by Neil Anderson
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . .
The second piece of armor God has provided for us is the breastplate of righteousness . When you put on Christ at salvation, you are justified before our holy God. It’s not your righteousness but Christ’s (1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:8, 9). So when Satan aims an arrow at you by saying, “You’re not good enough to be a Christian,” you can respond with Paul, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Romans 8:33). Your righteousness in Christ is your protection against Satan’s accusations.
Even though we rejoice in our position of righteousness in Christ, we are well aware of our deeds of unrighteousness when we think, say, or do something apart from God. Standing firm in our righteousness requires us to live in continuous agreement with God according to 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession is different from saying “I’m sorry” or asking forgiveness. To confess ( homologeo ) means to acknowledge or to agree. You confess your sin when you say what God says about it: “I entertained a lustful thought and that’s a sin”; “I treated my spouse unkindly this morning and that was wrong”; “Pride motivated me to seek that board position and pride doesn’t belong in my life.”
Satan will make confession as difficult for you as he can. He will try to convince you that it’s too late for confession, that God has already erased your name out of the book of life. That’s another one of his lies. You’re in Christ; you’re already forgiven. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He will never leave you. Your confession of sin clears the way for the fruitful expression of righteousness in your daily life. We should be like Paul, who said, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24:16).
Prayer: Lord, I put on the breastplate of righteousness today and seek to maintain a blameless conscience before You and the people around me.