1. If we are to use truth as the sash that holds the armor together, then evil would be using lies. Jesus said about Satan, “He is a liar and the father of lies.” In dealing with the armor of God, the weapons of Satan would be the opposite. a. Book of Esdras: The truth is mighty and will prevail. 2. Ellicott:”Truth is a kingdom. It is the kingdom of the Spirit. Its Divine authority was distinctly enunciated by Jesus in reply to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world,” therefore its sway is inevitable, its passage cannot be prevented. Men may try to distort its outlines, but its essential power they cannot control. It does not change with the political boundaries or military dominance of earth’s kingdoms.” Of course, we go beyond the simple concept of truth, to the truth of the Gospel, the need of Christ as Savior and Lord and all that embraces.
IV. We move on to the breastplate of righteousness. Scholars: “The next piece donned by the Roman soldier was his metal breastplate. Both strong and light, it was said that an arrow shot from 20 paces left only a light scratch on it. This piece of frontal armor was vital for protection of the chest, lungs, and heart” (Boles p. 338). “The breastplate, made of hard leather, bronze, or iron, and a corresponding plate covering the back. They were connected by leathern straps or metal bands passing over the shoulders and fastened in front, and by hinges on the right side” (Vincent). 1. One has remarked that the breastplate covers the area where our internal organs are contained, and within the internal organs is the total functioning of our non -mental life located. The foundation to life itself, especially the heart is guarded by the breastplate. a. The heart represents the intentions and motivations that we live by. B. One way to see this armor is that it is the righteousness of Christ that is given to us. When a person is trusting in Christ for salvation, that one is given Christ’s very righteousness to wear before God. 1. No accusation of Satan or human can destroy us before God. a. If you are trusting in Christ at the Day of Judgment, no person or other being can accuse you before God. You are covered by His righteousness. b. Lenksi: “This is the righteousness of Christ put on by faith. No righteousness of our own could be proof against Satan; since it is always still imperfect, it would be promptly pierced. Our righteousness of good works ever needs Christ’s merits and righteousness to cover up its imperfection.”
C. Marius Victorinus: “Faith lives in righteousness. Faith remains the fountain of all virtues, as Paul has often stated. Righteousness is not as strong as faith because righteousness lives by faith. But the effect of righteousness is accomplished by faith. So in this battle we must strive toward righteousness. Faith is proven to be true faith when we live righteously. (Ancient Commentary on Scripture, IVP)
1. Marius is telling us that faith lives in righteousness because we cannot trust in what is not righteous and without trust we would not be able to act or live in a certain way. If we don’t believe in a way of life, we will not trust its methods to living that way of life and certainly not perform the deeds that way of life requires.
D. Clarke: “Here it may imply [an awareness] of [being saved] through the blood of the cross; the principle of righteousness or true holiness implanted in the heart; and a holy life, a life regulated according to the testimonies of God. As the breast-plate defends the heart and lungs, and all those vital [organs] that are contained in what is called the region of the thorax; so this righteousness, this life of God in the soul of man, defends every thing on which the man's spiritual existence depends. 1. In Clarke’s description there is a practical application to the breastplate. a. His phrase: “a life regulated to the testimonies of God” tells us that if we practice general obedience to God’s word and live in a civil manner; for the most part, we will be ok from day to day in general living. (1.) I was reading an autobiography and the fellow said, “In my youth there were three guides that I had: parents, church, and school Therefore, child-hood was a cake-walk for me.” (paraphrase) (a.) By staying within the correct boundaries, he was able to excel toward adulthood. 2. This isn’t saying that we won’t have problems, but that the impact or consequences of the problems can be reduced.