Today's word with Dr. Bruce Chesser.
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We are looking at each of the pieces of spiritual armor that Paul describes in Ephesians 6.  Yesterday we considered “the belt of truth.” The second piece of equipment is “righteousness like armor on your chest.” The King James Version says, “a breastplate of righteousness.”
Common soldiers of their day wore breastplates that were basically fashioned out of leather with a thin piece of metal attached on the surface. It would protect them from an arrow, or a spear. And it protected the most vital part of the body, the heart.
What is our breastplate that protects our heart? It is righteousness. Righteousness means “to be right with God.” There are two ways to understand this spiritual principle.
There is positional righteousness.  We are righteous before God because we are “in Christ.” One of Paul’s favorite phrases was “in Christ.” Most of us have a hard time describing ourselves as righteous because we know that we wrestle with sin. We sometimes have an attitude that is not godly. We say things and think things that we know are wrong. How could I describe myself as righteous?  But the biblical truth is that I am, in fact, righteous because I am “in Christ.” When God looks at me, He no longer sees my sin, but He see the blood of Jesus that was shed in my place. Just like that Roman soldier was “in” a breastplate, we are “in Christ” and, therefore, we are righteous.
There is also a practical righteousness. The positional righteousness guarantees our salvation but it is our practical righteousness that keeps us living pure and upright lives. But understand: we are not saved by our good works; we are saved by His work so that we can be the men and women He wants us to be. We need to practice the righteousness of God that is already in us by living holy and pure lives before Him.
Here is a word from the Word:
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day and having prepared everything to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation, take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word.” (Ephesians 6:10-17)
Have a great Wednesday!
One Heart Bible Reading Plan: 1 Peter 2

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