BASIC MILITARY TRAINING FOR THE BELIEVER (8)
We have spent considerable time on the first piece of the armour THE HELMET OF SALVATION, as the need to protect the mind is so important, it being the usual first place of attack by the devil. We have already seen THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT works closely with the Helmet, and we will come back to that numerous times during this series.
Today, we look at THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, Eph. 5:14 NKJV having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Isaiah 59:17 NKJV For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
2 Cor. 6:7 NKJV by the armor of righteousness.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is described as conformity to the law, the mind and the will of God.
There are two aspects of RIGHTEOUSNESS
By the new birth we were made or declared righteous.
Paul tells us in Rom.5:9 NKJV Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Do you remember in Sunday School being told that the meaning of Justified is “just as if I have never sinned”. Which is a great definition for us to understand what it means to be Justified.
This is how God sees us now we are born again, do you remember the old chorus?
I am covered over with a robe of righteousness
That Jesus gives to me, give to me
I am covered over with the precious blood of Jesus
And He lives in me, lives in me
What a joy it is to know my heavenly Father loves me
And He gives to me, my Jesus
When He looks at me He sees not what I used to be
But he sees Jesus.
There is often two aspects to a truth in the Word of God, and I have used in previous blogs two words that may help us understand what Imputed and outworked Righteousness is all about.
The first word is POSITIONAL.
This is our Position in Christ now we are born again. This is how God sees us.
Putting on the breastplate of Righteousness, is understanding the second aspect of Righteousness
The OUTWORKED WALK or the fruit of living and walking in righteousness. We must recognise, we NEED the Breastplate, PUT it on and learn to USE IT.
We must move from Positional to the second stage of EXPERIENTIAL. The Apostle John has much to say about this. 1 John 2:29 NKJV If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
1 John 3:7 NKJV He who practice righteousness is righteous
PRACTICING RIGHTEOUS LIVING MUST BECOME A LIFESTYLE.
It is interesting that the Bible describes Righteousness as a Breastplate, that piece of armour that covers the whole chest area of a soldier. I am reminded of Solomon’s words in Prov. 4:23 N.L.T. GUARD your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Here Solomon is exhorting us to guard like a soldier our heart, here Solomon is referring to the real you on the inside that has been been transformed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only must we reject every lie of the evil one and put on the HELMET OF SALVATION, to protect our minds, but we need to CONSTANTLY THROUGH SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE to the Lord, decide by the Grace of God I WILL WALK IN RIGHTEOUSNESS EVERY DAY..
If we do this, we will experience the Rewards (or fruit) of Righteousness. now.
Rom.14:17 NKJV for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and PEACE AND JOY in the Holy Spirit.
Matt.6:33 NKJV But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL these things shall be added to you.
Psalm 92:12-14 NKJV
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh (or fat) and flourishing.
God did His part when we were born again, and declared us righteous, now we must take our inheritance He has made available to us, namely THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, and as we have considered today THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Recognise which part we need
Put it on continually
Learn how to use it
The result will be: WALKING IN RIGHTOEUSNESS.