Summary: Link inc. to audio podcast.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Four times in these verses we are told to 'stand'. These are urgent, imperative commands. God's people are supposed to be on guard, and taking a stand against evil. There is a great culture war in America today. And the world is in a spiritual battle as well.
We must know our enemy...analyze our enemy. Next, we must utilize our weaponry, which we now study. Then we have to realize the victory. Remember, God has already won the victory. There's no doubt about the outcome in our war. Read the back of the book! There's no question about how it ends...but in the meanwhile, we are to fight the good fight, and we can win our own personal battles when we put on the armor of God.
• The initial defeat of Satan happened thru what Jesus did on Calvary. Just as Gen. 3:15 said, the seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent! Satan and his demons had no idea what the effects of the cross would be.
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
At Calvary, Satan was led into an ambush. He inspired a crowd to do his bidding, and didn't realize he was accomplishing God's purposes! For 3 days the devil rejoiced, and then he found out what had really happened.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
• The final defeat of Satan -- currently, he has never been to hell, but he is on his way. And he's not going there to be in charge like in jokes, but to be tormented forever in outer darkness.
Which part of the body of Christ would you like to be? Some might say the head, to think like Him, or the heart, to feel close to him. How about the feet?
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
• In between his initial and final defeats is the here and now, and the continual defeat of Satan is where we now focus.
In WWII there was a D-Day, when our allied forces invaded Normandy. That would end up sealing the doom of Hitler. But there was also a V-Day, victory day, about a year later. There was a time span in between the two. And that's where we're at now with our real enemy, the devil. The victory has already been assured and guaranteed, but there's a few more battles to face, and our success as individual soldiers will be based on how we're dressed. [armor]
Last time we saw the girdle of truth, the Word of God, Son of God, and Spirit of God protecting our heart, mind, and will. This helps us overcome Satan's attacks mentally, morally, and motivationally.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
It's like a vest, a coat of mail, covering both front and back from neck to waist. It protects us from one of the devil's most effective fiery darts...guilt. Few things will paralyze a Christian like the guilt of past sins. It may have already been confessed, forgiven, and forsaken, but Satan will dredge it up over and again to hurt you. [conviction of present sin is different...deal with it!]
God convicts us in love...Satan accuses us in hatred.
God convicts of present sin...Satan only brings up the past.
God convicts using the Word...Satan uses feelings.
God convicts us, drawing us closer to Him...Satan's guilt moves us away from God.
God's conviction leads to devotion...Satan's guilt leads to depression.
God helps us look ahead in hope...Satan makes us look back and give up.
How do we put on the breastplate of righteousness?
Justification = imputed righteousness
Sanctification = imparted righteousness
This breastplate is justification, placed on us at the moment of salvation. We trade garments with Christ. We trade the list of our sins for His perfect righteousness. Our sins were laid on Him on the cross, and His righteousness was placed upon us.
Satan, the accuser, will come and try to put sins back on your account, but those sins have already been judged, and you are justified, just as if I'd not done those things!
How do we put on this breastplate? By trusting Christ!
How do we wear it every day? By trusting Christ!
4 reasons we need it:
1. Satan accuses us.
... the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
ill.--that woman who had an abortion years ago now regrets it, God forgave her and forgot it, but the devil says tonight to God, "Look at her sitting in church acting so holy, but we know what she did!" God says, let's check the books, and all I see is righteousness!