Okay. We have The Belt of Truth.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
For this next piece of spiritual armor, Paul called for The Breastplate of Righteousness.
14b HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, Ephesians 6:10-18 NAS
Here Paul quoted from Isaiah:
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, Isaiah 59:17 NAS
The Roman Soldier’s breastplate covered his chest and protected the upper torso from harm, especially the heart and lungs from puncture by an arrow, spear, or sword.
For us, this means the breastplate protects the heart: our Emotions, our Feelings, our Moods, etc.
However, we must remember:
Feelings can LIE.
Our feelings are true, in the sense that we do feel “that way.”
But feelings are based on our perceptions and our interpretations of those perceptions.
And, our perceptions can be skewed. After all, they are only one point of view – our point of view.
Our perceptions can misinterpret the facts.
In fact, misperceptions and misinterpretations abound in news and social media today. “Everyone” feels they are right. “Everyone” feels the “other” is wrong. (I cannot say they think instead of feel because of all the emotion and hate-, fear-, etc.- mongering in their actions.)
By this negativity of emotion, we can realize that feelings are a way the devil attacks us.
As an individual.
And, as seen today, as a people, as a nation.
Our language shows negativity of feelings when we speak of:
- Being “heart-broken”
- Being “heart-sick”
- Being “heart-less”
- Being “down-heartened”
- Being “stabbed in the heart”
Never fear, The Breastplate of Righteousness can protect our heart from negative feelings and emotional hurts.
However, do note that the breastplate covers only the front.
So, you need to face, and resist, the attack. Remember James?
7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NAS
Don’t worry, Christ covers your six. (Per a clock face: twelve is straight ahead, six is straight behind you)
The Messiah has your back.
That explains the breastplate part, what about the righteousness part?
What is righteousness?
Righteousness is being in “right-standing,” with no outstanding debts, or having any allegations against.
dikaiosýnē1343 (“divine approval“) is the regular NT term used for righteousness (“God’s judicial approval“). Dikaiosýnē (“the approval of God”) refers to what is deemed right by the Lord (after His examination), i.e. what is approved in His eyes.
Thus, righteousness is doing what God approves and accepts as right behavior.
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NAS
Who is righteous?
As Paul wrote to the Roman church:
10as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” Romans 3:10-12 NAS
I like the New American Standard Bible (NAS). The NAS differentiates, by capitalization, Old Testament Scripture that is quoted in the New Testament. Here Paul is quoting from Psalm 14:3.
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. 2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:1-3 NAS
The concept is emphasized by being repeated in Psalm 53:3.
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. 2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 53:1-3 NAS
Scripture is clear.
All humans are unrighteous, due to sin, which originated from the devil.
Again, Paul writes to the Roman church:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 NAS
Humans cannot be, or become, righteous, in right-standing with YeHoVaH without the help of God Himself.
How can we be righteous?
- We can only receive the righteousness of YeHoVaH required by God the Father for a renewed relationship from the righteousness of God the Son.
21 He [YeHoVaH] made Him [Yeshua] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NAS
- We can only become righteous through belief and faith in God the Son – Jesus.
22a even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; Romans 3:22 NAS
Looking at the verses surrounding Romans 3:23, we can rejoice that YeHoVaH, in His goodness and greatness, has made a way. (“The Way” – See NOTE)
- God has made a way for humanity to receive His grace instead of His condemnation.
- God has made a way for humanity to receive His mercy instead of His justice.
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 NAS
Yes, YeHoVaH is a just God.
Yes, justice must be accomplished.
But, rejoice! We have One Who is our Justifier.
And we can be at peace with that assurance.
We can stand on that assurance, wearing The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.
… until next time.
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life…
6 Jesus said to him [“doubting” Thomas], “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 NAS
Please join me in this journey of discovery.
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- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
© 2017 by the author