Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Yesterday we talked about the word vitality, and that God has granted us vitality of life in Jesus Christ. The root word of vitality is vital, and it is used to describe certain organs in our bodies that are essential to existence. Our vital organs are primarily contained in our chest cavity, protected from the normal activities of life by our rib cage. But in the event that we will be involved in some form of dangerous activity, we wear extra protection. Police officers wear bulletproof vests; football quarterbacks wear flack jackets; and Christians wear a breastplate of righteousness.
Being a Christian is a dangerous profession: the Enemy is out to destroy what makes our life vital. He is constantly shooting his flaming arrows at our hearts, trying to interrupt the flow of life-giving blood. He cannot undo the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ, but he can stop it from having its intended result on our personal choices and lifestyles. He shoots his wicked darts at our lungs, attempting to quench the breath of the Holy Spirit so that we gasp for the air of the world to survive. He aims his attack at times at our stomachs, hoping to stop the feeding on God’s Word and the digesting of truth so that he can deceive us and mislead us into sin.
But God has provided us with an impenetrable defense system to protect all of our vitals. It is the breastplate of righteousness.
Ephesians 6:14 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…”
But what makes this such an effective defense system? First, it is not of our own design, so it has none of the limitations of our humanity. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags and was surrendered as worthless at the cross when we were saved. Second, it is not simply a righteousness made for us by God but rather we are made the righteousness of God. The breastplate is the actual righteousness of God Himself. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus Christ actually became our sin, so we are no longer declared to be sin but instead have become the righteousness of God in Christ. This is not an addition to our lives; it is the replacement of our lives. It is our very identity: we are righteous.
Because of this, when we fall into sin or become overwhelmed with trouble and trials, it may be because we have ignored or forgotten our identity. The righteousness of God is still there, but as Paul says in Ephesians, we have not made sure it is in place. Make sure that your vitals are protected by a constant reflection on the righteous nature and character of God Himself that is our permanent possession and you will be protected from the effects of the bad and evil in our world. God’s righteousness is at work in you to bring about His good.
If you want to take the time for one more point, here is a free bonus. The righteousness of God is not only a defense system, but it is also an offensive weapon against the hardships of life. Read this, and let the truths of Scripture touch and encourage your heart.
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10