lies of this world.
With the Word of God in our hearts and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will be able to discern the truth from the lies and stand firm in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.