Stand, therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.Ephesians 6:14
The breastplate of righteousness is to guard our heart against vise, evil, and sin. For an evil man will have a criminal behavior and will practice hypocrisy. The truth of who we are as a person is revealed in that we are imperfect in some way because we tend to gravitate towards evil instead of having a pure mind and heart before God and man. We cannot be truthful to our self, or our neighbor. That is why it is important to put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. There are so many books today that expose human beings as anything but truthful and righteous. Any kind of law proves how humans desire to follow lawlessness rather than the established rules of the law. The political battle is ongoing to establish what the human race believes in. The apostle Paul remarks and informs those in Ephesus that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, [Ephesians 6:12]. Does this speak to the decay of man’s heart and how it is spiraling down towards death. Who can control man’s heart without understanding a man’s spirit. No one can know another man’s heart unless it is revealed.
For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.”1 Corinthians 2:11
Today, the mask is worn by many to maintain an outward appearance of being righteous, but the heart is far from righteousness. Jesus said, “that which cometh out of the man, that defiled the man,” [Mark 7:20]. Jesus then goes on and lists what comes out of the heart of man.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”Mark 7:21-23
Man’s heart is revealed by what comes out of his own mouth. We have all sinned before God and man. We are all guilty and the apostle Paul tells us so in Romans chapter 3 verse 10, “as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” We must stand only in Christ righteousness and not our own. Righteousness is the gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ, [see Romans 5:17].
Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”Romans 5:18-19
Judgment came upon all men to condemnation but through Christ came righteousness which is the free gift to all men. A free gift that we all can receive through faith in Christ, who is the son of God, and who died for our sins. Christ atoned us from the evil of sin. Christ is the perfect sacrifice for the cleaning of man’s heart. Christians should not dishonor God by boasting how good they are when they have received the gift of righteousness from Christ. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to those who believe, [see Romans 10:4]. Through Christ righteousness, we can live in this life as the children of God. As children of God, His righteousness works through us to bring peace within our own hearts which brings the assurance that we will walk knowing that our conscience has been washed with the truth of who He is. Righteousness is sowed through the mercy of God. We must continue to seek the Lord until his righteousness is upon us. The ground is broken up and left for a time until the soil is fertile before the seed is planted. We are the planting of the Lord God.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”Hosea 10:12
Righteousness is linked to the truth of Jesus Christ. For his “righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and His law is the truth,” [see Psalms 119:142]. Because it is an everlasting righteousness, we can stand in assurance when we put on the breastplate of righteousness. We stand in His righteousness because it is pure, honest, and good. This is the ministry of reconciliation in that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. We are putting on the breastplate of righteousness that Christ has given us as a gift. As believer’s we now live through the Spirit of life due to Christ righteousness. It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that has made us free from the law of sin and death, [Romans 8:2]. Therefore, through the Spirit we restrain the deeds of the body and lay it down at the feet of Jesus. We remember that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, [Romans 8:1]. If we have accepted Christ as truth, then we have accepted His righteousness. Through Christ there is peace with man and God.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness shall, quietness and assurance forever.”Isaiah 32:17
The work of righteousness is by faith in Christ Jesus. We become the trees of righteousness through faith, and we become laborer’s together with God, [1 Corinthians 3:9]. When it comes to sharing, preaching, or teaching the word of God, we are all one in the Lord. It does not matter who is planting the body of Christ or who is watering it, for it belongs to the Lord and only He will give the increase. We should be concerned in how we build upon the foundation of Christ. We should not be ignorant and build upon our own righteousness which does not profit anyone. Those who build upon their own righteousness have not submitted unto the righteousness of God. They have not accepted God’s gift to the world, which is Jesus Christ. Let us remember that it is Christ who is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, [Romans 10:3-4]. Christ righteousness is the way to peace.
The way of peace they know not; and there is no justice in their goings; they have made them crooked paths; whosoever goeth in them shall not know peace.”Isaiah 59:8
Is there justice in your path? Do you know the way to peace? We should remember the words of Christ himself.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”John 14:27
The world cannot give us peace, only God gives us peace when we have committed our life into His hands through prayer and supplications as is stated in Philippians chapter 4, in verses 4 through 7. We have the peace of God that passed all understanding because our hearts and minds are kept in Jesus Christ. The breastplate on a warrior’s armor protects the vital organs such as the heart and lungs from death. Our heart is shielded by God. In Psalms chapter 5 and in verse 12, it says that the Lord will bless the righteous with favor and will encompass him as with a shield. Let us remember also the words of James that the works and fruit of righteousness is always sown in peace.
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.James 3:18
When we stand having the breastplate of righteousness, we stand in Christ because we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and we do not make provision for the flesh to fulfill it, [see Romans 13:14]. The armor that we put on becomes the armor of light. It is the armor of His light that allows us to cast off the works of darkness, [see Romans 13:12]. May God give you knowledge and wisdom to the truth of his righteousness.
Reference: The Tree of Righteousness