Jesus Christ Is Lord

Armour of God, Part 3 - Righteousness

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2017

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make know the mystery of the gospel

Ephesians 6:10-19

 

Righteousness

The second piece of the Lord’s armour is righteousness. As we are in a spiritual battle, where the devil spirits are throwing ‘spears’ at us, it is vital we understand, and put on, the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate of righteousness will help prevent tragedy damaging our lives.

 

Having on the breastplate of righteousness

Ephesians 6:14

 

As righteousness is a legal matter, it is necessary to study the legal terms used in the Scripture. It may require a degree of effort to learn these new words and concepts, but the benefits of understanding, and subsequently having on, the breastplate of righteousness will be a rich reward indeed!

 

Benefits of having on the breastplate of righteousness include: experiencing more of the Lord’s power and love. More peace as a result of knowing the Lord fully accepts us 100%. Confidence of entering heaven upon death. A deeper, and more intimate, fellowship with the Lord. Potential for protection from physical and mental tragedies such as: financial lack, sickness and disease, accidents, fear, worry, depression and anxiety. It is surely worth the effort to put on the breastplate of righteousness.

 

Dictionary definitions:

 

breastplate’ – the chest (Strong’s Dictionary).

 

righteousness’ – justification (Strong’s dictionary). Righteousness is to be right with God, to be justified, or innocent before God.

 

Justify’ - To pardon and clear from guilt; to absolve or acquit from guilt and merited punishment (Webster’s dictionary).

 

Absolve’ - to be released or set free from a debt or penalty (Webster’s dictionary).

 

From the dictionary definitions, having on the breastplate of righteousness means: to accept, and believe in our heart, that we have been justified before God. We have been pardoned and cleared, or released, from all guilt. Also, we have been acquitted, or absolved, from the deserved punishment due for our sins. Halleluiah! That sounds like a good deal to me, what about you?

 

Jesus

To understand God’s righteousness, we need to understand what Jesus of Nazareth achieved for us through His life, death, atonement for our sins, resurrection and ascension to heaven.

 

God hath set forth (Jesus) to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God

Romans 3:25

 

propitiation’ - expiatory, an atoning victim (Strong’s dictionary).

 

expiation’ - the act of atoning for a crime; the act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is cancelled; atonement; satisfaction (Webster’s dictionary).

 

atone’ - at one; together. To agree; to be in accordance; to accord. To stand as an equivalent; to make reparation, amends or satisfaction for an offense or crime, by which reconciliation is procured between the offended and offending parties (Webster’s dictionary).

 

From the dictionary definitions, we can say, Jesus of Nazareth was set forth by God to be cursed, or punished, by God to atone for our offenses (Galatians 3:13). God poured out His, judgement or, punishment for our sins, upon Jesus (Romans 5:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Hebrews 2:14-18). God is subsequently satisfied that, through Jesus’ death, our sins, and the punishment our sins deserve, have been justly atoned, or remitted (Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Hebrews10:18). Jesus bore the just punishment for our sins, so we could be reconciled to God, to be at one and in accord with God. All of our guilt has been removed, and also the obligation of God to punish us for our sins has been cancelled.

 

It is through faith in Jesus’ blood that we appropriate God’s righteousness into our lives, as Jesus’ blood is integral in the justification process.

 

Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him

Romans 5:9

 

Faith in Jesus’ shed blood: justifies us, protects us from God’s wrath, and allows us to be reconciled with God.

 

Following are important facets of righteousness, which we need to be continually aware of, to be effectively armoured with the breastplate of righteousness:

 

  • Established in righteousness

 

In righteousness shalt thou be established

Isaiah 54:14

 

The above Scripture is written in the context of the new covenant of Jesus Christ, as prophesied by Isaiah the prophet. Righteousness is a foundational truth, or principle, upon which we build our Christian life; it is critical that our understanding of the foundations of righteousness are accurate. If we have less than a full revelation of New Covenant righteousness, in Jesus Christ, our whole Christian life will be off balance and we will experience less of the Lord’s power, love and grace.

 

  • Righteousness is a gift

 

They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ

Romans 5:17

 

Righteousness is a gift from God, which is received by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Righteousness is not based on our ability to be sinless, as all Christians still sin (1 John 1:8). Righteousness is based on, what Jesus achieved through His death on the Cross of Calvary and, His subsequent resurrection from the dead three days later (Romans 4:25). Righteousness is received through faith alone, and is not merited by our good behaviour (Romans 5:1).

 

  • Created righteous in the new creation – born again

Our spirit has been created righteous in the new birth (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21, Ephesians 4:24, Galatians 6:15). Righteousness is not based on our personal perfection (1 John 1:8), but is a gift we receive in the new birth (Romans 5:1, 17). In the new creation, a Christian’s spirit is created, in Christ, in righteousness and true holiness.

 

  • Righteousness from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church

There are three parts of faith and confession from the letter to the Romans which secures our righteousness: Faith in Jesus’ blood; faith in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and; confession of Jesus as our Lord (Romans 3:25, 10:9-10).

 

  • Maintaining our righteous position

We maintain our righteous position, in Christ, through maintaining our faith in Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 10:29, John 3:16). When we sin from our flesh, and mind, we do not break our righteous relationship with God, but rather we damage our fellowship with God and bring grief to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). We restore this ‘grieved fellowship’ with the Holy Spirit as we confess our sin to the Lord and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

 

  • Righteousness qualifies us to receive every promise of God

Because we are the righteousness of God in Christ, through the new creation, we are qualified to receive every promise of God (2 Corinthians 1:20, 5:17, 21), and always have bold access to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16, 10:14-22). Specific faith in each promise, however, is required to appropriate the power of the Lord’s covenant promises into our personal lives (Hebrews 6:12, Mark 4:20).

 

  • Righteousness and spiritual warfare

In spiritual warfare with the devil spirits, we must remind ourselves that Jesus is our righteousness and not ourselves (Romans 3:22, 5:18, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Philippians 3:9). We come to God based on Jesus’ righteousness and our faith in Jesus. We confront the devil spirits knowing that Jesus is our righteousness, and therefore we do not accept the accusation of our sins by the devil spirits. We believe for the blessings of God’s covenant based, on the merits of Jesus and, not on our own merits.

 

Conclusion

Righteousness is a legal position we have before God. Righteousness is attainted through faith in Jesus Christ. This includes: faith in His blood poured out for our sins, faith in His resurrection from the dead and, the acceptance of Jesus as the Lord of our lives. Our born-again spirit is created righteous in the new birth, at the instant we accept Jesus Christ. We maintain our righteousness position, in Christ, simply by maintaining our faith in Jesus’ blood as the basis of our righteousness, until death.

 

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to pour out His holy blood, on the Cross of Calvary. Thank you that my faith in Jesus’ blood is the legal basis for the remission of my sins. Thank you that when I believed in the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth I was born-again, and my new spirit was made righteous and holy, and placed into the righteous, spiritual body of Christ. Thank you that as I keep believing in Jesus’ holy blood I maintain my righteous position in Christ. Please enlighten me to understand that I have been created the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; and that I can stand boldly before you, and the devil spirits. Thank you that I am entitled to bind every promise in Scripture to my life, and am authorised to demand every devil spirit to loose off my God given blessings. I pray this in Jesus Christ name. 

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