The Breastplate of Righteousness
By Shawn Tomlin
The next piece of the armor of God that we will be discussing in this article is the breastplate of righteousness. What was a breastplate used for? It protected many of the vital organs, including the heart. In Christianity the heart serves an important purpose, which we will discuss soon. Let’s think about how a breastplate protected the heart and other vital organs… that’s right, by covering them.
The breastplate was vital to a soldier. Without it, death was almost certain. What does having a “breastplate of righteousness mean though? Well, let’s think for a minute about the human heart. Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the LORD saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Our heart, on its own, is evil. End of story.
Ezekiel 36:26 shows us what happens when God draws us to himself and we are made new. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove your heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” God takes our evil, dead heart and through the power of the gospel, removes it and gives us a new heart of flesh that beats for God. This new heart of flesh is covered in righteousness, not our own, but an alien righteousness that comes from outside of ourselves.
Our heart, on its own, is evil. End of story.
That alien righteousness that covers our new heart of flesh is that of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:18 says, So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” Isaiah 61:10 speaks of God “wrapping me with a robe of righteousness.” On the Cross, Christ was punished for our sin, and in that Great exchange wrapped us in the robe of His righteousness.
As we step out into the world, ready with truth, let us also remember that our new hearts of flesh are covered with righteousness, perfect righteousness that comes from Christ.
“The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”