Summary: Righteous living is a protection against attack by the devil.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Paul a humble man taught us how to deal with the super spiritual power of darkness. (Read Ephesians 6.14)
What is “the breastplate of righteousness” mean?
Breastplate is a piece of the armor which is made of metal plates or chains and covered the body from the neck to the waist, both front and back. It provides protection from the enemy’s darts and spears.
In a similar fashion, the breastplate of righteousness helps protect us from the enemy’s attacks. Spiritually speaking, our breastplate is not made of metal or chain but of status or character.
Righteousness is the breastplate that covers not only our body but also our soul. Righteousness is the character or quality of being right or just that conforms to the claims of higher authority which is God’s uprightness or standard.
Therefore when Paul said that we must put in place the breastplate of righteousness, it means that we protect our lives by the righteous and just character that conforms to God’s standard.
How do we acquire “the breastplate of righteousness?”
When a person joins the Army, he is supplied with all the equipment and weapons necessary to do his job. Similarly, the breastplate of righteousness is the gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God.
Romans 3.22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Romans 5.19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
2 Corinthians 5.21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When a person put his faith in Jesus Christ, we were given a status or right of being righteous. This righteousness is God’s gift to us based on what Christ did for us on the cross.
The truth is when you put your faith in Jesus, you are declared free from guilt and sin as if you have acted in accord with the divine law. You were released or forgiven from all your sins.
1 Peter 3.18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
In one way, we are all prisoners on a death row waiting for the implementation of our death sentence. All of a sudden, Christ came and said I paid for all your sins and crimes and now you are free to go just like being released base on a parole.
It is important that we understand this concept so we learn to appreciate the grace of God and we learn to live in humility as Christ’s follower.
Now when a prisoner is released from prison on parole, there are two possible directions he may take: to take the opportunity of living a new life or take his freedom to go back to his old sinful ways.
Spiritually speaking, God wanted us to start a new life. God’s decision to declare us righteous or not guilty is an opportunity to live out a life of righteousness. He sets the foundation; we build on it and strengthen our freedom to live freely.
Now when an ex-convict returns to society, there are many challenges he would face: doubtful and accusing community, their old buddies in crimes, the new temptations around, and his family who may or may not be willing to accept him back.
Similarly, we are all spiritual ex-convicts. After we were release from the penalty of our sins, our desire is to start all over again. But we are confronted by a doubtful and accusing community, our old buddies in crimes, new temptations around us and a church that may or may not fully welcome us.
What do we do? The bible says “put in place that breastplate of righteousness” that God gave you. Let it serves as a reminder against accusing community that God has forgiven you. The devil would haunt you and remind you of your past but let the righteousness of God strengthens your ground of confidence.
God wanted us to buckle the belt of truth because Satan is a liar; now God wanted us put in place the breastplate of righteousness because Satan is an accuser. But we cannot just live based on our forgiven past; we must also live today and tomorrow armed with the righteousness of God and pursues righteous living.
1 John 3.7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
Let us start making right choices in life. Let us do what is right according to God’s standards. Makin right choices – righteous living that shows we are wearing the breastplate – helps protect us against temptation.