“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
The second piece of the armor of God that Paul discusses in Ephesians 6 is the breastplate of righteousness.
In the armor of a Roman soldier, the breastplate served as protection for some of the most important parts of the body. Underneath the breastplate is the heart, lungs and other organs necessary for life. Therefore, if a soldier did not wear his breastplate, he was vulnerable to an attack that could result in instant death.
So, why does Paul call it the breastplate of righteousness? If we do not protect ourselves with righteousness, we open ourselves up to attack from the enemy and can fall into sin.
To be righteous means to obey God’s commandments and live in a way that is honorable to Him. Psalm 106:3 says, “How blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times!”
Unfortunately, our sinful nature often gets in the way of living an upright life. When we decide to live based on our own desires rather than God’s, we make decisions that are harmful to ourselves and others. Romans 8:6 says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
How can we put on the breastplate of righteousness? We can start by being knowledgeable of God’s Word, which will allow us to understand how to live a righteous life. When trials and temptation come our way, we can base our decisions in His Word.
In addition, through prayer, we can ask God to empower us to resist living in sin and to do what is right according to Him. 1 John 3:22 says, “And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey and do the things that please him.”
As Christians, we can put on the breastplate of righteousness in our daily lives. In becoming aware of the decisions we make, we can determine whether or not they are based in God’s Word. In addition, we can ask Him to give us the strength to live righteously. Ultimately, this will allow us to withstand attacks from the enemy and live in ways that glorify Christ.
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