The Breastplate of Righteousness – Ephesians 6:14b

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 5, 2009

Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 13: The Breastplate of Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14b

Introduction

Turn again to Ephesians 6:10 as we continue in our study of the subject of spiritual warfare. Paul writes, 10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.] 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil [one.] 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and [pray] on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in [proclaiming] it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Spiritual warfare is real and we must be prepared for it or we will be casualties. The Spiritual forces against us are not flesh and blood though they may use people for their purposes. Our adversaries are strong and organized, and you cannot fight them in your own strength. You must fight in the Lord’s strength and then stand firm. Are you prepared? The Lord has not left us to defend for ourselves as best we can. He is with us and He has provided for us all the equipment we need to resist Satan’s schemes against us, but have you taken advantage of His provisions?

Remember that Paul is in prison as he is writing this book,  and he is using the equipment of the Roman hopalite soldier that is guarding him as an analogy of what God has provided for us in spiritual warfare. This is the thirteenth sermon on Spiritual warfare (See: Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 1: The Nature of the Battle) and we have covered the first piece of armor that God has provided for us, the girdle or belt of truth.  (See: The Belt of Truth: God’s Existence). This morning we will examine the breastplate of righteousness and then in the weeks to come we will cover the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. Each piece of equipment has a different function, but each of them is important which is why we are to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

We spent nine weeks on the belt of truth because truth is so foundational and is the primary target of the devil’s lies and slanders. Satan does not want you to know or believe the truth about God, His commands, or plans, for if he is successful he can keep you from the proper worship of God, and that is Satan’s goal. He wants to usurp God, and the first step in that process is to make sure that you have wrong beliefs about God.

Have you girded your loins today with the truth so that you may resist the devil’s lies? Spiritual armor is not something that you put on once for the rest of your life. Like a soldier’s armor, you have to maintain it in proper condition and then be sure it is on properly in preparation for the actions that will take place that day. You must continually put on the truth and apply it to all the various facets of your life. Too many people who may put on truth when they are in the midst of a discussion or debate will set it aside when they relax or they think they are in a safe place, but it is right at that time when you are at rest that the devil’s lies can be most active as they subtly invade your thinking to lead you astray. Be careful of your entertainment choices since being amused by definition means you are not thinking deeply about it. Also be like the Bereans who even checked to make sure the Apostle Paul was true to the Scriptures. Many religious people are led astray at church because they assume their leaders are telling them the truth, when that may not be true either by design or because their leaders are still ignorant of the truth. Are you a truth seeker? Is it the priority of your life? Do you long for it even if it makes you uncomfortable? Are you controlled by it even if it is difficult?

Truth is foundational for without it we are subject to all the lies and deceptions the devil can put before us. We will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and be in danger of our floundering and sinking. Jesus Christ and His word are the truth. We are to gird ourselves with Him and the Scriptures. We then must carefully listen for the “ring of truth” in everything we hear. Do the things people say and the claims they make match the Bible? Are they in harmony with the truth of God?

The Breastplate of Righteousness

The Breastplate of a Soldier

This morning we come to the second piece of armor God has given to us which is the breastplate of righteousness. The Roman soldier might have worn one of several types of breastplates. Depending on the particular design, the breastplate would extend from just below the neck to either the thighs or just below the stomach in both front and to the top of the buttock in back. It was usually made out of some material into which had been sewn strips of leather and/or bits of tough material such as bones, hooves, metal, etc. Those in high rank might have a breastplate made completely out of metal, usually copper or bronze, that was hammered into shape to fit the individual. The function of the breastplate was the same regardless of the particular type. It was there to protect the thorax (the literal Greek word here), that is, the portion of your body between your neck and legs.

The Protection of a Breastplate

Why was this so important? Because all of your vital organs except the brain are located in your thorax. It contains the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys as well as the digestive tract. Damage to these organs would generally prove fatal either within minutes, as in the case of the heart or lungs, or over a few hours or days, as in the case of the rest of the organs. This made it vital to provide protection for the thorax from swords, spears and arrows.

It is important to note at this point that Jewish culture at that time would describe their emotions and feelings in terms of their vital organs. For example, the Hebrew word racham, which we translate as “compassion” or “tender mercies” is literally “bowels” (Psalm 69:16). The heart was used to symbolize the seat of volition, which is the ability to understand and make choices (Proverbs 4:4; Matthew 15:18-19). The Hebrew word for “kidneys” is translated in the KJV as “reins” and in the NAS as “mind” or “inner man” since that is what is actually being referred to. For example, Proverbs 23:16 literal reads, “My son, if your heart is wise, My own heart also will be glad; and my ‘kidneys’ will rejoice, When your lips speak what is right.”

Why is this important? Because what Paul is talking about being protected by the breastplate of righteousness are your mind, emotions and will. Too often we fall into the devil’s traps because we make our decisions based on how we feel at the moment rather than on what is actually true and right. Women are often kidded about making their decisions based on their feelings, and while there is some general validity to the stereo-type, men can be just as guilty.

Sales people use this to manipulate you into buying almost any product. They play upon your feeling to motivate you with the desire to have for yourself whatever it is they are selling. Buy this cosmetic because you will feel beautiful. Buy this jeep and you will be a macho man able to go anywhere your heart desires. By this lotto ticket and you will feel hopeful of future riches. Politicians are very good at marketing since they can get people to vote for them and against their opponent even though little is known about what they really believe or will actually do. It is irrelevant whether they speak the truth or lies, advocate right or wrong, or can do even half of what they claim as long as we are moved to feel good about them and bad about their opponent. Satan is the ultimate expert on exploiting the feelings of people, and he uses that ability to keep them from either coming to Christ for salvation or living for Christ if they are believers. The breastplate of righteousness can protect us from his schemes.

