Breastplate of Righteousness – One of 6 Pieces of God’s Armor

Breastplate of Righteousness

Bulletproof Vests or The Kevlar

We have heard stories of policemen being shot at close range and surviving because of their bulletproof vests. The bulletproof vests are known as The Kevlar.

The Kevlar was discovered in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek after nine years of research, searching for a new, lightweight plastic to be used in car tires as a replacement for steel reinforcing strips. Researchers were hoping to discover a lightweight alternative to steel which would lead to vehicles experiencing better fuel economy. Stephanie discovered Kevlar to have high strength and low weight while working as an organic chemist for the DuPont Chemical Company.

“Not only did Kevlar find use in tires, its combination of lightness and strength has seen it used in a large variety of protective clothing applications, such as bulletproof vests, which have saved the lives of countless police officers and other people. Speaking about her discovery, Stephanie Kwolek stated, ‘I don’t think there’s anything like saving someone’s life to bring you satisfaction and happiness.’” [Famous Scientists]

“Today, Kevlar is used in a great number of ways, including armor, gloves, tires, yacht sails, shoes, ropes, and tennis racquet strings. ” [Famous Scientists]

Bulletproof Vests and Breastplates

The Roman soldier’s breastplate is similar to our modern-day bulletproof vests or Kevlar.

The Roman soldier used the breastplate ‘to protect his vital organs in the heat of the battle – when he wasn’t quick enough to take up his shield. The breastplate was for the quick and unexpected advances of the enemy.’ [Connect Us]

“The breastplate is similar to a bullet proof vest. It protects us from things that will kill other people. There are two ways righteousness affects our warfare. First, we are protected through the righteousness of Christ that was imputed to us a children of God (Romans 4). Second, righteousness also refers to living right. When we live right before God and man, other people see our good works and they will glorify God (Matthew 5:16). When we don’t live right, this creates a stumbling block to the gospel message. To many people, our lives are the only message they hear and read (2 Corinthians 3:2).” [Cheddie]

Breastplate of Righteousness

It displeased [God] that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor. Therefore his own arm brought salvation to him; and His righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head. (Isaiah 59:15d-17b WEB)

“In Isaiah 59, the Lord puts on ‘righteousness as a breastplate,’ and goes to battle against injustice and corruption, restoring peace and order to the land. God offers his own righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ. Righteousness in not something that anyone can gain by doing good deeds. It comes from faith in Jesus Christ.” (Titus 3:5; Philippians 3:9) [Rose]

For Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 WEB)

I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (Philippians 3:8-9 WEB)

Put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]. (Ephesians 4:24 AMP)

Foundational Thoughts on the Breastplate of Righteousness

“As believers, we have no righteousness apart from that which has been given us by Christ. Our breastplate is His righteousness. Though we have no righteousness of our own, we must still, by His power, chose to do right. Living a right life, rooted in God’s Word is powerful in protecting our heart, killing our flesh, and defeating the enemy.” [Connect Us]

“This means the consistent daily walk of the Christian. Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10), but the believer who walks in the light will give satan no opportunity to attack. We stand in the imputed righteousness of Christ, and we walk in the imparted righteousness of the Holy Spirit.” [WEO]

“Righteousness here is probably positional. Righteousness based on our works is worthless (Phil. 3:8-9). God offers us the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21).” [Moody]

The breastplate covered “the soldier’s full torso, protecting his heart and other vital organs. Because righteousness or holiness, is such a distinctive characteristic of God Himself, it is not hard to understand why that is the Christian’s chief protection against satan and his schemes. As believers faithfully live in obedience to and communion with Jesus Christ, His own righteousness produces in them the practical, daily righteousness that becomes their spiritual breastplate. Lack of holiness, on the other hand, leaves them vulnerable to the great enemy of their souls (Is. 59:17; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Th. 5:8).” [MacArthur]

“Every believer is clothed with the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21), but he must also manifest integrity and uprightness in his personal life. Someone has said, ‘When a man is clothed in practical righteousness, he is impregnable. Words are no defense against accusation, but a good life is.’ If our conscience is void of offense toward God and man, the devil has nothing to shoot at.” [MacDonald]

