This Sunday, July 10th, 2016 Ps. Kris White unpacked an amazing message that added to our series Armor Up at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.
Armor Up: Breastplate of Righteousness
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…” (Ephesians 6:10-14)
The purpose of a breastplate in the line of battle is:
- Protect the vital organs
- Connected to the Belt
- Most Visible Piece
- Often the most beautiful, elaborate
- Heaviest around 40 lbs.
- Covered the front and the back
The heart is the center of choice, conscience and your soul. Your lungs are what give you breath, which can be considered as your life and your passion. Your guts are your bowels, or your emotions. When you get nervous or excited, you get butterflies, or you feel as if you were punched in the gut. All of these vital organs must be protected in the line of battle.
“His truth holds me; His righteousness molds me!”
What is righteousness? Righteousness is the state of him who is as he ought to be; the condition acceptable to God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting.
“In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved. 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.” (Isaiah 64:5-6)
The term filthy rags is quite strong. The word filthy is a translation of the Hebrew word iddah, which literally means the bodily fluids from a woman’s menstrual cycle. The word rags is a translation of begged, meaning a rag or garment. Therefore, these righteous acts are considered by God as repugnant as a soiled feminine hygiene product.
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect,” (Matthew 5: 48).
God doesn’t change His standard. God has given us His armor, the Armor of God. He gave us the gift of His righteousness.
Imputed mean credited, accounted, or reckoned.
Justification, just as I am without one plea changes our nature in our spirit.
There are two ways the gift of righteousness works in our life:
- Imputed Righteousness – credited, accounted, reckoned
- I am saved in the righteousness in Christ Jesus.
- Imparted Righteousness – sanctification
- Living out what God has given me by grace.
“Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love.” Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace
Imputed makes imparted. It aligns with the truth so that I choose what God chooses.
How His righteousness protects us:
- Confidence (IN CHRIST) – It must be hooked to truth, or it will become self-righteous, or condemned.
- Courage – Stop praying for it to “get easy.” Pray you get stronger. Know that God’s got your back! Become brave in Christ.
- Choices that Bring Change – His grace empowers us. Choose His truth over your feelings.
As the breastplate was worn, it would get shinier as it was rubbed together, and it would reflect the light. We are the light in the darkness!
“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” (Chinese Proverb)
In the end, we exchange our breastplate for a crown.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Learn more about the God’s protection in over your life by watching the full message here: