Protected By Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14b, Galatians 2:20
(#3 of 7 on The Christian's Armor)
Some of you may not like laws that require people to wear seatbelts. However, time and time again the wearing of seatbelts has saved lives. Seat belts have protected people!
Protection! Most parents do things to protect their children.
We protect our children by where we allow them to go.
We protect our children by what we allow them to do.
We protect our children by teaching them proper behavior and procedures.
We protect our children by watching out for them, keeping them away from such things as stairs and electric outlets when they are very small.
If the recent tragedy in Littleton Colorado has taught us anything, it has taught us that our children need to be protected from the wrong kind of influences.
We protect our children because we love them. God, our Heavenly Father, protects His children because He loves us. As Christians our enemy is Satan (1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6:11-12).
Because God wants to protect us, He has give us Spiritual armor for us to wear (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Roman soldiers would wear a breastplate that would cover the torso, and protect vital organs.
Our God has given us the breastplate of righteousness, which guards our Spiritual vital organs, including the "heart".
To begin with, no human being is naturally righteous (Romans 3:10-18, 23 and Isaiah 64:6.)
Our Lord Jesus died for us to become righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:6-9). When a person trusts Christ as Savior, he or she is justified (declared righteous) by faith (Romans 5:1). He wiped out the debt caused by sin! God protects those who are saved from the judgement of hell by covering them with the righteousness of his Son.
After a person is standing in the righteousness of Christ for salvation, he is also to put on the breastplate of righteousness. This righteousness is not the righteousness that saved him. That was a once and for all righteousness. This righteousness is a practical, daily righteousness that protects from the attacks of Satan on our Spiritual hearts.
One of the passages that describes this practical righteousness is Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
In this passage we see that:
WE ARE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST - "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;"
Because Jesus died for me, when Jesus died on the cross, I died with Him.
When Jesus was buried, I was buried.
When Jesus rose in a new resurrection body, I arose to newness of life in Him (Romans 6:3-4).
We are now to count on the fact that we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness (Romans 6:10-14).
WE ARE TO BE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST - "...yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:"
Yes, through the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus does live inside of each and every person who is saved! But when Paul speaks these words about Christ living inside of Him, I believe that he is clothing himself with the righteousness of Christ. He is yielded to Christ and allowing Him to rule in his life. He is living out what he prayed in Ephesians 3:17 - "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." He is allowing the Lord Jesus to live rule and reign in His life. When we are clothed with Christ, we are simply allowing Him to be Lord of all within us! (Romans 13:14)
WE ARE TO BE CONFIDENT IN CHRIST - "...and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
As I allow myself to be clothed with Christ, I am placing my faith and confidence in Christ!
I am trusting Christ when I want to hold a grudge but no longer hold it against a person.
I am trusting Christ when I want to lose my temper but quietly discuss a matter instead.
I am trusting Christ when I want to do or say what is dishonest, but instead do and say what is truthful.
I am trusting Christ when I begin to fear or worry, but turn those fears over to Him.
I am trusting Christ when I start to doubt but instead have faith.
As I trust Christ I will be clothed with Christ's righteousness and Christ will live His life through me.
Why should I want to live such a life?
Why should I want to be righteous in the way I live?
Paul tells us here.
Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us.
He gave His all for me. He gave His all for you.
We should trust Him to live through us in return!
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