My friends, I heard a speaker once explain that the belt was a crucial part of a Roman soldier’s armor, because it held the rest in place. I find that so symbolic in that it is the first piece of armor that Paul speaks of and because all that we are and do as believers is about who Jesus is and who He says we are.
Let’s jump in today with our breastplate of righteousness and our shield of faith. These two pieces of our armor are so connected that I’ve had to truly sit and study these Scriptures to take it all in. Again, my goal is to show you how our identity in Christ is our armor. Take your time to study these Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to bring this truth home deeply to your heart and mind.
First, let’s look at righteousness. In the Greek translation, the word used is dikaiosynē, which means equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification:— righteousness. Further definition: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.
In other words, who we are supposed to be as His children. Take a look at these Scriptures. The first one is a “biggie.”
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Cor. 5:21
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. — 1 Cor. 1:30
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. — 1 John 2:29
By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. — 1 John 3:10
We are the righteousness of God in Christ, my friends. Say this out loud and truly hear it. Christ’s death made you righteous, and our righteousness from Jesus proves who we are. You don’t have to prove it, because He did it!
Now here’s where it gets really interesting. Our righteousness is necessary to our faith and our faith is necessary to our righteousness. They are inseparable.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” — Romans 1:17
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. — Romans 3:21-22
Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” — Gal. 3:6
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — Phil. 3:9
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ — 2 Pet. 1:1
Plus, our righteousness produces fruit, which includes our children and generations to come!
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. — Phil. 1:11
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. — 2 Cor. 9:10
And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.— James 3:18
Now go with me just a little further in this imagery of our armor. Jesus is our truth (our belt), and His truth says were are the righteousness of God (our breastplate) and it is by faith in Christ that we are the righteousness of God (our shield).
Do you see how this all builds upon each other? Do you see how the belt of truth (Jesus) is the starting place? And soon we’ll see He’s our ending place. He is the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega) (Rev. 22:13) and our middle (the belt!) that hold us together (Col. 1:17).
It’s a mystery that is overwhelming in beauty, my friends, and boggles the mind. I’m still wrapping my brain around it all.
Quiet Time Study:
If you’ve identified a fear and the lie behind it, find at least two Scriptures that speak truth. Renounce the lie, in the name of Jesus, and declare these truths out loud. Do this every day until you see your thoughts and your behavior now act according to the truth instead of the lie.
My friends, let’s dream a little here. Sometimes we feel like we could be so much more or do so much more if we were just a little freer. That’s actually another lie from the enemy to keep us ineffective. So, what is that one thing you’ve wanted so much to do that this lie (or any other lie) has kept you from going after it? We’re going to start living by our true identity and not by the lies the enemy has used to limit us. Amen? Amen!
Next week I'll finish up our armor/identity, and then I hope to share with you how I pray on my armor, which is also declaring who I am in Jesus, my identity.
Lord, I declare today is freedom day for our SUMite community! We are ready to live by truth, righteousness and faith according to who You say we are. No longer will the lies of the world and the enemy dictate our choices, our thoughts, our faith, or our prayers! We are Your children, the righteous of God through Jesus Christ, filled with faith and truth! In the Mighty name of Jesus, amen!