Let’s continue our Spiritual Soldier Serious, focusing in on the armor of God and each piece. We have already discussed the belt of truth. Now we turn to better understand the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate of righteousness protects the vital organs of our character, specifically our heart. As we advance against the enemy we must be protected in the most crucial parts of our being. Righteousness protects our character and heart from the enemy. Let’s dive in!
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Ephesians 6:14, ESV)
- Righteousness protects your heart.
When you go against the enemy he will attack every part of you that is exposed. I do find righteousness as doing the right thing for everyone involved in any situation. It is the action from the holy heart and life.
The right thing is not what we think it is. It is what pleases God. So the God pleasing thing to do for each person involved is righteousness. We must have holy character to demonstrate righteousness. The enemy will tempt us to do the unrighteous thing, or at least what makes us happy rather than what makes God happy.
The holiness of our heart is protected when we act in righteousness. We don’t allow temptation of our flesh, the desire to do what we want, take over our actions. Our heart is protected when we act in righteousness.
Justice and righteousness are closely related. When we act justly we act in righteous ways. Ask yourself before you act, “Will how I treat each of these people in this situation be pleasing to the Lord?” “Will the Lord be pleased with the outcome of this situation as far as it concerns me?”
Our conscience remains clear when we act in righteous ways. We don’t have to worry about how the Lord feels about us. People may not always be pleased with a righteous action. But as long as the Lord is pleased with how we have handled each situation we have nothing to fear or dread. Our hearts can rest in knowing that we acted in a righteous way.
- Righteousness is God’s gift to you.
The Bible teaches that we do not have any righteousness in ourselves. Isaiah says that our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). When Jesus went to the Cross He became righteousness for us, and in Him we became the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We cannot with our own ability be righteous before God. We are full of sin and even when God gives us His righteous roadmap through the Law we fail to do every single one. So we must rely on Jesus to be our righteousness.
And that’s just it. Instead of leaving us in our sin and shame God sent Jesus to us to become righteousness for us. So we take on the righteousness of Jesus when we become saved. Is God’s gift to us, just like salvation.
Throughout Romans 2 Paul demonstrates that whether you are a Jew or Gentile, the two categories for all humanity in the Bible, you are responsible either to the Law of Moses as a Jew or to your conscience as a Gentile.
Either way, your conscience or the Law condemns you. It is only through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross that any of us can understand or practice righteousness. Anything we do on our own, or even in the strength of Christ, we can attribute to Jesus.
It’s because of Jesus and His righteousness that we can please God. We are learning how to be righteous from Jesus. God’s gift to us is Jesus and His righteousness. We know how to treat others in a God pleasing way because Jesus is teaching us.
- Righteousness is a precious commodity.
The world is full of wickedness. This is one of the reasons we need to be protected by the breastplate of righteousness. The world does not expect righteousness from us and we should not expect it from anyone in the world who does not know Jesus.
Most people are shocked when they get justice. When a person chooses to do the right thing for them they don’t know how to react. That’s why righteousness is so precious. Without Jesus none of us would be righteous. None of us would give justice to others.
Jesus works His righteousness in us. The world doesn’t expect it, but the world may not want it either. They are so used to wickedness and they may not want Jesus’ righteousness in their situation. But that’s not up to us.
We wear Jesus’ righteousness in this world and it protects us from false accusations from others. It keeps us from being seen as wicked. People, can acknowledge the name of Jesus and His power and kindness in us because of righteousness.
The righteousness of Jesus in us is a powerful witness to those in darkness and wickedness. Their surprise and are just destroyed them may open a door to speak about Jesus and declare His greatness in our lives.
- Righteousness guards against the accuser.
The Bible calls Satan the accuser of the brethren (). He accuses us of our sins and faults before God. Every time I picture the title of the accuser of the brethren for Satan I think of a court room. I am the defendant and Satan accuses me as a prosecutor.
In myself I know that I have fallen short. I hang my head in shame, knowing he is not wrong about my sins. But at that moment Jesus walks in, comes to the defendant’s side and stands in my place. He says to the Judge, the Father, “I have taken his sin upon Myself.” And the Judge sees Jesus in me.
Satan will accuse you of all types of things. Some of them will be true of you without God’s forgiveness. But when you have confessed any sins you may have done Satan has no ground to stand on.
He will accuse you of things you have not done. He is a liar. He can accuse you all he wants because Jesus has taken your sin upon himself. Any sins you have committed you have confessed to the Lord and He has forgiven you.
Jesus’ righteousness in you and your actions of justice toward others are your defense against the accuser. His arrows of accusation hit your breastplate and fall to the ground. You stand righteous and justified before the Lord. And that’s all that matters. The breastplate of righteousness has protected you.
- Righteousness protects against the enemy.
No matter what the devil throws at you Jesus protects you. He has clothed you in His righteousness. You are covered from any threats, accusations, and darts from the enemy. You can stand in the righteousness of God and declare the enemy a liar.
People in this world can accuse you of whatever they want but your righteousness protects you from there lies. You must maintain a vibrant relationship with Jesus for your breastplate to remain your greatest shield against accusation and insinuation.
No matter what people say about you, you are the righteousness in Christ. Stand in your identity in Christ. Don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise. You can take any hit from the enemy and stand because your breastplate is on.
The breastplate of righteousness is a powerful defense against the lies of the enemy, the accusations of people around you, and any declaration against you. Stand in the righteousness of Christ and proclaim yourself justified in Christ.
Don’t let anyone suggest other than you are right conduct and justice for others. Continue to follow Christ and please the Lord by doing the godly thing in every situation toward everyone involved. What other ways do you see the breastplate of righteousness as a powerful defense in spiritual warfare?
Now that we have discussed the breastplate of righteousness, the second piece of the armor of God, we will move to the third piece, the shoes for the readiness of the gospel of peace.