September 18, 2015 by holy rollin hooker
We’re continuing to look at the whole armor of God. Last time we were on Ephesians 6:14 and we looked at the belt of truth. This week we’ll stay on 6:14 and take a look at the “breastplate of righteousness.”
Knowing the truth of the Gospel gives us the power and strength to do many things. One of the most important things it enables us to do is walk in righteousness. Today’s Christianity has greatly lessened its emphasis on clean, holy, and righteous living. Practically anything goes these days because practically everything can be placed under the umbrella of grace. We overuse and misuse terms like, “saved by grace” and “God’s grace is sufficient.” We are indeed saved and kept by grace, and that grace is sufficient to provide forgiveness for all the sins we have committed and those we have yet to commit. However, that same grace is more than powerful enough to give us the strength and conviction to sin no more.
We have somehow decided that the breastplate of righteousness is too heavy and cumbersome to wear and have instead substituted it for grace. Grace is nice and light and much easier to tote around with us because we don’t have to do anything to earn, deserve, or even maintain it. Grace is given to us at God’s discretion, and we have begun to depend very heavily on the fact that he loves us and wants to extend as much grace to us as we need. Grace is great and powerful and without it we would all be lost, but it is not meant to be used as a sub for good ol’ fashioned righteousness.
Special care was always given to a soldier’s breastplate. Along with the helmet, it protects the most vulnerable and most targeted parts of the body. All of the vital organs are shielded by the breastplate. A good blow to the gut, liver, kidney, or heart and you are dead. This is the same with our spiritual bodies. Righteousness protects us at our core. It shields our spirits, souls, and hearts from corruption and slow decay and death. When we commit ourselves to living righteously and are careful of what we watch, what we listen to, who we socialize with, what we put in our bodies, and how we respond to situations, we put on and strengthen that breastplate. Pretty soon, weapons that Satan would have ordinarily been able to wound us with get turned aside, blocked completely by the righteousness we have armed ourselves with.
Is the breastplate a cumbersome piece of equipment to wear? Not even gonna lie. When you first commit yourself to pursuing a life of righteousness, it is not going to be fun. You might have to give up dating to avoid the temptation of sex outside of marriage. You might have to give up many of the social functions you’re so fond of to avoid drinking and socializing with people who are negative influences. With the way movies and TV are these days, you will practically have to give those up completely. You’ll have to pray more, read your bible much more, and go to church more. Right off the bat, this does not sound very fun, right? Well, I’m sure most soldiers were not comfortable in breastplates. They probably got hot and heavy and chafed a lot. But if they wanted a better chance at staying alive, they wore them and got used to them. Righteousness is not always easy, but it is always necessary and it is what truly sustains and protects our spiritual bodies. And believe it or not, the more you practice it and commit yourself to it, the easier it gets until it becomes first nature.