Breastplate of Righteousness
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. (NRSV)
Last week, I shared why the belt of truth is so important for the Christian to prepare the spiritual battle. It is very important to equip ourselves with the truth which includes the sound doctrine of the Word of God, the assurance of the salvation, and good testimonies.
They are very powerful ammunition for the battle. Especially in this ungodly world. Today, I will share what and why the breastplate of righteousness is so important just like the belt of truth.
- What is the breastplate of righteousness?
The spiritual breastplate is to protect the heart and mind, where we accepted our Lord and the love, joy, and peace in Christ. Satan wants to destroy our joy and peace in our heart and separate us from the Lord.
If the breastplate is not strong enough, the Satan’s fiery arrows can easily break in and hurt our heart. To protect the heart, we need a very specialized breastplate. Unfortunately, we cannot buy them through Amazon or eBay.
We can get it only from Jesus Christ through our faith. It is made of the righteousness of Christ, which cleanses our sins and saves us from the eternal condemnation. Praise the Lord!
If so, what is the righteousness? That means ‘sinless’ and ‘holy.’ No man is righteous, only God is. Many kind people think they are righteous enough so that they don’t need God. But the Bible says, “There is no one who is righteous, not even one;” Romans 3:10.
One of the students from my Bible class at Quincy College told me, “You are a good man.” I said, “No. I am not. A good man has no evil thoughts and desire in his heart.” He replied, “If so, there is no good man in this world.” I said, “You are right! Where did you get the idea? Did you read the Bible?”
Of course, he did not. He is from China. As you heard, no men’s righteousness can protect us. The righteousness of Christ is the only way to protect us from the devil’s all kinds of temptations and attacks.
- Why do we need the breastplate of righteousness?
Non-Christians may not realize the spiritual battle as we do. However, we are fighting against the Satan for 24/7. Some of us may say, “What is the spiritual battle? I have never felt it.” Or, “I have been fighting and struggling to live an obedient and spiritual life in Christ.”
If you are in the first group, then, either you have a good life in God’s grace, or you have not realized it yet. Bless be the second group because they read and meditate the word of God daily and try to live a Holy Spirit filled life and share the love of Christ. When we try to live a holy life, the devil challenges and criticizes us more. We can defeat the devil with Jesus’ name.
Unless we protect our hearts and mind with the solid faith and the righteousness of Christ, we cannot have a victorious life. Here are Satan’s four tactics which attack our heart.
a. The devil provokes my ego and makes me angry
I am sure many of us experienced like me. Many years back, I was a computer engineer. One morning, I read a passage in the Bible, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” (Psalm 37)
I praised the Lord and had the joy and peace until I heard my competitor got a promotion. It made me upset and prayed, “My Lord, how come you didn’t give me the promotion? You know I am much better than him. I am upset.” When I was upset, I lost my joy and peace, and was very nasty to my co-workers all day long.
Suddenly, the Lord reminded me, “Do not be envious of those who do wrong;” Oh, No… Then, I realized that the devil provoked me and made me angry. I knelt down and prayed, “Oh, Lord! Please forgive my shallow faith. Thank you for reminding me. I am happy as long as you are with me. Thank you, Lord!”
b. The devil drives us to despair
To destroy us, he sets us to give up our faith and our life. We are frightened whenever we hear someone whom we know committed suicide. They do that because they have no hope in this world. I believe the Satan drives them to fill the despair into their heart and made them overwhelmed with it.
Jesus said, “You are my child. Do not be afraid. I will be with you and protect you to the end of the world.” If they knew the love of Christ, they would not die. Because the love of Christ is in our heart, we need to protect it with the righteousness of Christ.
c. The devil accuses us that we are not good enough
Sometimes, I feel this way, “Hey David, you are not holy enough. You lost your temper. You did not help others. You did not pray this morning. You were not nice to your neighbor. God may hate you. You are not good enough to have the eternal life.”
This feeling makes me struggle for a while. But, I don’t stay there. I cry out to the devil, “Ok, I am not good enough. I still make mistakes and do sins, but my Lord knows my weakness. That’s why Christ died for me. Satan, get away from me!”
Then, I pray and ask, “Oh Lord, I am not worthy. I look upon your grace and mercy. Please strengthen me to love you more every day. Thank you, Lord!”
d. The devil always entices us to follow my evil desires
He entices us to follow my ego, which is full of the lust of flesh, the lust of sight, and the lust of pride. Jesus said this in Mark 7:21, “All kinds of evil thoughts are out of the heart of men…”
These are very aggressive attacks. If we are not fully awakened, we easily fall into these temptations which weakens our faith and makes us a hypocrite. We can defeat them through the believers’ fellowship. When we pray, encourage, and share the Word of God and testimonies together in the church, we can overcome those temptations.
I pray that every one of our congregation puts on the most powerful breastplate which is made of the righteousness of Christ.
Jasmin could not overcome the depression from the sudden death of her father. She was lonely, afraid, lost, hurt, and angry at her high school time. She tried to depend on God, but it helped a little.
She was happy when she met her husband in the college, but it did not last long. Whenever she had any trouble with him, the guilty feeling overpowered her and her depression got deeper. She tried to change diet, relationship with others, and the way of thinking. It helped but not much.
She finally figured out that she needs to change her lifestyle in Christ. She realized that setting up the purpose of life in God is most important. She decided to build her life upon the prayer life to get all the negative thoughts out of her head and replace them with the word of God. She meditated the love of God more often.
After meditating and praying, she could feel the love of God and recover her strength in Christ. She became a better mom, wife, and person in her relationship. Her fellowship with the Lord helped her to get out of the depression. Now, she cannot live without it.
What would you do to protect from the Satan’s attack? We need to equip us with the solid faith and the assurance of the salvation through the righteousness in Christ. Then, the Holy Spirit would fight for us and protect us… Praise the Lord!!!