Stand your ground, putting on . . . the body armour of God’s righteousness.Ephesians 6:12-14
Why is the Breastplate so important that Paul puts it in his list as armour against the wiles of the enemy?
Stop and think about you and your battle with the devil for your salvation. The devil is the “father of lies”. He is constantly going to be at you, whispering things into your spirit and your mind. Did you catch the significance of the meaning of righteousness. Righteous means being in “the right with God”, being “in the right place with God”. Signifying that God is able to look at you and smile, to be pleased with you and shine His favour on you. I imagine we all want that. The technical biblical term is “justification” that I dealt with God’s big problem in Gem 157 which I shared with you all yesterday again. It is not actually God’s big problem, it is ours. For justification to take place and for God to see us “just as if we hadn’t sinned” He has to do something because we can’t. So He covers you with His Righteousness in Christ. There is your righteousness and there is God’s righteousness. Your righteousness is as “filthy rags” Isaiah says. But having been justified by God, given His righteousness, He then expects you to work out some righteousness of your own. Righteousness is not being in the right, living right etc, it is being seen by God to be holy, clean and in right standing with Him. That is why I used “the quote from God” yesterday. “I know you have no righteousness of your own…here, have mine.” God. In Christ, God covers you over with His own righteousness. That is why yesterday I sent you again Bible Gem 154 – His righteousness not yours. [ha ha some of you thought my computer was having problems again or Ian had lost the plot and was sending out the wrong Gem. – no I deliberately wanted to share those three Gems with those you who have joined Bible Gems since I covered Romans. The problem was that even though I sent those three past Gems after I sent 705 for some reason they arrived in your inbox or on Twitter before 705. Hence you got those first and not in the sequence I intended.]
The point of “whose righteousness” is huge when you are battling with the devil. The devil is “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:10). Isn’t he? You know it. He is always accusing and whispering “that fact” to you. You are not good enough. You are guilty. You are not really saved. Look what you just did, God isn’t going to save you. Etc. He is accusing you and seeking to rob you of the joy of your salvation. When those fiery darts come you have to be clothed in righteousness. Ah but whose righteousness? Deep down inside you know your righteousness is not good enough. If it is left to your righteousness you will be locked out of heaven. But the good news is, it is not up to your righteousness, you have God’s righteousness because you are “in Christ”.
Hence the breastplate of righteousness that you wear in the battle is not yours but God’s. When satan whispers these things into your spirit don’t get trapped into debating with him whether you are good enough or not. Just tell him to push off, remind him that you are covered in the righteousness of the Son of God and there is nothing he can do to defeat you. You are a blood bought child of God, that very blood that defeated him at the cross. If you get into a discussion with him in your head over your righteousness, you will lose. So don’t do it. Just remind him each time he attacks of what God has done and the fact that you are covered and purchased, redeemed by Him. End of discussion. The breastplate of righteousness is crucial to the spiritual battle. It is the crux, the “coup de gras” of the debate. It is finished. “I don’t have to debate this with you devil. In Christ’s name leave me alone.” Hugely important for you to be wearing your breastplate of righteousness, which is ironically Christ’s breastplate of righteousness but fits you perfectly, unlike little David trying to wear Saul’s breastplate. Learn to put on the righteousness of Christ. There is no other way and you have no other protection!
Why did Paul and Isaiah keep changing the point of comparison for the Breastplate in terms of clothing parts or in terms of the truth referred to?
Isaiah refers to righteousness as a breastplate, a belt and a robe. Paul uses the breastplate to link with righteousness and with faith. Why the variation in both writers perception on righteousness and the breastplate? I said yesterday “With Paul, the breastplate becomes the breastplate of righteousness and also the breastplate of faith. Mmm, interesting they are interchangeable.” Why is that interesting? Once again I am gong to leave that to you to solve for today. Are these guys confused and don’t know which it is. One moment it is one thing, the next, it is something else? Does confusion reign here? This is important enough for you to take some time to think about. Nothing is lost or left to chance in biblical truth. The switching masks something that is worthy of thinking about. We will ponder this in the next Gem before moving on to look at the feet and the shoes of the gospel of peace.
It is most important to ponder what I have told you today. It is a key point in you winning your battle with the lies the devil hands you. Don’t accept them. Use the breastplate of righteousness (Christ’s not yours) to counter his claims.
Doubt wonders, “Have I done enough to go to heaven?” Grace answers, “No, you haven’t. But Jesus has on your behalf.”Max Lucado
Lord give me grace to feel my need of grace. Grace to ask for grace grace to receive grace and, when grace is given, grace to use it.Max Lucado
God loves us not according to how we do but according to who He is.Anon