In the past, the world was not nearly as dangerous as it is today. Evils seems to prevail over good, and wickedness out-wearing righteousness; what a great anomaly!
Reproach is now becoming the world’s glory, and every form of unrighteousness its garment of splendour; it’s a world that has lost every sense of value for righteousness but now rewards immorality on centre stages in the name of reality shows. Evil is being projected without contention on LED screens of amusement, and wickedness is being visually taught in 3D theatres of entertainment. Morality is reduced to mockery, and decency an absurdity, but the people love it so!
There has never been a BETTER time to resonate a clarion call to every attentive.
Christian than now, “Guard thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are (all) the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
IT IS NOW we need to pay UTMOST attention to our spiritual ORGANS, and go the extra mile of effort to PROTECT them from invasive erosion of unrighteousness flowing against our faith and values as Christians.
APOSTLE PAUL listed several pieces of armour worn by the Roman soldiers of his day and made an analogy about the spiritual armour needed by Christians. The second piece of armour, the breastplate, is likened to righteousness: “Having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
The breastplate covers the chest. This piece of armour protected the vital organs of the soldier during battle.
Without a breastplate, a soldier would be asking for death, as any attack could instantly become fatal. With a sturdy breastplate, the very same attacks become ineffective and useless, as blows glance off the armour. A soldier with his breastplate on goes boldly into battle full of confidence.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary says the following: “As the breast-plate defends the heart and lungs, and all those vital functionaries that are contained in what is called the region of the thorax; so this righteousness defends everything on which the man’s spiritual existence depends.”
Without righteousness, we leave ourselves open to almost certain death. With righteousness—just as with a breastplate—the otherwise fatal attacks of our enemy are thwarted.
It vexes the spirit now as days to see ladies, and most disgusting old women roam the streets with their chest uncovered to look glamorous; having frozen all sense of decency for the quest of attraction. Ironically, many have attracted a certain death, and some irrecoverable destruction.
Spiritually speaking, are we anyway different? Aren’t we roaming the streets of spiritual warfare with our chests widely opened? Aren’t we deceiving and being deceived with the notion that blending with the world’s system and looking attractive to them will win more souls? Indeed, as soul winners, we end up winning many souls and graciously filling up our church theatres to the brim. But to who and for whose kingdom? It appears to me that, Satan, knowing he was unsuccessful at keeping the root of righteousness from being planted, now excels at keeping the tree from growing good fruits.
Satan, in his craftiness, entices us to compromise God’s Righteousness; whose we are, to the detriment of our own life and eternal rewards. Oh, how are the mighty falling?
Enough of rhetoric about IMPUTED and IMPARTED righteousness; it is a mere play on words, to distract the mind from that which is most important. Without argument from a clear conscience, and as the scriptures stated it CLEARLY, righteousness is an investment of God into your life. It is something given to you to get you going. “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works” Romans 4:6
It is a permanent GRANT/IMPUTE, but which comes with an expectation attached. The expectation is that you invest it to make your own PROFIT/IMPART with God’s investment. “…but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
The righteousness WITHIN establishes you in/with God, but the righteousness WITHOUT protects you from satanic afflictions, and prevents you from making a Shipwreck of your faith in God. Therefore, work out the INHERENT work of grace –God’s righteousness in you into an APPARENT demonstration of God’s power on you and through you.
The breastplate of righteousness is available and accessible because God shares Himself with believers. What He has, He gives in order that Christians have the power to resist the evil and corruption in today’s world and so they have everything they need to promote the light of the gospel to the unsaved.
Why is righteousness associated with protective armour like a breastplate?
“Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 11:4
It makes sense that the breastplate of righteousness is not something seen, but an attitude and a holy lifestyle that every Christian must personally enact. Just as a chest uncovered in battle leaves a soldier open to almost certain death, so also Christianity without righteous living is a shipwreck of faith. “…holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith” 1 Timothy 1:19
Righteousness protects your heart and secure your conscience. Therefore, do not leave your heart unprotected.
Moreover, righteousness helps you to stand before God and Man with a clear conscience, and enables you to resist Satan and his demons with confidence. If Jesus found the breastplate of righteousness necessary, “…for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30, then there is no doubt that Christians today should deem this piece of armour a personal requirement.
Putting on the breastplate of righteousness promises great rewards to those who follow this path of obedience: “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust” (Proverbs 11:4-6).
Dear friends, do not be deceived by false and hyper-grace teachers that says, “it does not matter how you live, or what you do or don’t, God is not concerned anymore because you are now the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus” Some have even advanced further by saying, “God has forgiven you past, present and future sins, and even before you sinned, God already forgave you in advance. So, you can go on sinning for much more grace abounds unto you”. So doing, they steered your conscience with the hot iron of false teachings on Grace.
Beware, “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron [whose consciences are dead].” 1 Timothy 4:2. But, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous” 1 John 3:7
Losing our guards to the deeds of unrighteousness shifts our base from the place of Authority, Dominion, and Power into a 3D –Three Dimensional positions; despair, defeat, and death.
Once we have put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must be sure not to remove it. Ezekiel 33:13 shows that wearing righteousness is not a one-time event; rather, it requires a lifetime of action.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
One day, the war we’re fighting will be over. And when it is, we are promised, “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever” (Isaiah 32:17). By faithfully living God’s way and staying clear of Satan’s, we will find this peace, quietness and assurance—forever.