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Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness

May 13, 2018 Speaker: Tara Detiveaux Series: Fixer Upper

Topic: Righteousness Scripture: Ephesians 6:10–:14

Suit Up

“Put On” the Breastplate of Righteousness

Ephesians 6:10-14  The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Story of Boys and Ted playing Basketball. 

Being strategic and observant to the plans of the enemy.

If the enemy has any strategy, it is to have you take off the Righteousness of Christ and not walk in the power and fulfillment of a sinless life.

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Proverbs 4:23

What your heart is to your life, so your heart is to your spiritual life.

The Greek word for breastplate is thoraka, since it was designed to guard the thorax—a term meaning the trunk or chest.  The purpose of all these layers was to guard the vital organs, particularly the heart. 

WEARING THE BREASTPLATE is the difference between life and death.

Righteousness literally means justice—the quality of being upright, fulfilling the expectations set in a relationship.  In our case as believers, this relationship is with God himself. 

Righteousness, then, is upright living that aligns with God’s expectations.

The belt of truth affirms God’s standard, the breastplate of righteousness aligns your life to it.

Righteousness is right living—walking “in a manner worth of the calling with which you have been called. The enemy takes every opportunity to push his way into your experience.  And unrighteousness is all the invitation he needs to send his demons on assignment.  It not only leaves the door open but rolls out a welcome mat on the doorstep of your soul! It attracts enemy intrusion in our lives, allowing him to make himself at home. 

“The one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it” sins. James 4:17

What the breastplate did for the Roman soldier’s physical heart, righteousness does for your spiritual heart.  Guards it. Protects it.  Shields it from your enemy’s attempts to exact fatal blows to this life-giving source in your soul.

And so we see four types of righteousness…

Perfect Righteousness

Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of Christ.

God is perfect as his standard is Perfect righteousness, discourages you.  We can’t be perfect.

Comparative Righteousness

Comparative righteousness deceives you, but we often use it in our lives.  But comparison is never righteousness.  So even if your (or another’s) actions are better than someone else’s they’re still not as good as Gods.

Ex.  Person that compares their dirty car to someone’s else’s dirty car.

Imputed Righteousness

Your sin required a payment. The cross took away the penalty of our sin. 

Imputed righteousness defines you and declare you innocent before all accusers.  The cross becomes the gift that keeps on giving.  So, when God looks at you now (if you are a believer), He no longer sees your humanity, your frailty, your sin…your unrighteousness. He sees you through the bloodstained filter of His own Son, the perfect Lamb of God. 

Imputed righteousness defines you and declares you innocent before all accusers.

Which encourages us in our next step…which is the breastplate of Righteousness.

Paul is saying “righteousness is already in you. Now it needs to be on you!!”

Practical Righteousness

The practice of putting on Righteousness. 

Paul had already explained this in the surrounding chapters. 

Imagine Ephesians Chapter 6 as a closer almost, a summary if you would. 

And as Paul is staring up at the Roman Solider he is reminded of earlier parts of his letter, particularly Ephesians 4 and the practice of Putting off and Putting On.

This is practical righteousness.

We see the perfect righteousness of Christ.

We quit comparing ourselves to the Righteousness of others.

We have the imputed righteousness of the cross.

And we walk in practical righteousness with putting off the old and putting on the new,

So many people will want the protection of the breastplate of Righteousness, but they don’t want to take off and put on.  But this is practical righteousness at its finest. 

Taking off and putting on.

So many people will want a blessing in their finances but don’t want to steward their money and give in tithes and offerings.  Knowing that the righteousness of the Law made example through Christ says to give as unto the Lord over and over throughout scripture even the prophets said bring the whole tithe into the storehouse and quit robbing God.  Christ himself says give to Cesar what is Cesar’s but to the Lord’s what is the Lord’s.

So many people will want a blessing in their relationships, yet they are not willing to put on the righteousness of Christ and have that relationship in the confines of marriage and between a man and a woman.  But that kind of practicing righteousness reduces the attacks on your life and the schemes of the enemy. 

It protects your spiritual heart.  If we continue living without putting on the breastplate of righteousness we set out lives up for attack after attack with no real authority or power. 

So much so that in Ephesians 4:17says…

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f]which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

You must make a conscious choice to act in a way that is consistent with your new life in Christ. 

Rely on the perfect nature of Christ in you to affect your practice every single day. 

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood,let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angryand do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Letthe thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talkcome out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slanderbe put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Bekind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Altar Call

No matter what the current state of your life is, and no matter how far you might currently be from a lifestyle of righteousness, don’t be discouraged.  A sudden infusion of righteousness can change the whole environment, sometimes in a hurry. 

“If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!  Psalm 81:13-14

Start walking in Righteousness and watch what happens,

The attacks might not quit, but the protection is there to counter the attack,

And you start winning some games.

And some more games.

And those games become victories that matter not just now but for your future.

Today would you choose to put of the old and PUT ON THE BREAST PLATE.

 

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