This week we look at the breastplate of righteousness in Ephesians 6:14.
When you think about it, the breastplate may be one of the most important pieces of a knight's armor. Certainly, if you are a police officer or a soldier fighting in Iraq, you don't go without your handy kevlar vest. Why? It protects you heart and vital organs- duh! You can survive a shot to your arm or leg, but if you're hit in the heart, "th th that's all, folks!"
Your heart is not only the very real center of your body, it also represents the very heart and core of your being- your hopes, beliefs, what you love most. But the key in the case of Spiritual warfare, is not relying on you're own righteousness, but instead, putting on Christ's righteousness instead. We looked up a lot of verses this morning to drive that home.
First, we saw how in Isaiah 59, especially verse 17, how God puts on His own righteousness when He gets ready to do battle. It made me think a little about Superman putting on his cape in a phone booth.
Then we read in Zechariah 3 about how Jesus )AKA "THE Angel of the Lord") took away the high priest Joshua's filthy clothes and replaced them with His clean ones. This was symbolic of how God removes our sin and dresses us with His righteousness. It's important to remember that "the Righteous shall live by faith" as it says in Habakkuk 2:4.
Philippians 3:8-9 and 1 Thesselonians 5:8 remind us that it is Jesus' righteousness, that we accuire simply by having faith in Him that protects us.
Finally, Proverbs 11:5 and Ephesians 4:22-24 tell us about some of the benefits to wearing God's righteousness, which include being able to resist the pull of temptation, as well as long life and honor. Best of all, when we wear it, we become new creatures.
Next week: look out Nike, we're strapping on footwear that will make us always ready. We're talkin' the Gospel of peace.