Spiritual Armour: Breast Plate of Righteousness
We are engaged in a Spiritual battle. Satan our enemy is the worst liar, killer, thief, evil, destroyer,
that you can imagine. He is the master deceiver that the Lord Jesus Christ calls him liar and the
father of it. He is our most dangerous enemy for he is powerful, influential, he has his own army,
perverts the truth, hinders the works of God’s servants, tempts, afflicts, accuses, and if possible
causes us to commit sin against our Holy God. We cannot attack him but we can resist him. We can
defend our selves by the tools the Lord has given us. We have talked about truth last week, today we
will discuss about the breast plate of righteousness.
A. Definition: Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, is nearly equivalent to
holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of
life, to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty, and virtue, with holy
affections; in short, it is true religion” (Webster).
B. Three kinds of righteousness.
1. The righteousness of man. This is the morality and religious aspirations of the
natural, fallen man. In God’s holy eyes this impure righteousness is as filthy rags
(Isa. 64:6). Sinful man’s attempts at good works are unacceptable, being entirely
tainted with the fallen self.
2. The righteousness of the law (Rom. 2:26). This is the righteousness of obeying
God’s laws. Since no man can keep God’s law perfectly, it is impossible to be
justified through it (Rom. 3:19-20; Gal. 3:10-11).
3. The righteousness of God (Ro. m 1:17), referring to God’s moral and spiritual
C. God alone is righteous. He is righteous in all that He does. In righteousness, God
saves men (Isa. 51:6; see also Ps. 66:5; 143:4). In righteousness, God delivers men
(Ps. 71:2). In righteousness, God judges (Ps. 35:4; 72:2; 96:13; 98:9) and speaks (Isa.
45:19, 23; 63:1).
D. Christ is the personification of righteousness. The Law is God’s standard of
righteousness. We cannot earn or obtain the righteousness which God requires by
our works. We fall desperately short of His righteousness, and thus are under the
sentence of death.
II. How can a sinner like us become righteous?
A. We are counted righteous in the eyes of God when we receive Jesus by faith (Phil.
B. Our righteousness is based on what Jesus did on the cross. The righteousness that
was Christ’s is counted or imputed to us. We, then, are seen as righteous in the eyes
of God. Though we are actually worthy of damnation, we are made righteous (Is.
61:10) by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
C. As a result, we will spend eternity in the presence of the holy, pure, loving, kind,
gentle, and righteous God. Our righteousness.
Illustration: Right Standing
Right standing, specifically before God. Among the Greeks, righteousness was an ethical virtue.
Among the Hebrews it was a legal concept; the righteous man was the one who got the verdict of
acceptability when tried at the bar of God’s justice. Christ’s death took away our sins and made it
possible for sinners to have “the righteousness of God,” i.e., right standing before God (Rom. 1:16-
17; 3:22; 5:17). That gift of righteousness is to be followed by upright living (Rom. 6:13-14).
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook,
III. Righteousness: A defence against Satanic attack
A. When Paul speaks of the “breastplate of righteousness,” he means the breastplate
which is righteousness. But it is not our own righteousness for they are just filthy
rags. It is Christ’s righteousness that is our defence against Satan.
B. Paul here in this verse did not tell us how can we use this, but in other texts in the
Bible it is shown clearly.
C. In the OT specially in Zech. 3:1-5, Satan is seen accusing Joshua the high priest. The
angel of the Lord which is non-other than the Lord Jesus Christ, removes Joshua’s
filthy garments (picture of sins), replacing them with spotless garments. Satan has
no right to accuse Joshua because his sins have been removed. More than that, they
have been replaced by the righteousness of Christ. Satan therefore has no basis for
D. In the NT, John wrote clearly, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that
ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous:” (1 John 2:1). Instead of the accuser, Satan, standing beside us to accuse
us as he did Joshua, we have an Advocate, Jesus Christ “the righteous.” He stands by
the Father’s side to plead our case. The righteous Son of God does not plead for pity
or mercy but for a full pardon, because of His own righteousness, and the fact that
He shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, making propitiation for our sins.
E. When we sin, Satan is quick to accuse us. But because of what Christ has done for
us, when God the Father looks at us, He will not see our sinfulness, He will see the
righteousness, Christ’s righteousness.
F. Satan not only attacks by accusing us but also by looking at our weakness or
weaknesses and cause us to commit sin. He can use pride, money, sex, wine,
popularity, even our own emotional reactions like anger so that we can commit sin
and fall into his deceptions. For those Christians who are not doctrinally sound, he
can deceive them by his false doctrines.
G. Satan can even use men to be our accusers, sometimes using those who are our
fellow-believers (Phil. 1:12-17). In addition to these accusations, there is also feeling
of guilt that he can capitalize if he can tempt us and make us sin.
H. Sin causes a chink in our armour. Righteousness provides no openings for Satan to
mess in on our lives. Righteousness is a part of our defence. A good offense
(righteousness) is a good defence (against unrighteousness).
Our righteousness will never be enough to defend ourselves against Satanic attacks but
Christ’s righteousness is more than enough. Do you have Christ’s righteousness in you?
If you are not sure why don’t you repent from your sins and receive Him as your