“Having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
The breastplate was a central part of the Roman soldier’s armor—it provided protection for the torso, which contains vital organs like the heart, lungs and so on. Without a breastplate, a soldier would be asking for death, as any attack could instantly become fatal. With a sturdy breastplate, the very same attacks become ineffective and useless, as blows glance off the armor.
Before battle, a soldier would fasten the breastplate around his chest like a vest to protect his vital organs. If a soldier failed to wear his breastplate, an arrow could easily pierce his heart or lungs.
Every Christian has a vital “spiritual organ” which needs to be guarded above all else.
Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Psalm 51:17 – “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise.”
Luke 6:45 – “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Psalm 78:8 – “They would not be like their ancestors – a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him.”
If our heart is stubborn, hard, or proud, we will be unable to believe the Word of God.
Why is your spiritual heart so important?
Paul said it best in Romans 10:10: “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
God offers us His righteousness on the basis of faith in His Son.
Romans 3:22 – “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile..”
None of us can earn right standing in God’s eyes by following a list of rules, going to church, or doing good deeds. We are justified and made righteous only because of our faith in the Lord Jesus.
Titus 3:5 – “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
The breastplate of righteousness, then, is a gift obtained by faith – Romans 1:17.
Each of us can enter into right standing before God, by faith, on the basis of Christ’s merits. It is then that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Putting on the armor of God involves guarding our hearts with the breastplate of righteousness.
God protects those who are clothed in His righteousness. He says, “No weapon forged against you will prevail and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17).
Whenever the enemy tries to bring up your past to accuse you, the breastplate of righteousness is your trusty defense. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in you, then your Heavenly Father receives you as His son or daughter no matter what the devil says.
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Corinthians 5:21).
The righteousness of Christ in you is what matters — not your shortcomings and failures.
The Lord shares His righteousness with His children, for they, too, must encounter evil and corruption. The world we live in is full of sin and spiritual darkness. People all around us are in desperate need of the light and life of Jesus Christ.
We are to let the light of Christ shine to those around us and follow the Lord’s leading in doing “good works”.
A heart that is not right toward God is like a “deceitful bow”.
In every day, put on the breastplate of righteousness. God wants your whole heart and nothing less, for a heart sets the course of a person’s life.
By Stella Ashworth
The Bay Friendship Club
Christian Networking Group