Spiritual Armor: Breastplate of Righteousness

I. The Christian soldier must be adequately prepared for battle.

A. The “vigor” and “forcefulness” of the soldier must be from the Lord (Ephesians 6:10).

1. He must be “empowered” by God (Philippians 4:13)

2. He must use God’s strength (1 Peter 5:6-11)

a. Humility under the “mighty hand of God”
b. Sobriety and vigilance
c. Steadfast resistance of the Devil – in the faith

3. He must “stand against” the “methods” of Satan (Ephesians 6:11)

B. The armor is provided by God (Ephesians 6:11).

1. It is designed by God both to protect and to attack (1 Timothy 1:18)

2. It is a spiritual armor (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

3. It is sufficient for the battle (Psalms 144:1-2).

C. The Truth Belt is the initial piece.

1. It involves, of course, a knowledge of the Word of God (John 17:17)

2. It involves “doing” the Truth (1 John 1:6-7)

II. The next armor piece is a “breastplate” of “righteousness.”

A. This describes a metal (or leather) body armor covering the chest and upper body.

1. The Greek word is THORAX.

2. The same word is used medically to indicate the chest cavity.

3. The purpose of this armor was to prevent fatal wounds.

4. The insignia of the soldier’s allegiance was stamped on the breastplate (2 Timothy 2:2-3; Colossians 3:24)

B. This can, in some sense, be understood as total protection (2 Corinthians 6:7).

1. It includes the “word of truth”

2. It is by “the power of God”

3. It covers “the right hand and the left”

C. This Breastplate of Righteousness has as its internal composition the “righteousness of God” (Romans 3:22).

1. It is the “new man” of holiness (Ephesians 4:24)

2. It is the “abiding” in God that secures righteousness (1 John 3:5-10)

3. It is the “gift of righteousness” at salvation (Romans 5:17)

a. We are “made” the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
b. We appropriate the righteousness by faith (Philippians 3:9)

III. The Breastplate of Righteousness must be “taken up” and “put on.”

A. This demands conscious action on our part (Isaiah 59:17)

1. We are to put on righteousness – as a breastplate.

2. We are to dress with “vengeance” and “zeal”

a. “…Vengeance is mine” [God’s] - (Romans 12:19)
b. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 9:7)

B. This involves fleeing the non-righteous and following the righteous (1 Timothy 6:11)

1. We are to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

2. We are to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”

3. We are to flee “youthful” desires (2 Timothy 2:22)

4. We are to maintain a godly lifestyle (Titus 2:12)

C. This requires separation from worldly associations (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

1. There is no fellowship with unrighteousness

2. There is no communion with darkness

3. There is no close friendship possible with unbelief

D. This means a “yielding” to being an “instrument” of righteousness (Romans 6:13-22)

1. Our “members” (body parts) are to be given as “instruments” (weapons) to God

2. Our “service” is dominated by the one we “yield” to.

3. The “fruit” (result) of godly yielding is holiness.

E. This further requires that we “awake” to righteousness and actively refrain from sinning (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

1. The passion of man does not work righteousness (James 1:20)

2. The discipline of God does, however, produce righteousness (Hebrews 12:11)

3. The life of righteousness pleases God (1 Peter 3:8-12).

IV. The Breastplate of Righteousness provides the assurance of constant safety and victory.

A. We need protection for the battle (Psalm 5:8-12)

1. The protection of God is in righteous behavior (Psalm 71:2-4)

2. The Lord’s strength is channeled through righteousness (Psalm 18:24-26).

B. We will be successful in direct proportion to the righteousness employed (Psalm 18:24-26)

1. The activity of a righteous soldier is described by David (Psalm 71:15-24)

a. He will “go in the strength of the Lord GOD”
b. He will “make mention of thy righteousness”
c. He will “declared thy wondrous works’
d. He will expect God’s comfort “on every side”
e. He will “greatly rejoice” and “talk of thy righteousness”

2. The lifestyle and mental attitude of a righteous soldier is demonstrated by Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:3-11)

a. He will not please men, but will please God
b. He will not us “flattering words” or a “cloak of covetousness”
c. He will not seek “glory” from men
d. He will be “gentle” and “affectionately longing” for those to who he serves.
e. He will behave “devoutly and justly and blamelessly”

Psalm 112 -- Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion.
Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is established; He will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor.
The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Series: 
Identity
Lesson: 
#17
Book: 
Ephesians
Verses: 
6:14

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