Spiritual Warfare 101: The Breastplate of Righteousness

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Ephesians 6:14b

Introduction:

A.  This morning we looked at the Belt of Truth.

            We said to find truth we need to do four things:

 

            1.  Learn from the Scriptures--the Word of Truth.

            2.  Look at the Savior--the Living Truth.

            3.  Live in the Spirit--the Spirit of Truth.

            4.  Listen to the Saints--the Pillar & Ground of the Truth.

 

B.  Tonight, we focus upon the Breastplate of Righteousness.

 

            1.  The purpose of the Belt may not have been obvious.

            2.  The purpose of the Breastplate is totally obvious.

 

                        a.  The breastplate guards the Heart.

                        b.  The breastplate of righteousness is the

                             righteousness we need to guard our hearts from

                             the spiritual attacks of the tempter.

 

C.  The Heart is a Vital Organ.

 

            1.  It is a vital organ Physically.

 

                        a.  Out of it flows the life-giving blood to the body.

                        b.  It must be protected.

 

            2.  It is a vital organ Spiritually.

 

                        a.  Out of it flows the issues of life.

                        b.  It must be protected and guarded at all costs.

 

D.  What is the kind of righteousness that guards the heart?

 

            1.  This is not a simple answer.

            2.  There is a biblical answer.

 

 

I.  The Righteousness of Christ.

 

A.  The Heart of Man is Corrupt.

 

            "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately

            wicked: who can know it?"  (Jer.17:9)

 

            "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our

            righteousnesses are as filthy rags;"  (Isa.64:6)

 

B.  We need the Imparted Righteousness of Christ.

 

            1.  This is the only way to be saved and stand before God.

 

            "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but

            according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of

            regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

            Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our

            Savior"  (Titus 3:5-6)

 

            "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;

            that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 

            (II Cor.5:21)

                        [see also Phil.3:8-9]

          

            EX:  A Substitution--"The Prince and the Pauper"

            e.  When God looks at you He doesn't see the

                             blackness of your sin.  He sees the perfection

                             of Jesus.                 ILL:  The White Robe

 

            2.  This is the only way to stand against the devil.

                        "Be strong in the Lord..."  (Eph.6:10)

 

            3.  It is so important to know the assurance of salvation.

                        a.  Was there a specific time you were saved?

                        b.  Did you trust Christ with your heart or head?

                        c.  Are you trusting in Christ alone?

                        d.  If you are saved you have the righteousness

                             of Christ applied to your heart.

II.  The Righteousness of Conduct.

 

A.  We must start with the Purifying Righteousness of the Savior;

            We are then called to Personal Righteousness as Saints.

 

            First have the imputed righteousness of Christ.

            Then have the imparted righteousness of Christians.

 

            "But thou, O man of God, flee these things;

            and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love,

            patience, meekness."  (I Tim.6:11)

 

            "If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one

            that doeth righteousness is born of Him."  (I Jn.2:29)

 

            1.  We are to follow the example of Christ--

                    He wears the Breastplate of Righteousness.

 

            "For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,

            and an helmet of salvation upon His head;

            and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,

            and was clad with zeal as a cloke."  (Isa.59:17)

 

            2.  We are to put on righteousness also.

 

                        a.  We first have a right standing before God

                              through the righteousness of Christ.

 

                        b.  We are to have a right standing before the world

                             through our righteous conduct.

 

B.  What is Righteous Conduct?

 

            1.  We must be righteous in our Actions.

            2.  We must be righteous in our Attitudes.

            3.  We must be righteous in our Ambitions.

            4.  We must be righteous in our Associations.

 

 

C.  How do we Guard our Hearts with a Righteous Conduct?

            Proverbs 4:23-27

 

            1.  We must Guard our Lips.  (24)

            2.  We must Guard our Eyes.

            3.  We must Guard our Steps.

 

            ILL:  O Be Careful Little Eyes What you See.

                        Lips what you say.

                             Feet where you go.

 

III.  The Righteousness of Character.

 

A.  We are Called to be "Pure in Heart."

 

            1.  Pure in Heart is to be Sincere = "without wax"

                        Not a Hypocrite.

 

            2.  Pure in Heart is essential for meeting the enemy.

 

                        a.  This is why some people stumble.

                        b.  They may call themselves a Christian,

                                    but are not truly a Christian.

                        c.  They may do all the right things,

                                    but not for the right reasons.

                        d.  They are hypocrites.

                        e.   The church doesn't need hypocrites.

                        f.   The kingdom doesn't accept hypocrites.

 

B.  We must Check our Love Life.

 

            1.  We must love the LORD with ALL our heart.

            2.  This means we can't have ungodly love in our heart.

 

                        a.  An ungodly love for the world.     I Jn.2:15

                        b.  An ungodly love for self.  EX:  Absolom

                        c.  An ungodly love for riches.  I Tim.6

                        d.  An ungodly love for others.

 

C.  If we don't love the LORD with all our heart,

      and we have ungodly loves, the enemy will gain an advantage.

 

            ILL:  Movie about how much to be unfaithful to wife.

 

            Satan tempts us with, "How much to be unfaithful to God?"

            EX:  Jesus in the wilderness

 

            We better be pure in heart.

 

Conclusion:

A.  We need Righteousness to Guard our Heart.

            Because the Enemy of Aiming for your Heart.

 

            ILL:  Like a big target on your chest

                        Like human target at police firing range

 

B.  Better have on your breastplate.

            You're going to need it!

 

                      

 

          

          

 

 

 

 

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