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THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

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The heart is the vital organ of the human body. The breastplate of the soldier protects the heart. The Bible declares in Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”.

Paul speaks about the breastplate of righteousness as a protection of the heart. Ultimately what we have in our heart determines the course of our life, for good or for evil. Therefore it is so important to safeguard your heart. We an a soldier in the army of God need the breastplate of righteousness.

Ephesians 6: 14, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness”.

Paul describes the breastplate of righteousness need to be put on. Unless you decide to put on this breastplate, God cannot put this on you.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love…”.

Again Paul describes the breastplate but this time on a different dimension, ie., of faith and love.

If we put these two scriptures together, the breastplate of righteousness is a breastplate of faith and love. In Philippians 3:9, Paul speaks about this kind of righteousness again. “…that I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

In the above scripture, Paul talks about two kinds of righteousness. One is, his own righteousness that is derived from the Law and says this is not sufficient. But he talks about a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in the written word of God. Paul is talking about the second kind of righteousness when he was writing about the breastplate of righteousness.

When we operate in our own righteousness, Satan can find many weak points in that type of righteousness and can often penetrate it with his attacks and could damage our heart. Therefore we must put on a breastplate that is not our own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.

We need to believe the Scripture and accept by faith that we have become the righteousness of God. That is the only kind of breastplate that can adequately protect our heart and our life.

This type of righteousness can only be wrought by faith. It is a breastplate of faith and love.

Jesus prayed for Peter that “his faith may not fail” the night before His passion. There may be times when our faith seems to fail. But that is when we need to pray like how Jesus prayed. . It is so easy to praise God and keep going when everything goes all right. But when everything seems to be failing, that is when the real test to our faith comes. Jesus warned Peter that he was going to betray Him the same night. In the context of that warning, Jesus said, “Peter, I have prayed for you.” Jesus did not pray that Peter would not betray Him. In those situations, under the pressures that would develop and with the known weaknesses in Peter’s Character, it was inevitable that Peter would betray Jesus. But Jesus prayed a different kind of prayer,

Notice that your faith may not fail. If Peter’s faith would not fail, then even though he was going to deny the Lord and show himself very weak and cowardly, all those things could be retrieved. Jesus was giving importance to Peter’s faith instead of the other outward things. Jesus was praying for Peter’s breastplate of faith and love. Faith is the essential element for this breastplate.

The kind of faith we are talking about works only through love. Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision not uncircumcision mean anything, but faith working through love”. One thing that Paul says is without faith that comes from love, you cannot succeed in Christian life. It is an active faith that works through love.

In Song of Solomon 8:6-7, it says, “place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal over your arm: for love is as strong as death, many water cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away”.

See the phrase “love is as strong as death”. Death is the one irresistible thing that we all must encounter. There is no way to avoid death. Love always conquers us from all negative forces like resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, discouragement, and despair which can corrupt our hearts and spoil our lives. Remember, all that there is in life comes out of the heart.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

This is the breastplate we need, one that never fails. A breastplate in which there is not a single weak point that the enemy can get in. This breastplate will protect you from any evil thing that the enemy can bring to you to penetrate that vital area of your life. Amen.

Let our faith not fail, no matter what we go through in Jesus’ name.