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How To Use The Armor Of God : The Breastplate Of Righteousness

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This article is the second in a series of an introductory Christian study on the armor of God that was launched with the first article, The Armor Of God For The Christian: The Belt Of Truth. It's strongly recommended that readers begin their study on the belt of truth. Simply search with the keyword: belt.

The scripture of Ephesians 6:14 says, "Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness...." The breastplate of righteousness is part of the armor of God in which the Christian is told to dress. It should be noted that dressing for battle is not an option for true believers, it's a commandment. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Satan has a kingdom comprised of the kingdoms of this present world (2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 3:2). Whenever two kingdoms oppose each other, there's war. All Christians should be in opposition, in some form or another, to the kingdom of Satan. Ephesians 5:11 says to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness.

It should be remembered that the Bible says, "The Lord is a man of war" (Exodus 15:3). The truth is that the man of war sends his servants to do war, which is why a servant of Christ is also called a soldier of Christ, and has weapons of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4, 2 Timothy 2:3-4). The Bible even teaches that the Lord is commander of an army that will defeat all of the Satanic armies of the world in a final battle (Revelation 19:19). It is no wonder that it teaches much on the armor of God.

What part does the breastplate of righteousness play in Christian spiritual warfare? The believer must first understand that the power of God enters the life of the Christian who lives in righteousness, which is simply obedience to Christ. If his righteousness is according to the law of the Old Covenant (Old Testament), tradition, his own philosophy on life, or anything else outside of the doctrine of Christ, he establishes his own righteousness. This is repeatedly warned against in the biblical scriptures. We cannot wear the breastplate of righteousness if we have our own righteousness.

Romans 10:3 says, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." And, Philippians 3:9 says, "And be found in him not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Finally, Mark 7:8 records Jesus having said, "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men."

Again, what part does the breastplate of righteousness play in Christian spiritual warfare? Simply put, righteousness is power. It is the power of God in the believer engaged in spiritual warfare. The possession of power is essential in war. What sensible commander would send weak and powerless soldiers into battle? Likewise, God doesn't send the powerless to do spiritual warfare.

Do the scriptures actually say that the breastplate of righteousness is power in the believer's life? Yes, they do. Jesus said directly to his disciples, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy...(Luke 10:19).

Although the scripture speaks of the power that the believer in Christ receives, it doesn't say anything about power being associated with righteousness. What is the connection between righteousness and power? The scriptures make the connection. 2 Timothy 2:12 says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him...." To reign is to have power.

What has suffering to do with righteousness? Everything, because righteousness is the absence of sin. To love God is the first commandment; to love one's neighbor as oneself is the second. All of the law and the prophets hang on these commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).

Perfect love for God compels obedience to him even to the suffering of the last enemy, which is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Notice that 2 Timothy 2:12 says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." How can one reign if he has no power? He can't. Does the Christian's power come only in the afterlife to reign in the kingdom of heaven? No, it doesn't. The Christian's reign begins now, on this present earth. God gave him power over sin in his own life so that he should, "...Live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12). God gave him a power over the power of the one in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4). God gave him power to preach the gospel (Acts 1:8). God gave him power to cast out devils in Jesus' name (Mark 16:17). The list could go on.

It should be remembered that in the beginning, Adam and Eve were created in righteousness. Therefore, they were given dominion and power to rule the earth when God said to them, "...Replenish the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28). To subdue something is to rule over it. Later, Satan is called the god, or ruler of the present age (world) in 2 Corinthians 4:4).

What happened to Adam and Eve's rulership? Simply put, they lost it when they fell from righteousness. The Bible says, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 2:30).

Although the obedient servant of Christ cannot immediately return to paradise, he is spiritually restored to dominion. This means that when the enemy's forces attack him, they do battle directly with the Lord himself, the man of war. When has the man of war ever lost a battle? Never.

It's imperative that the serious Christian know and fully understand God's word because it's his instruction book in righteousness, his power and dominion. To obey the word of God is in itself to dress oneself in the breastplate of righteousness, the breastplate of power.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).


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