Ephesians 6:10-20 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” NASU
Last time, we considered the first piece of armor mentioned, the GIRDLE or BELT of TRUTH and its importance and the reason for it being the first mentioned. Now, I’d like us to proceed with the other items mentioned and their order. The second piece of armor listed is the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. The Roman breastplate was what most would call the “Coat of Mail” which had a hole for the head to fit through and covered from the thorax to the thighs both front and back. I have preached that we have no armor for the rear but if we use this analogy that would be inaccurate. We know that, in the natural, enemies will try to sneak up from the rear and snipers pick off the stragglers in a column of soldiers. God would never leave us defenseless to the rear although we are not people of retreat, we are covered from behind as well as from the front and sides. I feel the need to remind you of Isaiah 52:12, “…for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Also, Psalm 91:11-12, “For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Also, Proverbs 2:7-8, “…He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.” Another powerful promise and reference is Isaiah 58:8-9, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will call for help, and He will say: Here am I.” Hallelujah!
The BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS is critical to our walk, work, word, and warfare in Christ. Our hearts covered with His Righteousness is vital for us to walk in His peace, power, and protection. He makes us the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It is not by works of righteousness that we have done but by His Grace that we are saved, protected, healed, and delivered. The Bible makes it clear that God demands Holiness and desires His children to walk in Right Standing with Him demonstrating His Righteousness to an Unrighteous generation. We are to be lights shining into a darkened world and that can only be a reality as we are clothed in Truth, The TRUTH, and filled with His RIGHTEOUSNESS. His Righteousness will draw to Him and lead people into His Peace.
We walk, not in our righteousness but His. Remember the human frailty and failure of David. Remember the denial of Peter and the failure of men of God throughout history but then also remember that God’s Grace clothes us in God’s Righteousness and we walk JUSTIFIED before Him. The BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS is vital if we are to be His epistles known and read of men and to fulfill the Great Commission and Go into all the World bringing people to Spiritual Freedom!
It seems that this will take longer than first anticipated but there is much more that I desire to convey about the FULL ARMOR of GOD so we will pause here and pick up next time with the GOSPEL SHOES. May the Lord richly bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus.