Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Breastplate of Righteousness

The second piece of armor Paul tells us about when he teaches about the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) is the Breastplate of Righteousness. The placement of this armor is very important. It should be checked for proper position right after the Belt of Truth is buckled.

Your breastplate of righteousness is not based on your good works. This piece of the armor is put on us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. In fact, accepting Christ instantly equips you with a perfectly fitted breastplate of righteousness.

The problem is that most of us don’t believe it. It seems too incredible. Rather, we reason, surely there is something we must do to be made righteous. Belief in Jesus Christ makes you righteous and nothing else.

God knew that there was absolutely no other way for us to be made righteous than for Jesus Christ to make us righteous. God fully understood our total inability to obtain righteousness before He even gave the Law to Moses and asked the people to follow it. The Israelites thought they could do it, but God knew different. This is why God had the plan for Jesus, His Son, to come from the seed of woman, live righteously, be crucified and buried, then rise from the dead. Faith in Jesus alone is the only hope for you to be made righteous.

The breastplate of righteousness will not seem in place if you are unwilling to rest in its reality. When I try to make myself righteous in my own power, I don’t have my breastplate of righteousness in place. Your breastplate of righteousness feels out of place because of your own pride and self-righteousness. It can also seem nonexistent because of your unwillingness to fully accept your complete forgiveness.

I stand in awe of this fact, but it is absolutely true: I am righteous because of Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. I need to think about that every day. As I stand there in the battle, my enemy will taunt me. He will remind me of all the wrong things I have done in my life and constantly accuse me.

Worse still, he will entice me to consider all the great things I have done for God and how the whole world should be listening to my advice and doing things my way. That’s why it is so important for me to remember that breastplate of righteousness. My righteousness is assured through Jesus Christ.

If you are having trouble really taking in this incredible spiritual reality, I encourage you to read Romans 2:17-5:21 over and over until you understand what Paul is trying to explain about how we become righteous.

Do you have the breastplate of righteousness in place? Make sure you check it every day.

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