“Stand firm then…with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14).
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty power by putting on the full armor of God in order to stand firm.”
First, put on the helmet of salvation to protect your thoughts and your mind.
Second, put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart.
What is the breastplate of righteousness? What is this referring to?
Let’s start with what it is not referring to. The righteousness that we are to put on is not our own. Our righteousness will not get us very far. Can you think of a single day where you refrained from sin? Just one day where you did not harbor sinful thoughts? Just one day…me neither.
Our righteousness will get us nowhere. The breastplate of our righteousness is no protection at all.
The righteousness that Paul refers to is the righteousness of Christ. It is Christ righteousness we are to put on.
Now, that breastplate of righteousness, that is mighty armor. What will save us? What will protect us? Christ and his righteousness. He is our strength. He is our hope. He is our righteousness.
What does Christ’s righteousness protect us from? The breastplate of Christ’s righteousness protects us from ourselves. More specifically, our hearts.
Our society loves the heart. We hear trite phrases like, “Trust your heart.” “Do what your heart tells you.” “Your heart won’t lead you astray.”
One of the reasons our society is as messed up as it is, is because of the heart and our belief in trite phrases like those above.
Listen, church. The heart is not neutral. The heart is not good. The heart is evil. The heart lies. The heart has no morals. The heart has no commitment. If one trusts their hearts and what the heart tells them to do, that is a sure recipe for disaster and devastation.
God says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
The heart and its desires consume people. Against reason, against one’s best interest, they who follow their hearts follow after that which they know will destroy them.
The heart and its desires are things which we need to protection from, not things that will guide us.
What can protect us from our hearts? The breastplate of the righteousness of Christ.
Put it on. Remember who you are. Remember who’s you are. Remember how our salvation was purchased. Remember your Savior and his righteousness.
So, put it on. Put on the breastplate of the righteousness of Christ.