Do you suit up properly for life’s battles? Here are the first pieces of armor in Paul’s list- the belt and breastplate. Ephesians 6:14 “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness”, The first things we are to put on involve our godly character- the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. The root of the believer’s strength is the character he/she has in Christ. Godly character is based on the truth of God, who He is, and how you are bound to Him through faith in Christ. Jesus is truth and knowing Him brings truth into your life. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” His Holy Spirit brings believers truth “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:13 and His Word is truth “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17. The truth of godly character is base on Christ, the Holy Spirit and His Word and are the essential building blocks for godly character in our lives.
Another element of godly character that we are to put on that provides for our defense is His righteousness as our breastplate. The breastplate covers the heart and protects our vital organs. Since we cannot be righteous on our own because of our sin nature, we have to depend upon Christ and His righteousness. Romans 3:21-24 “ But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Jesus made the way for us to be righteous before God and give us (imputes) His righteousness to us. We are renewed through this righteousness from Christ as Paul reminded us in Ephesians 4:20-24 in The Message translation, “But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Righteousness is a key to a life filled with godly character and can only be obtained through Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, only through Him can we have His character.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have godly character that is based on His truth and righteousness. These first pieces of armor are crucial to living a life for Christ. Put them on then stand firmly rooted and grounded in Christ.