Breastplate of Righteousness

Breastplate of Righteousness

Eph. 6:10 – 18

We are in a spiritual battle everyday. Soldiers would never go into battle without their armor, it would be a suicide mission if they did. How many missions have you gone into without being protected? God has given us His armor to put on daily. We put on His armor by; remembering what He has done for us, believing truth instead of lies, protected by His righteousness knowing we are right with God, walking in His peace, shielded by faith, wearing salvation, using the Word of God as a weapon, and praying always!

We are in the “Armor of God” series. We have learned how to “Stand Therefore,” and we have the “Belt of Truth” tightly around our loins. Today, let’s look at the next piece of armor we are to put on.

Eph. 6:14b NKJV

“…having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”

We can get a better understanding of this verse by looking at other translations of the Bible:

Amplified Bible“Breastplate of integrity and moral rectitude and of right standing with God.”

New Living Translation “Breastplate of God’s approval.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible “Righteousness like armor on your chest.”

Contemporary English Version“Let God’s justice protect you like armor.”

New Century Version“The protection of right living on your chest.”

“…the protection of right living on your chest.” I like that! We have to make a choice to live right or wrong. We have a choice to follow God’s Word and His Holy Spirit or to walk in the flesh and what pleases it.

Looking in the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions for some of the words or phrases used in these translations:

Righteousness means: “Virtue or quality of one who is upright, acceptable to God, purity, correctness in thinking, feeling and acting.”

Integrity: “Wholeness, innocence, without any evil motivation in the heart, ethically sound.”

God’s Approval – “To commend, to be pleased with, to be thought of as worth.”

Justice – “just; especially, just in the eyes of God; correct, righteous, innocent.”

The Breastplate

Why did Paul use the analogy of a breastplate?

1.  Breastplates protect the vital organs. 

The Roman soldier might have worn one of several types of breastplates. Depending on the particular design, the breastplate would extend from just below the neck to either the thighs or just below the stomach.

It was usually made out of some material into which had been sewn strips of leather and/or bits of tough material such as bones, hooves, metal, etc. Those in high rank might have a breastplate made completely out of metal, usually copper or bronze, that was hammered into shape to fit the individual.

The function of the breastplate was the same regardless of the particular type. It was there to protect the thorax (the literal Greek word here), that is, the portion of your body between your neck and legs.

2.  Breastplates protect the mind, emotions, and will.

In the Jewish culture they describe their emotions and feelings in terms of their vital organs.

Examples:

-The Hebrew word “‘racham,” which we translate as “compassion” or “tender mercies” is literally “bowels.”

Psalm 69:16 NKJV

“Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.”

-The heart was used to symbolize the seat of volition, which is the ability to understand and make choices.

Proverbs 4:4 NKJV

“He also taught me, and said to me: Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.”

Matthew 15:18 – 19 NKJV

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

The heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions H3824)

The Hebrew word for “kidneys” is translated in the KJV as “reins” and in the NAS as “mind” or “inner man” since that is what is actually being referred to.

Proverbs 23:16 KJV

“Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.”

For example Proverbs 23:16 literally reads, “My son, if your heart is wise, My own heart also will be glad; and my ‘kidneys’ will rejoice, When your lips speak what is right.”

Why is this important? Because what Paul is talking about being protected by the breastplate of righteousness are your mind, emotions and will. Too often we fall into the devil’s traps because we make our decisions based on how we feel at the moment rather than on what is actually true and right.

Also, the breastplate of righteousness protects us when accusations arise against us and accuse us of false behavior or behavior from our past that we no longer walk in. There will be times when people, even fellow Christians, will bring up your past. Righteousness has delivered us from our sinful past. We are thankful for what Christ did to wash away our past mistakes. In doing so, we can stand tall in His righteousness knowing we are not that person any longer; we are clean and His righteousness covers us. We are in right standing with God and no matter what people say or think about who you use to be, you are righteous and holy in God’s sight. Wearing the Breastplate of righteousness covers it all. What a reminder of His great grace for us!

Righteousness

Righteousness must be our breast-plate. The righteousness of Christ is our breast-plate against the arrows of divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ is our breast-plate to fortify the heart against the attacks which Satan makes against us.

Righteousness is imperative to spiritual warfare.

