If you missed it you can catch up here.
This week we move on to ‘the breastplate of righteousness’.
In Roman times the breastplate was a vital piece of the soldiers’ protection.
During hand to hand combat, any thrust of a sword that got past the shield could be fatal.
We saw last week that the belt protected the vital organs around the waist. Well, the breastplate protected the vital organs within the rib-cage, including the heart.
The physical heart of course is vital but so is our spiritual heart, our deepest thoughts, emotions and feelings. It says in Proverbs 4:23:
“Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The devil targets our hearts for special attention. He goes after our emotions, especially through condemnation. He wants to spoil our relationship with God by accusing us constantly. Knowing we stand righteous before God extinguishes every fiery dart the devil throws at us.
It is important to note that it is not our own righteousness that protects us. The bible describes our own righteousness as ‘filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6). It is the righteousness of Jesus that becomes ours the moment we commit our lives fully to Him through our salvation by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the righteousness which protects us.
The wonderful thing about this armour that we wear is the fact that it is God’s armour. We are protected by Gods righteousness. Even though we might not ‘feel’ righteous (especially after sinning) the bible makes it clear that we are covered by the righteousness of Christ.
Whatever has gone on in our lives, God looks at us as being ‘In Christ’. We are made pure by His righteousness, whatever we may have done.
One of my favourite verses in the whole bible sums up this exchange wonderfully:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Corinthians 5:21).
Are you wearing a breastplate of your own righteousness which allows condemnation to get through constantly? Or are you putting on Jesus’ breastplate of perfect righteousness which will extinguish every dart of condemnation that is thrown at you?