Battling the Forces of Evil - P3
The breast plate of righteousness:
As with the first piece of armour we must examine the armour itself and the area which it protects.
Let’s first look at the area of the body as described in Ephesians.
Most sermons I’ve heard on this text speak of the armour protecting the heart!
As true as this is, I think it to be incomplete an analysis.
The Breastplate θοραχ protects more than the heart…
Situated in the cavity of the thorax is are the lungs; and sitting directly between the lungs is the pericardium which contains the heart. The pericardium is precisely situated behind the sternum to the left side behind the 3rd – 7th ribs. (This understanding was important to early warriors. See 2 Sam.2:23)
Why the anatomy lesson, you might say?
This is what the breastplate protects, and what is implied many times from the Bible when the word heart is used.
The Pulmonary Vein delivers oxygen from the lungs into the left atrium of the heart bringing life to every cell in our body.
We guard this precious area of our lives with a breastplate!
We guard this precious life with Righteousness!
Some Scriptures about life:
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10, KJV)
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:3-4, KJV)
In applying this concept today I believe Paul said it best in Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
I. Righteousness and the law.
A. Righteousness is in the law. Phil.3:6
B. This Righteousness is self- righteousness. Phil.3:9
C. Self-righteousness does not substitute for true righteousness.
Can we wear the breastplate of self-righteousness?
Will it protect us from the wiles of the devil, or does it rather add to it?
II. Righteousness and Christ.
A. The law of faith. (Romans 8:4)
"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
True Righteousness is...
1. By faith. Rom.4:13
"For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." (Romans 4:13, KJV)
2. In Christ. Phil.3:9
"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" (Philippians 3:9, KJV)
B. The only law we need. Rom.10:4
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Romans 10:4, KJV)
Thus we conclude that to put on righteousness is to put on Christ. ("But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:14, KJV) and to have Christ is to have life. ("In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4, KJV)