Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . . Ephesians 6:14, ESV
This is where we come to realize that we are not frequent wearers of armor! How many of us put on our breastplates before we left home today? The breastplate was a multi-layered piece of armor protecting the Roman soldier’s torso and vital organs. The soldier would certainly not stand long in battle without his breastplate.
The Christian’s breastplate is every bit as vital. It is a breastplate of righteousness. Without righteousness, the saint can stand against neither the weapons of the enemy nor the just judgment of a holy God. That is why we need to consider carefully this call to put on the multi-layered breastplate of righteousness.
Our breastplate of righteousness must first consist of the righteousness of Christ. Our own righteousness will not do—it is “like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). We must “be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:9). To stand against spiritual enemies in an evil day, we must have perfect righteousness accounted to us. Christ is the only source of such, and it is ours by faith alone.
Our breastplate of righteousness must also consist of growing conformity to the image of Christ in our own thoughts, words, and deeds. As we identify with Christ through faith we also come to reflect His image as our faith results in works of righteousness. As Paul commands, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (5:9).
I pray that you will put on the breastplate of righteousness today and that, wearing it, you will stand.