Armor of God: Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians #50)

Text: Ephesians 6:14

In the armor of God we started with the belt of truth.  The belt carries almost all the tools of the trade like a law enforcement officer or a carpenter’s belt.  Some of you have keys, a knife, a phone on your belt. And without the truth a Christian is unequipped to accomplish anything.

Now, the breastplate of righteousness is a physical description what spiritually protects your vital organs; the Bible calls your vital organs your bowels.  That includes your heart which is the seat of your affections. It is where your desires are located. The Bible talks about bowels of mercies and bowels of compassion.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  Desire the sincere milk of the world.  Those would be desires God’s people are told to have to protect them against the enemy.  The breastplate would protect the vital organs and seat of affection. It’s akin to a bullet proof vest today.

Put on the spirit armor like body armor

  • You know, all the curriculums and lessons show the armor of God as medieval armor, but I think if I put something like that together these days you could use some up to date body armor.  Some hi tech body armor these days.
  • This is spirit armor, being illustrated by body armor.
  • Righteousness is Jesus Christ.  But Paul said Put on this armor and he’s talking to people who have been made righteous by the Lord Jesus Christ already.  So he’s not talking about your standing before God, which is in Jesus Christ’s righteousness. He’s talking about something you and I are responsible for.

Arrows of the enemy

  • Let’s look at where the vital organs get pierced in the Bible.
  • Morals – Proverbs 7:21-27…dart strike through his liver…Let not thine heart decline to her ways…
  • Money – 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
  • Mouth – Psalm 64:2-4 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

Damage done if unprotected

  • Lethal triad
    • The trauma triad of death is a medical term describing the combination of hypothermia, acidosis and coagulopathy This combination is commonly seen in patients who have sustained severe traumatic injuries and results in a significant rise in the mortality rate. Commonly when someone presents with these signs damage control surgery is employed to reverse the effects.  The three conditions share a complex relationship; each factor can compound the others, resulting in high mortality if this loop continues uninterrupted.
    • Blood loss diminishes oxygen delivery, and leads to hypothermia.  Hypothermia in turn halts coagulation, preventing blood from clotting.  In the absence of clotting to stop blood loss, the body’s cells burn glucose for energy, causing the release of lactic acid into the bloodstream leading to acidosis.  Such an increase in acidity damages the tissues and organs of the body and reduces heart’s performance, further reducing the oxygen delivery. Which causes the body to want to pump more blood quicker to the areas which begins the cycle over and compounds the problem.
    • Hypothermia (wax colder and colder) → Coagulopathy (unable to stop the loss) → Acidosis (wax more and more bitter) → Hypothermia (start over)
  • Organ damage
    • Respiratory trouble, punctured lung like the inability to be filled with the Spirit of God.
    • Digestive trouble, like the inability to process nourishment, inability to eliminate waste, inability to filter out poisons.
    • Heart trouble.  Let not your heart be troubled… out of it are the issues of life just like out of your physical heart lifeblood issues forth.

How this spiritual armor works

  • Protected by Jesus Christ’s righteousness
    • Romans 3:22, 4:3-6
    • Galatians written to professing Christians who wore failing spiritual armor
    • Grace is God’s supply, the law is my supply.
  • Protected by righteous desires
    • Righteousness also describes your desires and affections.
    • Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
    • Matthew 6:31-33 …But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
    • Philippians 1:11 – describes desire.  Being full or empty doesn’t have to do with what you have, but what you want.  Jesus Christ said one time, My meat is to do the will of God.
  • Protected by personal obedience to God
    • Romans 6:16-23
    • 1 Corinthians 15:34
    • Avoid unnecessary sorrows.