“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,”
The second item of armour with which we need to clothe ourselves is the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is the major piece of protective covering and protects all the most vital organs. It guards the wearer against both an unexpected attack and one that breaches the other defences such as sword and shield. As Christians it is the gift of God with which we should clothe ourselves every morning and trust throughout the day.
When Paul refers to righteousness he generally means justification. That is ‘God’s gracious initiative in putting sinners right with Himself through Christ.’ No spiritual protection can be greater than that of a right relationship with God;
- Justified by His grace through simple faith in Christ crucified
- Clothed with a righteousness not of oneself but of Christ
- Standing before God not condemned but accepted
All these constitute an essential defence against an accusing conscience and the slanderous attacks of the evil one. He will try to weaken our confidence, belittle our truth and refute our hope. However, by clothing ourselves with the breastplate of righteousness – the righteousness from Christ confirmed as our armour by God – we deliberately choose to accept and trust the word and the Word of God against the lies and darts of the devil.
- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
- “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)
- “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
These truths surround us and stand against the lies of darkness. Coupled also with a new life in which we seek to live out the Christian character there becomes less and less that the devil can hurl at us to weaken our faith – unless we allow it.
The devil does not try to meet the people of God full on but to divide and isolate them. Just as he met Jesus by Himself in the desert so he will look to make us vulnerable and then attack us. We need, therefore, to
- be clothed in our armour at all times,
- polish and strengthen it by reminding ourselves of God’s promises
- deepen our personal relationship with God
- live in the ways that He has set out
- remain in close fellowship with other Christians where we can support and be supported by each other.
Decide to entrust your life (more) fully to God. Pray for His protection daily. Identify and learn the great promises of salvation and love.
Father You are the Almighty God. You have chosen to know me, love me and save me. Please help me to trust You, follow You and to live in Your strength and under Your protection. Amen.