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TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Pastor Rick Warren once related the story of how he and some of their church workers regularly visited a prison in California which held some of the state’s most violent gang members. The prison was well-known for the brawls that often broke out there among prisoners, often requiring police in full riot gear to enter in order to restore order in the prison. Warren said that the prison warden informed him that when they came to the prison they needed to be prepared for anything — including having to run for their lives. Warren said that this meant they couldn’t go to the prison wearing shorts and flip-flops. In his words, they had to be “suited and booted.” They had to be ready to defend themselves and ready to get out of the way if a brawl broke out while they were at the prison.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this world, Christians need to be “suited and booted” at all times. We must adopt the slogan of the U.S. Coast Guard — semper paratus, “always ready” — because the devil can attack at anytime. That is why we must put on the whole armor of God.
Last week, you might recall from Pilgrim’s Progress that Christian received his suit of armor from the Palace Beautiful before he set out to continue his journey to the Celestial City.
The Bible describes the armor that God supplies for all Christians in the book of Ephesians. The first piece of armor is the belt of truth. The Bible says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” The truth, of course, is the Word of God; and we arm ourselves with the truth when we believe in Jesus Christ and we believe the Word of God.
Today, we are going to look at the second part of the Christian’s armor — the breastplate of righteousness. After we have put on the belt of truth, the Bible says, “and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” A breastplate is a large piece of armor that covers the front of the body from the chest to the waist.
For the Roman soldiers of Paul’s day, the breastplate provided protection for the torso, which contains the vital organs including the heart and the lungs. Without his breastplate, a soldier would be asking for death, as any injury to his body could become fatal. With a strong breastplate, however, the same blows from the enemy are rendered ineffective.
This passage calls righteousness our breastplate. There are two elements of righteousness that make up this piece of defensive armor. The first is found in the basic definition of righteousness — that is right doing or right living — doing the right thing. If we are living in sin, it is as if we are going into battle without any of our armor on. We are exposed to Satanic attack and trickery. Unconfessed sin in our lives is one of the main reasons why Christians are defeated spiritually. So, if we are not living right, we have not put on the breastplate of righteousness.
The second element of righteousness is walking in the confidence that we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Remember, by His death on the cross, and our acceptance of that sacrifice, God imputed the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us. God no longer sees us as sinners, but as saints. We are viewed as innocent before God because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Philippians 3, “not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
John Gill said, “the righteousness of Christ, which being imputed by God, and received by faith, is a guard against, and repels the accusations and charges of Satan, and is a security from all wrath and condemnation.”
The devil will try to attack us mentally by bringing up our old sins, failures, and faults. He will try to make us believe that God has not forgiven us and that we are still just like we were before we accepted salvation through Jesus Christ. If we succumb to the devil’s lies, and fail to cling to the truth of God’s Word — that we are righteous because of Jesus Christ — we will lose many spiritual battles.
Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, the German reformer and prominent leader of the Moravian church, wrote a hymn that describes how Christ is our righteousness and how we stand in that righteousness as followers of Him.
Bold can I stand in every way,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully, by Christ, absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
Its glory is forever new.
Thou God of power, Thou God of love,
Let all Thy saints Thy mercy prove;
Our beauty this, our warrior’s dress,
Jesus the Lord, our Righteousness.
Dear friend, with Jesus Christ as your righteousness, you can stand boldly against the attacks of the devil. So, put on the breastplate of righteousness! If we are committed to righteous living and if we walk in the confidence that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we can and will be successful in spiritual battle.
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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.