The Breastplate Of Righteousness Part2

December 21, 1994 | Speaker: Bro Jurem Ramos

The Breastplate is the armor that protects the heart, lungs, intestines, and other vital organs. As we have said, the ancient Jews attached significance to everyone of them.   For example:   Heart- seat of mind, affections, feelings, will and conscience.   Bowels, Intestines – seat of compassion, pity, and similar feelings and emotions.   The mind, emotions, will and conscience are the areas where Satan most fiercely attacks believers. Righteousness is to be wrapped around our whole being as…   Bible teachers argue whether this breastplate of righteousness that protects these areas refers to IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. The answer is that it can refer to both.  
  1. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. ( 2Co 5:21, Ro 5:1,2)
  The PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS God puts to the account of every Christian the moment he believes in Christ protects us from God’s wrath. Because He has clothed us in Christ’s perfections, we need not fear any condemnation from God.   Ro 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”   John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”   Ro 8:31-34 “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”   How many times have we been defeated by Satan, paralyzed and made ineffective in ministry and prayer because he has reminded us of our past sins. He has planted thoughts that accuse us before God. Planted feelings of depression. Reminded us that we are unworthy to serve God. That we are hypocrites etc…   The righteousness from God that we receive by faith and not by works protect us from guilt and condemnation before God.    
  1. PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS
  However as we have said before, Satan may not be able to accuse before God because of our righteousness in Christ, but he can accuse us before the people of this world if we do not PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IN ALL OUR LIFE.   When people accuse us of sin, saying, “I’m righteous before God” carries no meaning. No Christian can use his justification in Christ to excuse sin.   Ro 6:1,2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?               v.11-12 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.   And so RIGHTEOUSNESS also refers to a life of PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS, practical goodness – a good, clean and decent life. It is a protection against the accusation and blasphemy of others. ( 1Pet 2:12-15).   SUMMARY: IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS protects us from guilt and condemnation before God, while PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS keeps us from guilt before others. Either way, we are strengthened, and the devil cannot attack our conscience.     HOW DO WE APPLY THIS. How to put this on?.  
  1. Regarding accusations of Satan before God, so that we feel condemned and guilty before God, the thing to do is:
 
  1. Humble ourselves before God.
  2. Admit that we are unworthy servant ( Lk 17:10; Ps 143:2; 1Ki 8:46; 1Jn 1:8-10).
  3. Remind ourselves again that we come only by the blood of Jesus ( Heb 10:19-23; Heb 4:14-16; 1Jn 1:8-2:2; Ro 5:9,10).
 
  1. Now to protect ourselves from Satan’s accusations before people, we have no other recourse but to do the ff.
 
  1. Live carefully (Eph 5:15, 1Ti 4:15,16)
  2. Understanding the Lord’s will (Eph 5:17)
  3. Think and live like a pilgrim. (Phil 3:19-21; Heb 11:13b-16, 11:9,10)
  To live lives like a pilgrim…
  1. See the world as it really is from God’s perspective. Our basis ( Jn 17:6-19)
  v.6 Those whom you gave me out of the world. v.9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me. v.10 They are still in the world… but (later when all those who will believe are complete…) v.24 Father I want those you have given me to be with me. v.14 The world hated them for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. v.15 My prayer is not that you have take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. v.18 As you have sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.   Illustration: Lloyd Jones The whole world system is against the Christian. Newspapers, Television, radio, educational system, politics, business, entertainment. Satan is controlling them (1Jn 5:19). They do not urge us to think about the soul and about our relationship with God and eternity. They are all earthbound, all within temporal, the material, the physical. And the world hates the bible, it is anti-God. The Christian has to realize that the world is against him, that the devil is using the visible, the seen, to defeat God’s people, to bring them into confusion, to entangle them, to ensnare them, and thus to stand between them and the blessings that God is ready to give them.  
  1. Therefore, to live like a pilgrim…
  Do not be fascinated with the world, and be controlled by it. (Do not live the world ( 1Jn 2:15-17).   Illustration: Lloyd Jones We have to realize that this world in which we are living in is not our world. As Christians we live in it but we must not get excited about it. Our biggest ambition must not be to reform the world. What must matter most to us is that our citizenship is in heaven. If we are true Christians we know that this world will never be truly reformed. It cannot be reformed because it is under the power and dominion of the devil. It is also under the wrath of God, under judgment, and will finally be destroyed. Therefore a man whose whole idea is to make the world a better place and who thinks that such a program makes him a Christian is denying the essential teaching of scripture. Our citizenship is in heaven. The world is under the god of this world; the devil, and it is facing nothing but final disaster and final judgment. Realize the state of the world in which you are living. Do not look it for your pleasure, your happiness, your joy. Use it but do not abuse it. Keep your eye upon your heavenly home, the place to which you belong – set your affection to things above. (Col 3:1-4).  
  1. Everyday, one must remember where he is and where he is going. (Ro 13:11)
  2. Too heavenly minded we are of no earthly use (Heb 11:8ff, 24ff)
Ex. Compare North America with South America.  
  1. Put aside the deeds of darkness (Ro 13:12-14; Col 3:1-4; 5:17).
1Ti 6:6-10,18,19 Mk 4:19; Lk 8:14 1Ti 5:6     So that’s what you mean when you put on the breastplate of righteousness. If we don’t we will be defeated by the devil. We will fall into his traps through the world and others   No shortcuts It involves diligence and struggle (Heb 12:1-4)