The Breastplate of Righteousness
What is a breastplate for?
Why is it associated with righteousness?
Whose righteousness are we wearing?
What other characteristics associate themselves with a breastplate?
HOW do we put on the breastplate of Righteousness?
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
14 Estad, pues, firmes, ceñidos vuestros lomos con la verdad, y vestidos con la coraza de justicia
Paul’s war scenario
Remember that Paul has painted a picture of a Roman soldier at war. We are this Roman soldier fighting a war not against flesh and blood (Eph.6:12). Facing the hordes ...view middle of the document...
Why is righteousness associated with protective armor like a breastplate?
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
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.
What is righteousness?
My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.
1 John 3:4
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
1 Corinthians 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
To be righteous is to do what is right in God's eyes. God's commandments are righteousness. In contrast, lawlessness is sin, and sin is the opposite of righteousness. So to be righteous is to obey God's laws of love.
What separates us from God, causing Him to withhold His protection?
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Iniquities and sins are actions and thoughts that go against God's laws. Since they are in conflict with God's way of living and are harmful to ourselves and others, our perfect and just God will not associate with us if we go down the path of sin and evil. We cut ourselves off from God and His protection!
It is interesting to note that in this same chapter Isaiah mentions that God Himself puts on righteousness as a breastplate (Isaiah 59:17), which may be part of what inspired Paul to use this analogy.
Whose righteousness should we be wearing?
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Righteousness may deliver from death, but whose righteousness are we talking about? The above scripture makes it clear that our individual level of righteousness is on par with "filthy rags"—and when you're looking to protect yourself from death, filthy rags make for a lousy breastplate.
In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
True righteousness comes from God. It is God's righteousness, and not our own, which must serve as our breastplate and defense against Satan.
8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me.
3 he refreshes my soul. He...