The Breastplate of Righteousness Guards our Hearts
The breastplate of righteousness is the next piece of armor that we are instructed to put on next.
[We must note that God has given us the armor, but He does not put it on us – we must do that.]
What is a Breastplate?
The breastplate is a piece of armor that covers the chest area, namely the heart.
Who’s Righteousness Are We To Put On?
In the Bible the term heart is used to describe our inner being out of which flows the issues of our lives. (Proverbs 4:23). Luke tells us that it is out of the abundance of hearts that our mouths speak [what is really in our hearts will eventually come out – any behavioral modifications we make to fit different circumstances can only carry us so far – after all they don’t change the heart they only change our outer performance].
On top of that, Jeremiah tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and Isaiah tells us that our own personal righteousness is nothing more than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Is There More I Have to But Don’t Want to Hear?
Okay so tell me more of why my own righteousness cannot be part of God’s given breastplate?
Mark defines some of the great things that come out of our hearts in chapter 7, verses 21-23 – “21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.””
I think I am getting it – so where does this righteousness for the breastplate come from?
It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ – who paid a great price in order for us to be able to apply His righteousness to our lives.
Yes, we are made redeemable by a high cost.
What high cost?
Jesus reigned all of who He is into flesh so that He could experience life as you and I do, [this boggles my mind] to live a perfectly sin free life, and then to die on the cross. Why? Because of what was originally in our hearts – SIN. And the penalty that you and I deserved or earned from our sin is death (Romans 6:23). In case you don’t think you had a sin penalty – God evens the field by saying that all of us including myself are sinners who fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23) and have need of a Savior (Acts 4:12).
What is a person to do?
If you are wondering what a person should do, that is an excellent sign, why? It means that God the Father is calling you and leading you towards the choice of relationship with Him or to stay the same as you are now. I set before you the opportunity to choose life while the opportunity to choose death is also available – life would by my recommended choice – God gives this option to His people in Deuteronomy 30:19-20. For us today the choice is: Life with Jesus as our Savior and Lord (choosing life) OR life on our own (choosing death).
Okay so before I can even have the breastplate given to me to put on, I must make a decision to accept Jesus Christ and what he has done for me on the cross. I need to trade my sin for His righteousness by admitting that I have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and then accepting His payment for my sins and His forgiveness.
This process is known as repentance and Salvation. Next week I would like to take a closer look at repentance, before we move on to look at righteousness.
We have a Savior who was willing to pay the sin debt owed by us. We are able to accept this payment and use it to work with the Holy Spirit to live a life that is different from before.
Salvation – deliverance from our sin and its consequences is brought about by faith in Christ.
Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so much that while we were still your enemies and living lives that created the need for Your death that You chose to pay this price. May we continue to appreciate what you have done and follow you with wholehearted worship.
Let’s ask God to search our hearts today.