Today, we come to the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate, of course, protected the vital organs—the heart, the lungs, the pancreas, and the liver. The ancients believed this part of the body to be the seat of the emotions. So we speak of sorrow as being “brokenhearted,” or we use the term “bowels of mercy” as a way of describing compassion. Therefore, the breastplate is to protect us in the realm of our emotions. Notice it is the breastplate of righteousness. Satan quite often attacks our emotions in regard to righteousness.
Doctrine of Righteousness
In previous weeks, we talked about condemnation—the feeling that God is against us. When condemnation overwhelms us, an understanding of the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ serves as our first line of defense. That knowledge is obtained through the Scriptures.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6
[That I may] be found in Him, not having my own righteousness … but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. Philippians 3:9
Paul was primarily referring to Christ’s imputed righteousness when he spoke of being clad with the breastplate of righteousness.
Practice of Righteousness
In another sense, putting on the breastplate of righteousness refers to the practice of righteousness. Holy living makes it a lot more difficult for the devil to trip us up. Living right, doing good, and obeying God’s commands will be a sure protection against the attacks of the enemy.