“Empowering the abused woman to recover with God's truth"
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II. The Whole Armor of God – Sessions 3-8 – Parts 2A-1 to 2F
B. The Breastplate of Righteousness – Session 4 – Part 2B - The Romans soldier's breastplate covered all his vital organs, both in front and behind. It was usually made of metal. In Ephesians 6:14, Paul drew a very important connection to our life in Christ from the breastplate's purpose. Paul called this piece of spiritual armor, "The Breastplate of Righteousness." Putting on this breastplate is a process requiring the identification and removal of sin from our lives. It is an active process that requires a strong will to put God first. We must totally submit ourselves to God; seeking God's kingdom and righteousness must be our first priority.
God promised to draw nigh to us if we will draw nigh to Him (James 4:8). Drawing nigh to God requires that we deal with the stuff in our life that is not of Him. That means we must identify and remove sin from our lives. One thing that separates us from God is sin. Many people knowingly tolerate certain types of sin, rationalizing that the sins we entertain are not as grievous as those we shun.
If you tolerate sin, deal with it now. Examine yourself to identify your sin. Name it, confess it, and ask God for His forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). James 5:16 instructs us to confess our faults to one another to receive healing. We don't need to live in bondage. God made a way for us to be free! John 8:36 says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
Romans 8:31-39 says, "31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Amen! Knowing this truth gives us strength, but we still must take it into our heart so that we walk in it. God expects us to live righteously. Doing so requires that we confess our sins so that the devil has no opportunity to attack and put us back into bondage. Ephesians 4:17-18 says, "not to walk as the gentiles walked." The Greek word for gentile means "pagan" or "heathen." Gentiles, the unsaved, take their walking instructions from Satan, not God. Whose kingdom are you taking instruction from?
Ephesians 4:22 says to put off the old man. The old man is Satan's spirit and nature. Romans 6:6 also refer to the old man. He is, "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9; John 8:44; I John 3:8, 5:18).
Ephesians 4:23 says we need to be renewed. Being renewed means that the whole course of life flows in a different direction (II Corinthians 5:17-18). We renew our mind by renouncing its vanity (Ephesians 4:17), its darkness and blindness (Ephesians 4:18) and learning of Christ (Ephesians 4:20-21).
Ephesians 4:24 says to put on the new man. The new man is the Spirit and nature of God (Ephesians 4:23-24; II Peter 1:4; Romans 8:9, 14-16). Verse 22 of Ephesians 4 says to put off the old man and again, Ephesians 4:24 says to put on the new man. Here we see a characterization of the two kingdoms. We have choices to make. We can manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit, or the fruit and nature of Satan and his demons. What will your choice be? We put aside the old man each time we repent or forgive; each time we choose to do His will. This is called sanctification.
Ephesians 4:27 says, "Neither give place to the devil." This verse provides a very important insight and principle needing more attention. Sin gives Satan a place or opportunity to occupy our minds and affect our spirits. These are strong words with serious implications. The Greek word for "place" is topos, meaning "place, opportunity, position, home, license or room." Tolerating any sin in our lives opens the door to Satan, separating us from God. If we harbor sin in our lives, choosing not to forgive others or ourselves, then we lose our peace and fellowship with our heavenly Father. We cannot experience the joy of walking with God.
We put on the Breastplate of Righteousness through forgiveness: first by receiving God’s forgiveness for our sin; and second, by forgiving those that have hurt us. Forgiveness quenches the fiery darts of the devil. Forgiveness removes the pain from memories and experiences. Forgiveness is how God intended each of us to protect ourselves.
Now that we have an understanding about “The Breastplate of Righteousness,” let’s see how to put it on. To put on “The Breastplate of Righteousness:”
May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds ALWAYS!!!
Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks
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