In our study yesterday on the Armor of God in Eph 6, I briefly hit on each of the six pieces of the armor. One thing I realized as I studied the passage is the importance to understand the objective and subjective means of each piece of hardware. Let me explain.
Objective truth (as in the belt of truth) is that there is truth. God is truth. He does not lie. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” (Jn14:6) It’s a fact. It’s now a position I have because Jesus has saved me. I know and believe in the truth.
Subjective truth means that my practice (how I live truth, in honesty, integrity, telling the truth, living from a position of the truth of God) is my response to the objective truth. When I look at the armor of God, I’m going to ask, ‘Is this truth the objective truth of God, or is it my subjective response (being truthful, etc) to God’s objective Truth?’ My answer: BOTH. My subjective behavior is based SOLELY on the objective fact of ‘God is Truth’. His indwelling Holy Spirit allows me to know this and to live it out, only by His power.
The same is true regarding Righteousness (breastplate of righteousness). The objective truth of righteousness is that I am NOW fully complete in Christ, clothed in His righteousness, because of Who He is (Righteous) and what He’s done for me (I am made righteous because of the cross, Rom 3:21-22; 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9). The objective truth of righteousness is that I have a new standing with God. I’m not partially righteous, needing to work hard so that I can get more righteous. It can’t be God’s righteousness if I have to try and earn it, or if it’s not complete!
Subjective righteousness refers to ‘what I do with the righteousness of Christ’. I have a responsibility to live FROM my righteous standing with God. This is the key to sanctification. Again, the Holy Spirit empowers me to live out the righteousness of Christ (integrity, honesty, making wise and ‘right’ choices, seeking counsel, etc) based on the objective truth of the righteousness I have because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Here’s the verse I couldn’t find in Sunday’s sermon: Rom 6:13! Also: 1 Cor 1:30; 1 Tim 6:11