By Tammy Phillips
April 26, 2020
Stand therefore…having on the breastplate of righteousness; -Ephesians 6:14
The second piece of the armor of God that Paul tells us to put on is the breast plate of righteousness. The breastplate guarded the heart against the attack of the enemy. It was the accessory that you did not leave home without. Not to mention, it made the soldier look awful snazzy. It was made of shiny pieces of metal. When the reflection of the sun struck the plate just right, it could blind the enemy.
Just like the breastplate was a weapon of war, the breastplate of the righteousness of God is our weapon. Knowing our righteousness in Christ protects our hearts and mind from the continual bombardment from our enemy, the devil, the accuser of the brothers and sisters.
In our Lifegroup zoom meeting this past week, a friend said it was hard to shake off sin. He implied it was hard to forgive himself. I thought a lot about what he said and wrote him this letter just yesterday. This morning as I was walked down the stairs to write, I realized that I should have just said to him: “Put on your breastplate of righteousness.” However, this is what I wrote:
I think you know everything that I am about to say. I just wanted to send a reminder. I needed it too!!!!
“There is therefore now no condemnation (no guilty verdict, no punishment) to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
|CONDEMN means:||SAVE means:|
|judged to be wrong||judged to be right|
|guilty by a contrary practice||forgiven|
|to sentence to punishment||acquitted to freedom|
|To judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service||pronounced fit for service in the kingdom of God|
Jesus was condemned. He took our place. It was the great exchange. The son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests, and to the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. (Matthew 20:18.)
BUT… God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (whole, healed and complete… NOW). He that believes on him is not condemned. (John 3:17-18) He took the condemnation. We take the salvation. He took the sin. We take the freedom. We take his righteousness.
Paul tells us Be ye reconciled (returned to favor) to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
He was condemned the we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Friend, how often do you remind your daughter of the wrong things she has done? Are you in her ear tearing her down? You build her up to be the very best person she can be. She is your daughter! You do not want her feeling bad all the time over a mistake. She cannot be her best self, thinking you do not approve. She cannot be her best feeling separated from you. You know, she can accomplish great things and you want to empower her to do great things. You want her to know that she is right in your eyes.
How much more do you think God loves you? He wants to build you up to be the best you can be. When the enemy comes knocking out your door trying to bring up your sin, over and over and over again, shut the door on him. Say: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. My sins are forgiven, and you are defeated.” We have to learn who we are in Christ. We have to accept what he has given us a free gift. We could pay for our sine. We sure couldn’t afford it. If we could, there would be no need for Jesus. We have to assume our places in the kingdom. He has things for us all to do before and after his return. You are forgiven and never condemned.
Now, the Father does train us to help us take the next steps or move to the next level. Just like working out, the training can be very painful, but it is to make us better, not to condemn us. It is to stretch us and grow our faith muscles.
Just sayin’! Love you both! Complete in Him!
Today, I would add P.S. to you, him and I:
P.S. I enCOURAGE you to guard your heart above all else. (Proverbs 4:24) STAND tall in your breastplate of the righteousness. It cost Jesus a lot, his life. Do not leaving hanging in your closet! Blind the enemy with it. Reflect the glory of our God. Be bold. Be courageous. Shut him down.