Righteousness is represented by the breastplate because the breastplate covers the vital organs of the body, (Thus righteousness protects the soul and the conscience of the Christian.)

If the devil can strip the child of God of their sense of righteousness then he can wound their heart and conscience, and if this wound is not healed quickly certain spiritual death will result.

Let’s go back and revisit the Greek definition of righteousness, “Virtue or quality of one who is upright, acceptable to God, purity, correctness in thinking, feeling and acting.”

Isaiah 61:1 – 3

Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

God has given us beauty for ashes. He has made something beautiful of our lives after we have come to Him and received His Son as Lord and Savior. Not only that, but even after we sin and ask for forgiveness God makes us beautiful again.

We stand tall and forever beautiful because God has called us “trees of righteousness.” This is His planting. Trees signify strength and that which is truly beautiful. This is what God has made us to be.

Living in the great Pacific Northwest of the United States, especially Washington State, we are known for our pine trees. It is so beautiful to see a mountain side full of pine trees. They stand tall, show strength and beauty constantly. This is what we are as we wear the breastplate of righteousness. Every time you see trees, I pray it reminds you of God’s righteousness He has placed on and in you.

Isaiah 61:10 NKJV

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

God has covered each of us with the robe of righteousness, His righteousness shields, protects, and decorates all of us. This is God’s affection towards us! We are God’s ornaments shinning daily for Him.

Righteousness connotes deliverance (New Spirit Filled Life Bible notes page 947). Not only are we delivered from hell, our past shame and mistakes, but we are also ambassadors of His righteous or deliverance to the world. We have the answer to everyone’s problems; Jesus! Our breastplate should ring out to the world that there is hope for their life. It should say, “I’ve been delivered and so can you!”

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34).

It is not the nations numbers, military, politics, intellect, or being civilized that makes a nation great. True greatness of a nation, and condition of its future and progress are the people of the nation in their private, public, and international life who conduct themselves by the true will of God. Righteousness, good morals, and reverence for God exalts a nation. Sin is a disgrace to the people, it lowers them before God and man. It brings them down instead of exalting them. Let us be people who will shine for God and live right according to His Word, this will lift our nation up.

Pastor Kris Belfils

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

When we seek God first, and His kingdom, and His righteousness, we will be blessed and protected. I would love to tell you that once you receive Jesus Christ in your heart as Lord and Savior that you will never sin again, but that would not be true. Daily we need a Savior. Daily we need to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness to protect our vital organs of our mind, emotions, and will.

Matthew 5:6 NKJV

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Hungering and thirsting for what is right, wanting what pleases God, is the beginning of right living.

Basically righteousness is being right with God. It is not something we do or earn. Our own self-righteous is faulty, unholy, and prideful. Isaiah 64:6  tells us that all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags before God.

Isaiah 64:6 NKJV

“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

How many times have you felt superior to other Christians all because you haven’t sinned like they have? Maybe you think you would never do what they did. Be careful least you fall. It might be in the same sin you judge someone else in, or it might be in another area, all because you thought you were better then someone else. Sin is sin. There are no greater and smaller sins. Pride is sin; it is filthy, stinking, and retched and will separate you from God and possibly send you to hell. We cannot stand on our own self-righteousness.

I remember God showing me my filthy righteous one day. It was after I had made a mess of my life with sinful choices. I was walking through the consequences of my choices and trying to get right with God. I was praying and He showed me a pile of filthy rags. I even saw the stench rise from it. As I was praying I said to God, “Looks like we need to do some laundry.” But God said, “No, throw it all away.” I knew I needed to take on Christ’s righteousness that He died to give me. Then on another day I was driving in my car singing a worship song by Kathryn Scott:

Search me know me

Try me and see
Every worthless affection hidden in me
All I’m asking for is that You’d cleanse me Lord

Create in me a heart that’s clean
Conquer the power of secret shame
Come wash away the guilty stain of all my sin

Clothe me in robes of righteousness
Cover my nakedness with grace
All of my life before You now I humbly bring

As I sang the words; “Clothe me in robes of righteousness” I could see God covering me with a white robe. The sleeves went all the way to my wrists and the bottom of the robe went all the way past my feet. It covered me totally and all you could see was this bright shinny white robe on me. For the first time I truly saw myself clean, whole, and right with God. It was nothing I did. It was given to me through God’s mercy and grace. I received it by faith that day and have worn it ever since.

