The Breastplate of Righteousness


Our investigation of the various pieces of spiritual armor in our 'Stand Firm' series brings us to 'the breastplate of righteousness' (6:14b). A point of clarification needs to be made right up front. Paul is not referring here to the righteousness of Christ we receive at salvation. That is given to us by God upon faith in Christ. So then, why does Paul point out the need for us to 'put on' righteousness?

The answer: Paul is referring to practical righteousness. This is our day-to-day, moment-by-moment desire and effort to live according to the righteousness of God revealed in Scripture. Paul mentions both types of righteousness in his letter to the Philippians. In chapter three, he writes,

'and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,' (v9) This is Positional righteousness. Then, he continues:

12 Not that I have already obtained {it} [Christlikeness] or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of {it} yet; but one thing {I do} forgetting what {lies} behind and reaching forward to what {lies} ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

This is Practical righteousness. This is the type spoken of in Eph. 4:14.

Oct 19, 2006
Ephesians 6:14
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