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… (Eph. 6:13-14)
Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. (Eph. 6:13, 14; TPT)
God wants us not only to fight, but He wants us to win the battles in front of us. He wants us to be equipped to stand in the evil days. It is up to us to dive into the word of God and learn about the tools He has given us to live in victory. Ephesians 6 is a prime place to discover what God has given us to win our spiritual battles. The spiritual armor is provided to aid is in the battles ahead. In the previous chapter, we talked about the belt of truth. In this chapter, we will look at the breastplate of righteousness—two foreign concepts and ideas to most of us.
Let’s take the breastplate first. It was a piece of armor that covered the Roman soldier’s heart, lungs, liver, and stomach. It protected the vital organs from physical damage during the battles; obviously an essential part of the armor.
Righteousness is to the Christian what the breastplate was to the Roman soldier. Righteousness, a spiritual truth all throughout the Bible, guards our hearts, our spirits, and all the vital, hidden parts of us. Righteousness enables us to function like Christlike children of God. Without righteousness, we wouldn’t be Christians, so it stands that without righteousness being a part of our daily life, it will be hard to live as a Christian.
Paul emphasizes the image of the breastplate by expanding on the piece of armor in 1 Thessalonians.
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. (5:8)
Paul wanted to get across the fact that righteousness is a combination of faith in Jesus and the powerful love of God. We get righteousness because of our faith in Christ—it is a gift, we can not earn the righteousness we receive—and the love of God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).
We wear the breastplate in faith and act on it in love.
The Bible is clear that no one is righteous, so Jesus, born without sin, lived a sinless life, died an innocent death, and gave us His righteousness (His faith and love). Jesus knew no sin, but He took our sin on Himself, so we could become the righteousness of God. We are the faith and love of God on the earth. When people see us, God wants them to see His faith and love in action. When Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34) He was taking the curse of sin on Himself, so we could have and become the righteousness of God on the earth.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities…
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”
Jesus is “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). God wasn’t surprised by Adam’s sin. God foresaw the fall of mankind, and Jesus said He would take the punishment for it. Jesus and the Father thought we were worth the cost, Jesus’ life.
The moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again, and the righteousness of God guards our hearts and minds. We have the righteousness that Jesus had. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus. We are righteous because of what Jesus did on the cross.