Breastplate of Righteousness
15 April 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:14b – Eph 14 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In the warm climates of North, Central, and South America lives a small animal called an Armadillo. Because the armadillo has only small teeth well back in its mouth, it cannot bite in self-defence. Thus, for its protection, God gave the Armadillo body armour. It is made up of many small plates of bony armour fitted closely together. When in danger it curls itself up into a hard tight ball with the shell on the outside. Its head and feet are tucked in out of harm’s way. – World Book Encyclopedia
The second piece of the Christian’s spiritual armour is the breastplate of righteousness.
Transition: To help us put on the breastplate of righteousness, we will answer three important questions about our text.
1. Of What Significance Was a Soldier’s Breastplate?
a. A soldier’s breastplate protected his upper body.
1) Its coverage
a) A breastplate consisting of two parts and protecting the body on both sides from the neck to the middle – OLB In some cases it extended below the waist covering the thigh as well.
b) It protected all the vital organs of the body.
2) Its design
a) It was made of rings or plates like scales, so fastened together that they would be flexible, and yet guards the body from a sword, spear, or arrow.
b) The Bible refers to it as a coat of mail, a habergeon, or a breastplate. – Barnes
b. Bible examples of a soldier’s breastplate include:
1) Goliath had a coat of mail. (1 Samuel 17:5) “And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.” (about 70kg)
2) Uzziah’s soldiers wore Habergeons. (2 Chronicles 26:14) “And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.”
3) Nehemiah’s workers wore habergeons. (Nehemiah 4:16) “And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.”
2. How Does God Apply the Breastplate to Spiritual Armour?
(Ephesians 6:14) “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;”
a. God states that righteousness is our breastplate
1) As with putting on the belt, having on the breastplate is in the middle voice and aorist tense making it a personal duty done before combat begins.
2) Righteousness is “the state of being right with God.”
3) God’s righteousness not ours, is our breastplate.
b. All righteousness comes from or is enabled by God.
1) God made us righteous the day we got saved. This is justifying righteousness, imputed righteousness that we received from Jesus Christ. He propitiated our sin, redeemed us, regenerated us, justified us, and made us right with God. He freed us from all guilt and condemnation. Our past sins are GONE! Resting in this fact will protect us as a breastplate against Satan’s accusations.
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(Psalms 103:12) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
(Romans 5:9) “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
(Romans 8:33) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”
2) Justifying righteousness makes it possible for us to stay right with God day by day. However, when we allow God to keep us in right standing with Him, this is sanctifying righteousness. God sets us apart from sin and makes us righteous as we yield to Him.
a) God wants us to stay right with Him. (Philippians 1:11) “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
b) God has made it possible for us to stay right with Him. (Ephesians 5:9) “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
c) When we stay right with God, His sanctifying righteousness acts like a breastplate against Satan’s attacks.
3. How Can We Put on God’s Breastplate of Righteousness?
a. Daily, we must review in prayer God’s justifying righteousness.
1) Christ gave us His justifying righteousness when we got saved. (2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” That is a FACT!
2) Our sins are GONE. (Psalms 103:12) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” That is a FACT! Buried! (Mic 7:19)
3) Christ enables us to live righteously. (1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” That is a FACT!
b. Daily, we must take action to maintain God’s sanctifying righteousness
1) To stay right with God, we must confess every sin. Confess it as soon as the Spirit pricks your heart. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
2) To stay right with God, we must put on the new man. (Ephesians 4:24) “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
3) To stay right with God, we must walk in God’s light. We do this by fellowshipping with God throughout the day as we read His word, meditate on it, apply it to our lives, and pray. (1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
4) To stay right with God, we must walk in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to lead you. Willingly yield to His conviction. (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Ephesians 4:30) “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
5) To stay right with God, we must prove all things and only do things that pass the Bible test. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
c. When attacked, we must claim God’s righteousness
1) Choose God’s righteousness over the pleasures of sin.
2) Claim God’s righteousness when the devil brings up a forgiven sin.
Conclusion: God’s breastplate of righteousness is His righteousness not our own. His justifying righteousness is a FACT. He made us righteous when we receive Christ as Saviour. This FACT protects us against Satan’s accusations. God’s sanctifying righteousness is when we allow Him to keep us righteous. Being right with God protects us from Satan’s temptations. Thus, we must daily review in God’s justifying righteousness and allow Him to keep us righteousness for protection against demonic attacks.
If you are saved, you have God’s justifying righteousness. However, are you letting God keep you righteous day by day? If you have not been wearing this armour, you need to ask God’s forgiveness and begin putting it on this very evening.
Song: I Need Thee Every Hour 318