Our righteousness are as filthy rags. God’s righteousness is complete, covering everything in our life. We cannot do anything to add to it or take away from it.

Today, let’s put on the breastplate of righteousness and protect our heart from anything the enemy will try to hurl in our direction. God has given us powerful armor to wear everyday to defend and to offend the enemy. We are mighty warriors in Christ!

Your sister,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

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Belt of Truth

Belt of TruthEph. 6:14a Amplified Bible

“Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins…”

The Belt of Truth is the first element of the Full Armor of God.

In the ancient world, a soldier’s belt not only kept his armor in place, but it might be wide enough, as a girdle, to protect his kidneys and other vital organs. Just so, the truth protects us. Practically applied to us today, you might say the Belt of Truth holds up our spiritual pants so that we’re not exposed and vulnerable!

It must be extremely important for Paul to mention truth. We have to look at the opposite of the word to really grasp the full meaning. The opposite of true is false, and the opposite of truth is falsity, or untruth, better stated; “A lie!” God wants us to have the truth so girded about us, so tightly embedded in us that we are not shaken and never ever lose it.

“…having tightened the belt of truth around your loins…” The belt of a Roman soldier was typically a wide leather belt designed to hold the soldier’s tunic in place. The soldier tucked his outer garment under the belt so that the tunic would not hinder his running or fighting.

When his belt was tightened, he was ready for battle. On the other hand, slackened belt meant that the soldier was off duty and NOT ready for battle. As believers, we must always wear the belt of truth around our waist.

The belt on the Roman soldiers uniform was used to cinch them together and give them freedom of movement. God’s truth, when fastened tightly to us, gives us freedom to move and holds us together. We are not quickly swayed into believing what is false.

God’s truth gives us freedom to move and it holds us together.

1. Wearing the belt of truth means that we embrace Christ and his words as truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (John 14:6)

It means adapting the truths He revealed and His ways. It believes that He did what we cannot do for ourselves. It is accepting the facts that Jesus accomplished for the believers.

Some facts/truth: His sacrificial death, forgiveness of sins, freedom to approach God’s throne of grace, and acceptance into the kingdom of God. We have to remember we are deeply loved by God. This is TRUTH:

1 John 4:9 – 10 NLT

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

We need to know that we are completely forgiven and made right in God’s sight once we ask for forgiveness. This is TRUTH:

Romans 5:1 NLT

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”

There is nothing we can do to be accepted by God but what Christ did for us on the cross has made us acceptable. What Jesus did on the cross is total and complete lacking nothing. It is finished. Knowing this allows us to stand with no shame.  We are clean inside and out this is TRUTH:

Colossians 1:21 – 22 NLT

“This includes you who were once far away form God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

Nothing you have done will prevent you from knowing Christ. You are a new creation and the fresh and new has come. TRUTH:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Amplified Bible

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

All these truths are found in his Word and knowing and embracing them would liberate us from the lies Satan inflicted on us.

Satan is one of the main sources of lies in our life. He wants to destroy you. What better way to destroy us then to use ourselves against us. Sounds funny but so true. He will speak lies to you about yourself to get you to self-destruct and make bad decisions. He will speak lies to you about your future. He will speak lies about anything and everything concerning you. Here are a few verses which show the enemy’s character.

 John 10:10 Amplified Bible

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

John 8:44 Amplified Bible

“…he (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.”

“…of all that is false.” That’s the devil’s character. He constantly tells us falsehoods about ourselves. If we are not careful, we will listen to those lies and act upon them. The enemy will fill your mind with feelings of worthlessness about yourself to destroy you. He’ll fill your mind with negative thoughts about you, your family and friends, and everything else you come in contact with. Thoughts like, “There is no good in me.” “Why did I do that? How stupid can I be?” or “No one cares about me or what I do.” “I will never overcome this situation” and so much more.

Please, if this is you, stop listening to false information. It’s not true. God has a hope and a future for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11).

