Summary: Satan and his forces are not fighting a battle against you from a distance – we wrestle with an enemy that stands against everything that God is doing in your life
“The Breastplate of Righteousness”
“Battle Lines” #3 - December 6, 2009
OPEN: Satan and his forces are not fighting a battle against you not from a distance – we wrestle with an enemy that stands against everything that God is doing in your life. You and I live I a war zone – and the war is active and aggressive and the enemy is powerful and can be overwhelming and will stop at nothing to undo what God is doing in your life. God has provided for us an armor that is so marvelous in its design that the enemy will not only not prevail, but we will emerge on the other side of the battle still standing. It is matchless in its effectiveness. Nothing can defeat – nothing can penetrate a believer who is protected with the armor. That really is the whole point of this entire section of Scripture -- Put on the whole Armor – It’s vital. No matter how proficient your theology is, no matter how solid the foundation of your comprehension, no matter how much you know about the Scripture, how much information you have regarding God's truth, you are still potentially a loser. Because this is a war that is won and fought really on a day to day basis. So all of the resources that you have intellectually, in addition all of the resources that you have spiritually in the power and presence of the Spirit of God can be set aside even by a believer to the point where we begin to lose the battle. And so Paul reminds us that we must be very much aware that the Christian life is war, and the sooner we learn it the sooner we will experience the victory that God has for us.
Who Would Go Into A Battle Unprepared?
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. (Luke 14:31-32)
What king ever entered into a battle without a careful examination of his resources? And a development of his strategy? In essence that is exactly what we're doing in Ephesians chapter 6. Having the given that we are in war we must also add to the knowledge that this is war a careful evaluation of the strategy, the plan, the enemy and the resources available to us to win the war. Satan wants you to sin – God wants you to win.
Last week we looked at the first piece of the armor – the belt of truth. Stand then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist – having girded your loins with truth – aletheia. You equip yourself for battle by focusing on what’s true and what’s false. And I think that you’ll face more problems in your walk with Christ over this one issue than anything else. There’s nothing that the world hates more than a person who stands up and says I know the truth. You’ll never face more ridicule and be the object of more mockery than when you say “I know the truth.” And when you say that by the way, you are saying something true – because you know Jesus. Jesus is truth incarnate. If you know Jesus, you know the truth. Every other religious idea known to man is not true and is a form or deception in one way or another.
- What’s the purpose of the breastplate? It provides for you vital spiritual protection, right? Roman soldiers had different kinds of breastplates, some of them were made out of linen, a very heavy linen that hung down very low and it would be covered with the hooves of an animal and they would slice them into slices rather thinly and then they would hang them, hooking them together so that it was almost like shield - using material either from the hoof or from the horn. Additionally they sometimes used a chain mail kind of thing. Sometimes they would use the linen and they would hang little pieces of metal on it. Then of course the most familiar one that we know about is the molded metal chest plate that goes all the way from the base of the neck to the top of the thighs, covering all that entire vital area.
Now let me just talk about this concept of the breastplate of righteousness for a minute. Obviously we’re talking about protecting the area from the neck down. The helmet would protect the head area and the breastplate the area below the neck - what the Jewish people used to call the bowels; it meant the mid section where all of the other organs are, the functional organs of the body. And so a breastplate covered two vital areas, the heart and the bowel area.