I am such a visual learner that it helps me to see the pieces of armor that we are talking about.
Watch this video with me to get a better picture of the Righteousness that you wear when Christ is in your heart.
1. The Breastplate covered the heart and most of the other vital organs.
Sometimes, in the heat of my battles, I have felt that my flesh and my heart have failed (Psalm 73:26). I may have solemnly sworn that I would never again doubt or deny the Lord (Luke 22:33). But, then when it comes right down to it, my zeal melts away in the heat of fear. Nothing within me seems to be strong enough to stand.
That’s the time that the permeant Breastplate of the Christ’s Righteousness is so very important. He surrounds us from all sides. His Righteousness covers us from the hits that we see coming and those that we do not expect.
Granted, from within, our heart may be condemning the heck out of us. But, He is greater than our hearts and knows it all (1 John 3:20). Jesus came to do God’s will and “by this will (His!) we have been sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10). In fact, Christ was so certain that His Righteousness was enough to make us blameless, that He went and sat down after making the sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12). The priests of old couldn’t do that because they never got finished – in fact, the temple didn’t even have chairs.
2. The Breastplate was purposely polished to reflect the sun into their opponents eyes.
Imagine facing an army whose very uniforms blinded your advance. Rather than attacking with confidence and boldness, enemies of the Roman army had to shield their eyes to even march toward them.
How much more brilliant are our Breastplates of Righteousness as they have the very purity of the Son radiating from within. We are not mere reflections, but truly Light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8).
Yet, the most amazing thing about the Breastplate of Righteousness, is that you never notice your own glow. If you do, you’ve slipped on one of its substitutes.
3. The substitutes of Righteousness can never cover.
There are two enemies to righteousness: unrighteousness and self-righteousness.
Unrighteousness would be like wearing a comfortable tunic rather than a breastplate. Yes, the outfit might be more lightweight and breathable with an “I-will-do-what-I-want” attitude. Yet, in battle, it is pierced quickly and easily. It just doesn’t stand up to life.
What is more difficult to realize, however, is the equal danger of self-righteousness. This uses some of the materials of Righteousness, but we pick and choose what sacrifices we’ll make and disregard others. “I won’t handle this, or taste that to prove just how holy I am” (Colossians 2:21). Self-righteousness looks impressive from a distance, but is of no actually value in controlling your self-life (Colossians 2:23).
Only the Righteousness of Christ gives us the real protection.
Aren’t you glad you are wearing Christ today?