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The Heart Protector

Words of Faith Final

The Heart Protector

Words of Faith 5-10-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 6

   [13] Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. [14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [15] and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace.

    [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

      The very first piece of armor put on by a Roman soldier was the belt.  The second was the breastplate or thorax.  It was known as a "heart protector" among soldiers.  The breastplate was a rigid bronze piece of armor that covered the body from the neck to the thighs.  More affluent officers wore a coat of metal chain that was much more comfortable, but most wore the rigid thorax breastplate.  This was the body armor that protected the heart and major organs from direct shots by spears, arrows and swords.

       The righteousness of Christ is the heart-protecting armor provided for a believer.  It is the "Kevlar" of the Spirit that protects the heart from the shots of the Enemy.  It is critical that we understand that this is not an armor of "self-righteousness."  We are not protected by the righteousness we produce of our own willpower or adherence to the law.  In fact, such self-made armor is worse than no armor at all!  It is like wearing Jell-o to protect against arrows rather than Kevlar or bronze. 

       Paul knew this from experience.  He wrote to the church at Philippi-- "That I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (3:9).  This is our armor-- fashioned by Christ on the cross and placed upon us by faith.

       How does the Righteousness of Christ protect the heart?  We must realize that the primary attack of the Enemy is through accusation.  He is revealed as the Accuser of the Brethren in Revelation 12:10. He will mask his accusations in religion or even self-focused piety.  The Accuser loves it when we wear the Jell-o of self-righteousness because it is easily pierced by accusation.  The Accuser seeks to pierce us with self-doubt, guilt, fear, and anxiety.  All of these undermine our faith.

       When we are clothed in the Righteousness of Christ, every accusation falls aside as a toothpick flicked across the room.  Because we do not stand in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ, there is no accusation that can stand against us.  Because of the Breastplate of Righteousness, there is no weapon formed against us that can penetrate or stand.

      Remember now that the Roman breastplate was hung upon the belt. Without the belt, the body armor would simply slip off after a few movements.  So also, the Breastplate of Righteousness hangs on the Belt of Truth.  This is critical.

     Without the Belt of the Truth of Christ and His declaration of our righteousness, the Breastplate would slip off of us.  We are not righteous because we wish it to be so, or we want it more than others.  We are righteous because of the truth that Christ has declared.  We are righteous because He has declared it to be so--and we have received this truth by faith. 

    Regarding the payment for our sin, He has uttered-- It is finished, the payment is made (John 19:30).  Regarding our place with Him, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).  We have been declared righteous, not because of our adherence to rules, but because of righteousness transmitted to us completely of Christ and by Christ.  The Enemy Accuser cannot penetrate the heart armored by such truth as this.

     So how is your heart?  Protected?  Secure?  If not, why not?  Armor up.  We armor up by trusting the truth of Christ by faith.  Believe it and wear it.

 

     Father God, I thank You for providing the righteousness of Christ to clothe and protect me.  Thank You for sheltering me from the accuser.  Thank You for creating peace within my heart because of the Righteousness You won for me in Christ.  Protect me this day.  I receive this armor by faith.  In Jesus’ Name.