Our Spiritual War Part 3
Ephesians 6:14, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness”
After believing our Commander we must then be clothed by our Commander. When we think about the breastplate of righteousness, we first have to know what it means to be righteous in Him. Philippians 3:9 states, “…and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” We cannot be made righteous before God on our own. Only God can justify a sinner and give him or her a right standing before Him. We cannot do this on our own, but it is only through believing in Jesus, and His finished work on the cross, that we can be made righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says it best, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus knew no sin, He lived a perfect life while here on earth. Yet, He became sin for us, He became our sin, that when we believe in Him we can become the righteousness of God, cleansed by His blood, and clothed in His righteousness.
Why was the breastplate so important to a soldier’s armor? The breastplate protected all of the vital organs, particularly the heart. It is God’s righteousness that protects our hearts from our own sinful desires, from the evil in the world, and so much more. We are told in Philippians 4:7 that God’s peace will guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” This of course does not speak of our physical heart but the place in our soul where everything comes out of. Our "heart" is the place where God dwells in us, this is the place that must be protected, and while God tells us to keep a close on eye on this, He also promises to guard our hearts through His peace. The breastplate of God’s righteousness, knowing that we are saved, forgiven, and adopted as His children, has a vital role to play in our spiritual well-being.
Finally, we are to live righteously in accordance with the righteousness we have been given. Titus 2:11-12 tells us, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” While our good works cannot save us, only Jesus can do that, living lives in accordance with the righteousness we have been given is our goal. Now, just like salvation, we cannot do this on our own. God has given us His Spirit to empower us, guide us, lead us into truth, restrain us from our own foolishness, and much, much more. We need Him to be made righteous and we need to Him to live in the righteousness we have been given. One way that we are protected is to live the way God has called us to live. It requires our obedience, but He gives us His Word to guide us, His Spirit to strengthen us, and He has promised to always be with us.
Image Borrowed from Everynation.org