TRUTH OF DOCTRINE AS A GIRDLE FOR THE MIND

We shall begin with truth of doctrine, or truth of the word, called ‘the word of truth,’ Eph. 1:13, because it is the word of God, who is God of truth.  It behoves every Christian to be well girt with this truth.  ‘Resist the devil,’ saith Peter, ‘steadfast in the faith,’ I Peter 5:9; that is, in the truth—faith being there put for the object of our faith, which is the truth of God, declared in the doctrine of the gospel.  This is ‘the faith which was once delivered to the saints,’ Jude 3; that is, the truth delivered to them to be believed and held fast.  And of what importance it is to be thus steadfast in the faith, the apostle Peter, in the following verse of the fore-mentioned place, shows, by his vehement and earnest praying for them, that God would ‘stablish, strengthen, and settle them.’  The heaping of words to the same purpose, implies the great danger they were in of being unsettled by Satan and his instruments, and the necessity of their standing firm and unshaken in the faith.  Nothing is more frequently inculcated than this in the Epistles; and the more, because in those blustering times it was impossible to have kept the faith from being blown from them, without this girdle to hold it fast.  Now, as there is a double design Satan hath to rob Christians of truth, so there is a twofold girding about with this truth necessary.  first, Satan comes as a serpent in the persons of false teachers, and by them labours to put a cheat on us, and cozenus  with error for truth.  To defend us against this design, it is necessary we be girt with truth in our understanding—that we have an established judgement in the truths of Christ.  second, Satan comes sometimes as a lion in the persons of bloody persecutors, and labours to scare Christians from the truth with fire and faggot.  Now to defend us against this, we need to have truth girt about us, so that with a holy resolution we may maintain our profession in the face of death and danger.  to begin with the first.

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