When you think you don’t have a future or your life seems hopeless, think again! Hold on to the promise that God has a plan and that it is a good one for your life. He has planned this for you from the beginning of time. He created you for that plan! In spite of your circumstances, in spite of the lies that you are listening to, God will bring you out. He will help you to overcome any challenge, trial, or temptation in your life today.

The key to following God’s plan is to trust Him and obey what He asks. There is something we have to do on our part to bring about God’s plan of a hope and a future. Our part is obedience. Our part is to trust God. These two areas the enemy will try to prevent in your life. He will lie to you that you can walk in your own ways and desires and still walk a godly life. The devil will tell you things to lose your hope and to stop trusting God. We have to be wise to the enemies lies.

We can’t go wrong when we abide to God’s word and follow it. This proves we are followers of Christ and not this world.

John 8.31- 32 NLT

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and one of his primary attack strategies is to feed us lies or to entice us to lie to ourselves. The best defense against his lies is the truth.

“It’s imperative that you have a settled conviction that the Word of God is just that, the God-given, God-breathed, God-protected, and God-preserved Word of God. You must settle in your heart that it is without error and that it contains all you need in order to live righteously before Him. If you are not convinced of these things, then the rest of the armor will be useless.”

Kay Arthur

Buckle the belt of truth by embracing Christ and His Words as the embodiment of truth. Stop believing the lies that Satan feeds you. Be aware of his voice compared to God’s voice. There is a difference. God’s voice always has hope and peace in it, even when He is correcting you. The enemies voice is always condemnation or enticement to do something that you know is wrong. The devil is usually doom and gloom. Be aware!

2. Wearing the belt of truth means living a life of integrity and honesty. 

John 3:20 – 21 NLT

“All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

A life of integrity and honesty is being able to accept one’s limitation and weakness and still depend on God to live truthfully and honestly. Wearing the belt of truth means giving up deceptive behavior, hypocrisy, lying, and dishonesty.

On the other hand, we succumb to Satan’s temptations when we speak or live anything less than the truth. When we live a life of hypocrisy, the belt is not on us. When we live a life of deception the belt of truth is not on.

Do you consistently speak the truth?

Do you give in to temptations to tell “little white lies” or to avoid the truth?

Are your public and private lives consistent with each other?

Do you strive to be the same person internally as you are externally?

Are you currently covering up any lies?

Do you ever rationalize your wrong, even when you know God is displeased?

Do you ever lie to convince yourself that your particular sins are sometimes acceptable?

To win the battle of spiritual warfare, we must fight by knowing, believing, and living God’s truth. The belt of truth must be buckled tightly about our waist. Ask God for His help to wear the Belt of Truth tightly everyday.

If your life lacks truthfulness and integrity, take time now to confess to God your wrong and ask His forgiveness. Decide now that you will always tell the truth and live a life of integrity.

Truth is foundational to the rest of the armor. If we don’t know the truth and own the truth, everything else will fall apart.

3. Wearing the belt of truth means to stop lying to yourself.

Remember that the devil will lie to you. Know that we can lie to ourselves too. Our heart is deceitful and wicked apart from Christ.

We can tell ourselves the worst result will happen and inevitably will because of our negative attitude. We can lie to ourselves about how good we are and how bad our neighbor is. We can listen to ourselves instead of God’s word and make bad choices for our lives. We can sabotage our future. Here are a few scriptures to show this.

Proverbs 23:7a Amplified Bible

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

Jeremiah 17:9 Amplified Bible

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?”

Ephesians 4:22 – 25 Amplified Bible

“Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old un-renewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.)”

Listen, we all know how we talk to ourselves. We can cheer others on to victory and yet condemn ourselves. Learn how to speak godly truth to yourself. We can listen to the enemy and then run with that one lie he places in our minds and speak even more destruction to ourself. It is time to stop feeding lies to ourselves. If it doesn’t line up with the word of God, reject it and move on.

So what about you? Are you wearing the belt of truth by embracing Christ and His words? Are you cinching that belt up tighter by living a life of integrity and honesty? Are your loins girded with truth by not lying to yourself or others? Today is a new day with new choices and new beginnings. Choose to be set free with truth in your life. Don’t be swayed by any falsity. Wear your Belt of Truth well and get ready for battle because if you believe it or not, weather you like it or not, you are in a spiritual battle so dress for success!

From one mighty warrior to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com