The Breastplate of Righteousness
Protection against Guilt and Condemnation
The dictionary definition of righteousness: the quality of being morally right or justifiable.
In worldly terms it means that you are good, virtuous, upright, worthy, guiltless, sinless, pure and noble. But the Bible unequivocally states that there is no one who is righteous (Romans 3:10) and that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) This is because we have inherited our sinful nature - our default position is sinfulness. Remember what we have said before, as a small child you did not have to be taught to be disobedient. Rebellion comes to us naturally. Admittedly, more to some than to others! But God does not grade us. To God, sin is sin.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10 NIV)
How then can we be truly, biblically righteous?
The answer is simple. We can’t.
That is why we need a Saviour!
God made him who had no sin be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
We are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish. (1 Peter 1:19 NIV)
You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV)
I will delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10 NIV)
Take note of these glorious truths:
- You have been forgiven for every sin you have ever committed.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers them no more. (Isaiah 43:25 NIV)
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12 NIV)
- Not only this, but you have also been forgiven for every sin you have yet to commit!
He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26 NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1 NIV)
(As an aside, anyone who thinks that this all-encompassing forgiveness is licence to sin has not understood the true meaning of grace. This topic is a study all on its own. If the question bothers you, read Romans 6. For our purposes, it is enough to note that we remain fallen creatures, prone to sin - it is our default position!)
When God looks at us, He does not see our filthy garments, for we are clothed in the garments of salvation and over them we are arrayed in a robe of His righteousness.
When the slanderer comes to remind you of stupid, sinful things you have said or done, or reminds you of the good you have failed to do, you face him with your Breastplate of Righteousness firmly in its place and you declare the following truth:
Get behind me, Satan! In Jesus, I am the righteousness of God. There is no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus. I have been washed clean in His blood. God has blotted out my sins and removed them as far as the east is from the west. He doesn’t even remember them anymore, so who are you to remind me of them? Away with you!