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Breastplate of Righteousness

Article by Janice Jones

In Ephesians 6:10-18 the Apostle Paul describes the Full Armor of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

This second week’s piece of armor will be the Breastplate of Righteousness. When I think of this particular piece of armor, the first thing that comes to my mind is where it is placed Biblically and metaphorically. The Breastplate is what protects the heart.  And as the Bible says in Luke 6:45, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

My Bible’s concordance describes righteousness as acting in a morally correct manner; correct by divine declaration.  In the amplified version of

Psalm 119:40 it states that righteousness is “right standing with God.”  So when I put this all together, chop it all up and break it all down what I come up with is this:  when Ephesians talks about the breastplate of righteousness what it is really saying is in an effort to make this piece of the armor most effective, you have to be sure that your heart is pure.  Not that your actions are perfect or that your thoughts are always on proper moral point.  But that you truly have a heart that desires what is Godly, what is just, what is morally correct even if on occasion you falter in your actions. Romans 7:21-23 says, “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.”

And this is where Christ perfect sacrifice for us comes in to play.  This is how we learn that the righteousness we need for protection from all the evil spoken about in Ephesians 6:10 is available to us only because of our relationship with Jesus, our right standing with Him.  Romans 7:25 says, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Glory! Glory! Glory! Glory to God.  As I sit here reading the scriptures and writing this message I can hardly sit still in my desk chair.  I am so excited and overwhelmed by God’s magnificent and amazing love for me, for us. Not only does He spell out for us what we need to do to protect ourselves from the enemy, He equips us with every tool, every weapon necessary to fight.  God says I need, I must have righteousness to protect myself.  Yet He also knows I am too raggedy on my own to properly equip myself with such a thing.  So He has provided my righteousness for me.  All I have to do is have a genuine desire for Him for this righteousness in my heart. Hallelujah. Thank You, Jesus.

Psalm 119:40, “Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!”

Proverbs 11:19, “Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.”

Romans 3:22, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile.”

Romans 5:19, “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

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