Updated: May 17
We’re going to take a look at the second part of Ephesians 6:14.
“and having on the breastplate of righteousness;”
The breastplate is the largest piece to a suit of armor and covers the chest. One of the most vital organs it helps protect is the heart. If we have the breastplate of righteousness properly equipped, Satan will have a very hard to impossible time getting his darts through to our heart. True righteousness can only come from Christ, who must be dwelling in us to give us the righteousness we need.
But what is righteousness? Going back to the dictionary, it is:
Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. righteousness as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty, and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.
Righteousness is doing what’s right with the right motive and right attitude. It is the complete opposite of sin, and very similar to holiness. It is abstaining from sin, not because we might get caught, but because we sincerely don’t want to reproach God. It is doing what’s right for God’s glory.
So how do we get this righteousness?
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
God promises that if we truly seek to obtain righteousness, we shall get it. But we must be determined to not stop seeking until we are filled. And just like with truth, how shall we know what is righteousness unless you study God’s Word. Dive deep into it; seek God’s commandments so that you can know righteousness from unrighteousness.
We must also have Christ as our Savior. He is pure righteousness. Without Him in our lives, we cannot hope to understand the different between unrighteousness and righteousness.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Here in Romans, it states that God can use us as instruments of righteousness should we be willing to yield our desires and lusts. Imagine being able to be used by God in such a way!
But we must be willing to accept all commandments of God, not just the ones that we feel like. If we decide to follow “Thou shalt not kill.” but not “Thou shalt not steal.”, that inconsistency will cause spots of rust to form on our armor that Satan can exploit to get his darts through to us.
And once you obtain righteousness, you must be careful not to lose it or set it aside. So many people will take it off to fit in or not look bad. Perhaps your friends are watching a movie with vileness, and you take your breastplate of righteousness off so you don’t look odd instead of stepping away. Perhaps you take it off at when you to school or work, or perhaps you keep it off all week and only use it on Sundays. Many try to play with God like that, but do that for only a short time and you’ll find your armor is worn and rusty or even completely missing.
So to wrap it up, the breastplate of righteousness is a vital part of the armor of God to protect your heart. Seek after righteousness by reading your Bible and abstaining from evil. And don’t ever let someone convince you to take it off, even if only for a bit.