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Breastplate of Righteousness

February 08, 2024
By Leah Rabb

Breastplate of Righteousness

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” Ephesians 6:14

Many of us would not see ourselves as the warrior type, but Paul in Ephesians gives commands about “be strong" and “stand” for us and then uses imagery of armor to encourage us to prepare for a battle. The verses seem like commands that a general would bark at a soldier like, “Suit up. It is time to get out there!”

Each piece of armor has a specific purpose and a specific part to protect.  You don’t fall in or accidentally suit up in armor. Each piece is intentionally put on and tightened, buckled, latched, and strapped. There is a process and it is intentional.

Certain pieces go on first. Paul lists the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness first in Ephesians. He was writing to the believers in Ephesus who were at a cultural crossroads. Ephesus was an urban city with new ideas and Roman influencers projecting images of a goddess that didn’t wear a lot of clothes! (Sound familiar?). The Ephesus believers had to fight for righteousness in the middle of a cultural battle. Paul was encouraging them to suit up and be prepared. Your spiritual warfare requires spiritual resources. You can’t go to battle and expect to have victory without wearing armor and preparing. The breastplate protects the heart and the core of the body and vital parts. Paul uses the metaphor of the breastplate first to remind us that truth and righteousness have to be deliberately strapped, latched, buckled and tightened before the battle.

The simplest definition of righteousness is to do what is right, but biblical scholars suggest that the Greek word used in Ephesians had an additional connotation of saving justice.   In the book of Isaiah, we see the Divine Warrior suited up in armor. The same armor imagery that Paul writes about to the Ephesus believers. We are to put on the righteousness of Jesus, our Divine Warrior, to live out each day knowing our purpose as defenders of the faith and saving justice for others. While our Divine Warrior’s righteousness and saving justice protects our own hearts as we battle. It is actually His breastplate we are wearing: His righteousness.  The breastplate of righteousness  is an intentional  choice and resource that we have access to through Jesus Christ. 

As believers in a crossroad of cultural beliefs, what are our intentional actions of righteousness that we are suiting up and preparing to go to battle with? Before we start our day, do we root ourselves in the Word? Before we go into the meeting or have a hard conversation, do we pray? During our satellite school day, do we disciple our children in the way of righteousness? Be intentional. At Logos Prep, our vision is families and students making an impact for Christ. Suit up. It is time.

Leah Rabb
Elementary Education Principal
Logos Preparatory Academy