For a Roman soldier, the Breastplate was really a work of art. Each breastplate was custom made for the soldier that wore it. Often a casting was made of the man’s torso. This negative casting was then used to make a positive of the torso. The positive was overlaid with brass that was beaten to conform to the details of the torso. Breastplates were often made very elaborate with additional decorations and polished to a brilliant mirror finish that was blinding in the sunshine.
On top of its beauty, the breastplate was very functional, protecting the heart and other vital organs from penetration through its metal shell.
Why was Paul characterizing the breastplate with righteousness?
First, what does righteousness mean? It simply means, “Right standing before God.” Or in legal terms it means being found innocent. Just as Justification is the act of being acquitted.
All too many Christians do not know that they have been made righteous. They are walking in constant guilt and condemnation, feeling like failures and not ‘worthy’ to serve God or receive anything from Him. The devil is constantly bombarding man with missiles of lies and accusations and reminders of past sin. Without the breastplate of righteousness, these missiles will penetrate our hearts.
Also, the devil will try to talk us out of our breastplates. He will 'tell' us that we are not righteous, not worthy. He will throw the sins of our past right into our faces. The very sins that we have been acquitted of, the very sins that God has removed as if never existing.
God has freely imparted righteousness to us and that righteousness serves us as a beautiful and effective breastplate. It is a God-given righteousness. It will give a boldness and confidence we never thought possible. When we know we wear the breastplate of righteousness, we will be able to come before God through prayer in power and authority.
Please pray that:
* We have no doubt that we have been made righteous through Jesus Christ
* We trust that this breastplate of righteousness will protect us from the Satan's deceiving tactics
* We always remember to put this armor on in our spiritual battle
Praise the Lord who made us righteous despite our deficiencies!