Armor of God-Day 3
Stand firm then…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…Ephesians 6: 14
Yesterday, we learned about the foundational piece of armor, the belt of truth. As a belt holds our garments in place, Jesus and His truth covers and protects us from our adversary. His truth fights the lies of the enemy…the father of lies. Today, we look at the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate is designed to defend the heart and vital organs of the soldier. It was usually made from small brass plates sewn together to create scales like fish. It was leather backed and would get hot in the sun, so soldiers would cover themselves with an undergarment.
Like soldiers in the past, we need to cover ourselves in Christ and His righteousness in order to stand firm against our enemy.
In 1 Kings, we read a story about the evil King Ahab and his demise from an opening in his armor.
An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor…The battle raged all that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died. 1 Kings 22: 34-35
King Ahab had not covered himself with righteousness, but with selfish ambition and pride.
So what is righteousness?
Righteousness is doing what is right in God’s eyes…to obey Him and His command to love Him and others. And of course, we, on our own, cannot do this. So it is the wearing of Jesus Christ and His righteousness that protects us against the snares and traps of the enemy. To conjure up our own righteousness is like wearing dirty rags.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64: 6
According to Doug Batchelor in his book, The Armor of God, we learn that the breastplate had no back covering, because it was assumed the soldier would never turn his back on the enemy. Likewise, as Christians, we should never turn our back on our enemy.
“Christian soldiers should stand firm and never surrender any ground to the devil. Instead, let the devil flee from your steadfast loyalty. ‘Submit yourselves therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ James 4:7”
So, as we don our belts of truth and breastplates of righteousness, we begin to understand that Jesus Christ is central to each piece. It is in Him, we fight our battles…in His strength, in His name, and in His righteousness.
Questions to Ponder
As the breastplate protects our hearts and other vital organs, what vital thing have you left open to the attack of the enemy?
What is an area in your life that you need to surrender to the righteousness of Christ? Finances? Time? Healthy living?
Look up the following verses and write down what you discover about righteousness:
Proverbs 11: 4, Job 29: 14, 1 John 5: 18