Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bullet Proof…vest

(Submitted By Kerry Patton)
“Stand firm then, …with the breastplate of righteousness in place” Ephesians 6:14

Bullet Proof…vest
I recently discovered the Spike network program “Auction Hunters.”  Auction Hunters is a program where two men bid on abandoned storage lockers in an attempt to win the contents left behind by previous owners.  They then strive to turn a quick profit on the items of worth they manage to win. 
In a recent episode, one of the items they find turns out to be a very expensive and very rare bullet-proof vest which would be worn by a law enforcement officer or a soldier.  The expert who evaluated the vest determined that while the vest was not the latest technology in body armor, it would in fact stop just about any handgun or automatic weapon projectile you fired at it.  I found myself imagining how I would want such a piece of armor if I were to be in the line of fire.

Man’s Righteousness - Not Bullet Proof
One of the truths the Apostle Paul wants us to grasp in Ephesians 6 is that we ARE in the line of fire…every day.  He impresses upon us that we are in a battle…not with earthly enemies, but with spiritual enemies.  Standing in my own good intentions, I am tempted to dress myself in an armor of my own righteousness.  I would love for my resume of personal works and spiritual stick-to-itive-ness to be sufficient in protecting me in the battles and temptations I face throughout the day. 
The harsh reality is that a breastplate of my own righteousness is going to be completely and utterly useless in the battle.  The breastplate of my own righteousness has gaping holes in it.  I strive to keep it polished, but in the heat of battle, it proves to be little more protection than wet tissue paper.  Isaiah 64 speaks truth in verse 6: “And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…”

So what hope do I have?  Whose righteousness will be my protection in this spiritual war?  With what do I dress myself against this onslaught?

Armor Effective…Truly.
When I am dressed with the breastplate of righteousness, it is the righteousness of Christ that I wear by faith.  It is not my reputation that rejects the accusations of the enemy, but Christ’s!  It is not my faithfulness that stands, but His!  It is because of Him that Isaiah 54:17 can testify: No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD.” The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus is truly bulletproof.  Nothing can come against it.

So how do I put it on?
Ephesians 2:8,9 makes it clear that my salvation is not based upon my own performance:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Likewise, I do not take on the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness through my own good works or act of will.  In fact it is in my weakness that in His strength is made perfect.  It is in surrender to Jesus that I am made victorious and am clothed in his righteousness.

Scripture to claim: 
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-24

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