Guess where the strength of a swordsman comes from? Strength comes from his waist—his core. The belt of truth is listed first because truth must be at the very center
of your being. The Greek word used here for “waist” can also be translated as loins
—”Stand, therefore, having your LOINS girt about with truth” (KJV). The loins are the lower part of your back, which, together with your waist and stomach, form the very center of your strength. When swinging a sword, strength and speed are developed from your core. So strength, like truth, must be centered in your core.
When preaching a sermon at Eden Street Chapel (in London), on August 3, 1851, Pastor J. C. Philpot said that two things are meant by the belt of truth:
“First, Christian sincerity; ‘Truth,’ as the Psalmist speaks, ‘in the inward parts” Psalm 51:6. Uprightness of heart lies at the base of all true Christian profession. If a man has no sincerity Godwards, he has nothing. Our loins, therefore, or the seat of strength and activity, need in this sense to be girt about with what the apostle calls ‘simplicity and godly sincerity’ (2 Corinthians 1:12)… And secondly, the word ‘truth’ is also used in a more particular and restricted sense to signify Christian truth, ‘the truth as it is in Jesus.’ A man may be sincerely wrong [if his faith is not placed in Jesus, the true Lord].”
Another key observation about this piece of armor is listed first in Paul’s list because it holds everything together: your movement, your weapons, and your security while fighting.
The Belt means:
Standing on truth
Having a “tight game” and being prepared (imagine going into battle with a loose belt)
In Isaiah 11:5, the clothing of Christ, the foretold Messiah is described as: “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” In Biblical times, when a warrior prepared for vigorous action, he tied up his loose, flowing garments with a belt. Consider how the Lord Himself is described as a warrior in this passage from Isaiah (5:26-28):
“He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily! Not one of them grows tired or stumbles, not one slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist, not a sandal thong is broken. Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses’ hoofs seem like flint, their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.”
Next look at what Proverbs says about the importance of truthfulness in one’s life:
“A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.” (Proverbs 12:17)
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” (Proverbs 12:22)
“A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.” (Proverbs 14:5)
“A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” (Proverbs 14:25)
When describing spiritual armor, the Apostle Paul uses the warrior’s belt to signify truth: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (Ephesians 6:14). Think about the significance of the belt as part of a knight’s armor—if you are in the middle of a sword battle and your belt falls down, three things happen:
You lose your backup weapons (most knights strapped daggers to their weapon belt);
You lose focus as your clothing flies to the wind; and
You cannot move as fast and be as agile as you could be if your belt and clothing are secure.
Just like in real life, if we stop telling the truth, we do not have a clear conscience to use all of our battle weapons, we become distracted as we get tangled in a massive web of lies, and we cannot move forth with clarity of mind and purpose.