IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: PUTTING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”
The purpose of this piece of armor is to protect the heart, lungs, intestines and other vital organs.
In ancient Jewish thinking, the heart represented the mind and the will and the bowels were considered the seat of emotions and feelings. The mind and the emotions are the two areas where Satan most fiercely attacks believers.
The Breastplate of Righteousness that we put on as spiritual armor against our adversary is the practical righteousness of a life lived in obedience to God’s Word.
It is living in daily, moment-by-moment obedience to the Heavenly Father.
God supplies the standard and the power, but we must supply the willingness.
God dresses us in imputed righteousness (like we dress a child) but we must put on our practical righteousness everyday.
1 Peter1:15–16 says, “but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'”
Philippians 3:9-12 (NKJV) 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Ephesians 4:20-24 (NKJV) 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
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.
Proverbs 13:6 (NKJV) 6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner. (A righteous life is a protected life. God undertakes to guard the blameless.  )
II. The Christian’s heart is the primary target of the devil
That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” What protects our hearts from the attack of the enemy? Righteousness!
Well, I don’t believe that Satan can kill you, spiritually. If you’re a Christian, you have been given eternal life and he cannot kill you. But what he can do is he can prevent you from doing the good works that God has ordained that you should walk in them, and he can prevent you from being characterized moment by moment, by the fruit of the Spirit, that’s what he can do. And that is devastating because then, effectively, he’s rendered you worthless to Christ. We have these two journeys set before us, we’ve talked about it again and again. This is why God left us here on Earth, we are left here for the glory of God, and the progress we are to make in two journeys. Internally in holiness that we would become more and more like Christ. We are journeying to conformity to Christ, to be more and more like Jesus. And then externally to win the lost, locally right around us, and to the ends of the earth, to rescue them from Satan’s dark kingdom. Now these journeys are going to be opposed every step of the way by Satan. He’s going to fight you every step of the way. You must put on your spiritual armor and fight or you will make no progress. And so, that’s what’s at stake.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
We need to know and understand our righteousness in Christ, and how to maintain our sense of righteousness for us to operate at a full potential of it. Under the Law, the Jews were commanded to obey all the commandments, statues and judgments for it to be their righteousness. Righteousness was a reward for their obedience to the Law.
Under the New Covenant, the believer doesn’t work for righteousness. Righteousness is given to the believer in Christ as a gift. Romans 4:5 KJV
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted c for righteousness.
God imparts His very righteousness to the believing sinner for him to become the righteousness of God in Christ. This brings him into the right relationship with the Father.
We must understand that, we may increase in the fruits of righteousness, but we can’t increase in our position in Christ. Hence, WE CAN’T INCREASE OR GROW IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The believer must understand that his righteousness in Christ is a huge defence against the enemy’s plots and onslaughts. The believer who sees himself in Christ, and understands his righteousness will be able to stand his ground with all the confidence against the wiles of the enemy, and walk in the victory that Christ had won for him.
This is what Isaiah 54:14-17 clearly reveals to us: In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because if Me. Whoever assemble against you shall fall for your sake
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FROM ME.
Notice, the reason we enjoy all these benefits in the passage of Scripture is because of His righteousness, that gives us the boldness and confidence. We will be far from oppression, the destruction of the enemy and his plots because WE SHALL NOT FEAR.
Fear opens the door to the enemy, it exposes us to defeat and brings a snare. But His righteousness will give us the confidence and the boldness to stand our ground in faith, and protect us from the works of the enemy.
The breastplate of righteousness is our protection against Satan’s devices to deceive us through our emotions and false beliefs. Such deception leads to wrong decisions and choices and therefore a miserable life. Do you have on the breastplate of righteousness the Lord has provided for you? Are you relying on the imputed righteousness of Christ to give you security in salvation, confidence in prayer and assurance of forgiveness? Are you living in imparted righteousness by which you can live overcoming temptation, persevering in persecution and having contentment and joy in any circumstance?
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