Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
1. This is standard issue for the Christian
ð Belongs to God. So it is with God’s blessing and gifts to his children. They are given or entrusted to us, ours in one sense, His is a greater sense. What we receive from God must be consecrated to Him. It must be available to Him.
Before God I am righteous. I am given a breastplate of righteousness as a mark of identification and protection by God. I have been declared so. It may be difficult for some of you to say “I am righteous” because it may seem to be boasting and yet it is true and we need to learn to give testimony to this.
Most of us hate it when the guilty man goes free. (Ill. Stabbing – defense offered)
We can’t stand to see the guilty one escape unpunished. But it happens doesn’t it? The guilty man goes free never to be tried again for the offense with which he/she was charged.
They are freed by legal maneuvering.
By technicalities or loopholes in the law.
By the mishandling of evidence
By violation of the rights of the accused.
And yet, I am declared righteous by God.
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:8) 
You know what that means? It means that the guilty man goes free. I have been given something from God that will guard me against the accusations of the devil. When the devil tells the true story of my offenses, I can with confidence, say that I have been given the gift of righteousness, I have been forgiven.
Not by legal maneuvering.
Not by technicalities or loopholes in the law.
Not by the mishandling of evidence
Not because my rights have been violated.
Once more, thank God, the guilty man has gone free because someone else has taken his/her punishment and that freed person can never again be tried.
Romans 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, a 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. c And so he condemned sin in sinful man, d 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 
2. It has been combat-tested and tried.
The LORD looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm worked salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
and retribution to his foes;
he will repay the islands their due.
19 From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
that the breath of the LORD drives along. a
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the LORD. 
ð Protects the vital organs. The breastplate is not meant to protect you from injury, but to protect what is vital to you – to your life. There will be scratches and hurts and misuse by people who call themselves Christians and make themselves available to discourage andharm – to serve the interests of the enemy.
ð Does not encumber the combatant. If a person is so focused on protection that they are not a part of aggressively advancing the kingdom interests then they are of little use. A piece of equipment that removes a soldier from the battle is not desirable.
ð Features must be balanced. There is a necessity to be actively engaged in winning the lost. As far as I can see, this is the strategic objective of the Army of God, the church. We gain ground as we see people redeemed.
Paul was well taught in the scriptures. That comes out invariably. He was a warrior for God. He was involved in things that made the opposition mad. There are many things that we do that Satan will allow us to do unopposed. As long as we take in without putting out. That's just fine.
Some wish to live within the sound of church and chapel bell. I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.
Charles Thomas Studd (1862-1931)
Perhaps we should learn to recognize the worth of our activities by the level of opposition that we encounter. What is well guarded is obviously an important target. Stir the hornet's nest.
No one will bother us as we advertise our Easter production but there will be opposition if we offer a ministry of deliverance to homosexuals. The altemative is to do nothing except to occasionally express our beliefs. We are doing this very well.
3. Revolutionary new material and design
Exodus 28–29. With the tabernacle pattern revealed, God instructed Moses to set Aaron and his sons aside from the people of Israel to serve Him as priests. They, and especially Aaron the high priest, were given holy garments “for dignity and honor” (28:2). One striking feature: the names of the 12 tribes were engraved on precious stones and attached to the shoulder clasps of Aaron’s garment, and on the breastplate. Thus whenever he entered the holy place, Aaron was to “bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord” (v. 29).
In the breastpiece too were the Urim and Thummim, which some believe were three polished stones, on which yes and no and nothing were engraved. When Israel sought God’s will, God guided the hand of the high priest to select His answer as the priest reached blindly inside the breastpiece pocket. Thus the judgment of the people of Israel was also borne “over his heart before the Lord” (v. 30). The priest carried the people by name before the Lord, and God’s will was carried on his heart back to them.
The Exodus passage also speaks of the priests’ ordination, and points out that, for Aaron and his sons, sacrifice must also be made. All associated with their ministry was set aside for service by the sprinkling of sacrificial blood. To maintain the blood-won point of contact with God, a continual burnt offering was made daily “at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord,” where God said, “I will meet you, and speak to you. There also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by My glory” (29:42–43).?
ð Beware of synthetics.
3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 
I believe that self-righteous people are more concerned with the failings of others than they are of their own relationship with God. It seems to preoccupy them more.
ð Don’t look for bargains
ð Recognizing the Genuine Article
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Eph 6:10-20). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (2 Ti 4:8). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
a Some later manuscripts Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit,
b Or the flesh; also in verses 4, 5, 8, 9, 12 and 13
c Or man, for sin
d Or in the flesh
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Ro 8:1-4). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
a Or When the enemy comes in like a flood, | the Spirit of the LORD will put him to flight
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Is 59:15-20). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Php 3:1-11). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.