This means

  • The consistent daily walk of the Christian
  • Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10)
  • We stand in the imputed righteousness of Christ
  • We walk in the imparted righteousness of the Holy Spirit [WEO]

Breastplate of Righteousness Application

“Much like today’s Kevlar or bulletproof vests, the purpose of a breastplate was to protect the vital organs, especially the heart. This is exactly what we need spiritually. We need protection for our spiritual center. And here is the interesting connection: the Bible connects the heart with righteousness.” [Stedman]

“The only way to become righteous is to ask the Righteous One, Jesus Christ, into our hearts to take residence as Lord and Savior. The Bible is very clear: we cannot become righteous on our own. Paul wrote, ‘If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ (Gal. 2:21).” [Stedman]

“Through our righteous deeds, we shine our lights before men. When we don’t shine our lights, it does not matter what we preach. When we shine our lights, we may not even need to preach to all.” [Cheddie]

Spiritual Warfare

“Ephesians appropriately ends with the battle between heaven and earth. The two realms overlap. Paul commands those in Ephesus to stand in warfare (6:10-20). Their fight is not against humans, but against the supernatural dark powers. They are therefore to stand and resist the dark powers. They stand not in their own strength but in the strength of the Lord (6:10-12).”

“He is their Warrior. He is their conquering King. They put on His armor, and this means having faith, righteousness, peace, the Word of God, and looking toward their present and future salvation with prayer (6:13-20).”

“Paul closes telling them he is sending another ambassador for their encouragement (6:21-24). A cosmic drama is unfolding. Their continual decision is whether they will live in the light or in the darkness.” [Schreiner]

Full Armor of God Scripture

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.

Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].

So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].

Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17 AMP)

Finish in His Righteousness

Just as the Roman soldier’s breastplate protected the soldiers in the heat of battle; and just as the modern-day bulletproof vests or Kevlar protect our soldiers and police officers in the heat of gunfire; so the breastplate of righteousness protects Believers in the heat of battle.

Just as Jesus put on righteousness as a breastplate, so we too can ‘put on’ the Breastplate of Righteousness. We can trust in Jesus righteousness (not our own). We can trust God and His protection over us against spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness.

Scripture References

Isaiah 59:15d-17b; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 4:24, 6:10-17; Philippians 3:8-9.

Recommendations

Helmet of Salvation – One of 6 Pieces of God’s Armor Helmet of Salvation – One of 6 Pieces of God’s Armor – Strength with Dignity

References

Amplified Bible. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation, 2015.

Armor of God. Kindle edition. Rose Publishing, 2005.

Cheddie, Dr. Denver and Indira Rampaul-Cheddie. Spiritual Warfare without the Spiritual Weirdness. Kindle edition. Published by Denver Cheddie, 2019.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2005, pages 1705-1706.

MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 1992.

New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Schreiner, Patrick. The Visual Word – Illustrated Outlines of the New Testament Books. Moody Publishers, 2021, page 84.

Stedman, Rick. Praying the Armor of God – Trusting God to Protect You and the People You Love. Harvest House Publishers, Kindle edition, 2015.

Stephanie Kwolek.” Famous Scientists. Published June 21, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2021 from https://www.famousscientists.org/stephanie-kwolek/

The 7 Pieces of the Armor of God and How to Use Them. Written by the Editor in Chief of Connect Us. Published December 2, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2021 from https://connectusfund.org/7-pieces-of-the-armor-of-god

The Moody Bible Commentary. General Editors: Michael Rydelnik and Michael Van Laningham. Moody Publishers, 2014, page 1855.

Wiersbe, Warren B. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. [WEO] Published by David C. Cook, 1992, page 554.

World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.

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4 thoughts on “Breastplate of Righteousness – One of 6 Pieces of God’s Armor”

  1. I love how all of the pieces of the armor of God work together! For example, if we do not take up the sword, which is the Word of God, we cannot also put on the breastplate of righteousness. I enjoyed this in-depth analysis of the righteous breastplate. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It is interesting to see how God has all the pieces of armor working together, Robyn. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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