“…with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” (Ephesians 6:14 NIV)
Notice the importance of this piece of armor: The breastplate of righteousness. Why is the breastplate so important? Because it protects your heart, and without a heart, you can’t survive!
Without Jesus, your own righteousness is like filthy rags: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…” (Is. 64:6 NIV). But when we accept Jesus into our hearts, we receive His righteous as our own: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might BECOME the righteousness of GOD.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NIV). We also know that Jesus’ righteousness allows us access to the throne room of God: “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph. 3:12 NIV), where our prayers become power and effective: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)
We receive Jesus’ righteousness when we accept Him into our hearts, but in Ephesians 6, we are told to “put on” the armor of God: “Therefore put on the full armor of God…” (vs. 13 NIV). Thus, we understand that though Jesus’ righteousness is our own, we have to choose to put it on!
This means that we have to truly trust that our sins are forgiven and that His righteousness is our own. We have to know Him, we have to have a relationship with Him, we have to trust Him.
Some of us are afraid of Jesus. We think we aren’t good enough for Him. But when we are afraid of Him, we have missed something very important: The grace of God!
There are many in Christendom who believe that we must follow the law to be saved. What did Jesus say about this?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Did you see that? You cannot be saved with by doctrines. Only Jesus can save us, and not only is He ABLE to do that, but He is also WILLING.
John 3:16 tells us that Jesus died for us, He loves us, and eternal life is a free gift. Having His righteousness is as easy as asking Jesus to save, and then trusting Him for your salvation. When you do, you are choosing to wear His righteousness, and your heart is protected.
Remember: No one else can save you. Only Jesus. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
If your breastplate of righteousness is in place. Your heart will hunger for the love of Jesus: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NIV)
Isn’t this amazing? Jesus took the cross and He died. For us! Then He raised up and because of that, We can be saved forever. When you get to know Jesus, you will fall in love with Him. He cares. He loves you. You are never alone. Jesus is with you. Wear His righteousness. It is your own. And with it, your heart is protected and you have access to the very throne room of God!
(To access the entire “God’s Armament” mini-series, please click here.)