Let’s say that you’ve read your Bible every day this week. You’ve remembered to pray. You’ve gone out of your way to do the right thing as a believer. You’re feeling pretty strong spiritually. You look forward to going to church next weekend because you feel like you’ve done pretty well.
But let’s say that you lower your guard the next week. You get hit with temptation and fall. You feel like a hypocrite going to church because you’ve fallen short.
This is where you’re vulnerable as a believer, and this is where the breastplate of righteousness comes in. The apostle Paul wrote, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV).
In Paul’s day, the breastplate of a Roman soldier protected his vital organs. If a soldier wasn’t wearing his breastplate, it would be the first place an enemy would attack, and effectively the battle would be over.
The Christian’s breastplate of righteousness means that he or she stands righteous before God. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you’re justified, which means that God has forgiven you of all your sin. It means that He has placed the righteousness of Christ into your spiritual account.
When you sin, the devil will say, “You are not worthy to approach God. You are not good enough to go to church. You should not dare to read your Bible.” But if you’ve put on the breastplate of righteousness, you can say, “Yes, I don’t deserve anything. But it has all been given to me as a gift, and I stand righteous before God.”
That’s why the breastplate of righteousness is so essential for us as believers. We must have it on at all times, understanding what Christ has done for us.