The Nature of Righteousness

What then is this righteousness and how does it protect us? Notice that this is something that you are to put on. In fact, as verse 14 states it, the implication is that you cannot stand firm against the devil unless you have put it on. Yet at the same time, righteousness, like truth, is not something we humans can manufacture and establish. We can only recognize the truth after it has been given to us. We can then live in harmony with truth by letting it control us. Righteousness is also something that must be given to us after which we can then live in harmony with it.

That Paul is not talking about man’s own efforts to be righteous is simply demonstrated by the fact that man has no righteousness of his own. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags before God. Regardless of whatever efforts a man might make to be righteous before God he will always fail. All mankind is guilty before God for their sins and no one can achieve righteousness on his own. This is why Titus 3:5 tells us that “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy . . .” True righteousness can only come from the source of righteousness which is God Himself.

This is what happens in salvation. When a person repents, they turn from themselves and their sin to Jesus Christ. In believing in Christ and His work of atonement alone for the forgiveness of sin, they are changed becoming new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have a new nature (Ephesians 4:24). The righteousness of Jesus Christ is then imputed to them. Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Isaiah 61:10 describes this a being clothed with the robe of His righteousness. We cannot take that robe for ourselves, it is God that puts righteousness upon us. 1 Corinthians 1:30 states, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption . . .”

This is imputed righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is given to us so that we may stand in God’s presence. It is a great defense against the attacks of the devil in several important areas.

The Protection of Imputed Righteousness

First, in the matter of coming to Christ for salvation, Satan usually downplays sin and tries to get people to think that they are good enough in themselves and by their own works to make it into heaven. That lie has sent and continues to send countless millions to Hell, but there are those who recognize their guilty conscience and will not believe that lie. In those cases, Satan can use another lie and try to convince the person that they are so bad that God could never save them. This loss of hope can also keep a person from turning to Christ and trusting Him. Some of you may be feeling that way even now.

The truth of the imputed righteousness of Christ counteracts these lies because salvation is not offered on the basis of how good you have been or are being now. There is no weighing of scales to see if your good is more than your evil, for it only takes one sin, any sin, to justly condemn you to Hell forever. Salvation is based on the mercy and grace of God which imputes to you the righteousness of Christ. No human is so evil and no sin is so great that Jesus’ death on the cross cannot pay its penalty and serve as the basis for forgiveness. Some have worried that they have committed the “unforgivable sin” mentioned in Matthew 12. The very fact that they are concerned about it proves they have not committed it and can have hope. Forgiveness can be granted if they will but come to Jesus Christ. Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be concerned or interested in gaining forgiveness for sin through Christ.

Second, in the matter of prayer. Satan can accuse us that the sin in our lives leaves us in no condition to pray. We feel guilty and ashamed resulting in a hesitation to approach God who is also our judge. Satan will remind us that God is a holy God and too pure to look upon evil (Habakkuk 1:13), nor will He pay attention to the prayers of those who hide iniquity in their hearts (Psalm 66:18). The resulting despondency keeps us away from God.

The truth of the imputed righteousness of Christ will bring us back to where we belong in the daily, moment by moment blessing of fellowship with our Creator. We have never been able to come to God based on our own righteousness but only upon the righteousness of Christ. Hebrews 10:19 tells us that it is through the blood of Jesus that we can enter into the Holy Place. It is because Jesus is our high priest that we can “therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15).

Third, and related to our prayer life is the matter of dealing with the sins we commit after we are saved. Psalm 66:18 states “If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” When a Christian sins, his fellowship with God is broken, but he is not kicked out of the family. Before salvation we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1,5), but we are made alive in Christ by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:5), and we were also made God’s children (1 John 3:1). Jesus will never disown those who belong to Him. He stated that Himself in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” What is lost when a Christian sins is the intimacy of communion with God. The sin of a Christian puts a strain in their relationship with God, but it does not end it. That idea should not be a strange thought.

When my children were young, it was not uncommon for them to disobey me, sometimes even defiantly, but that did not mean that I could disown them and declare that they can no longer be called a Harris. Regardless of whether my sons bring honor or dishonor to my name, they will always bear the name, Harris, just as I and my ancestors have born it. What does happen when they sin against me is that a strain is placed into the relationship which will remain there until the offense is corrected. Until reconciliation is accomplished, we cannot walk in the intimacy of relationship that had previously existed. I must offer forgiveness, and they must do whatever is needed to bring about reconciliation. Depending on the offense, that may be a simple apology such as “I am sorry, please forgive me for . . . ,” or there may also need to be some deed of restitution in an effort to repair the damage done. I recall years ago when one of them directly disobeyed my instructions and broke my umbrella. Reconciliation required not only the confession and resulting forgiveness, but also the replacement of the umbrella. Restitution is the fruit of true repentance. This same principle is also true with God.

When I sin against God, my fellowship with Him is broken, and until I come and confess my sin and receive forgiveness, the relationship will be strained. He is willing to forgive, but I need to confess and maybe make restitution too as the fruit of my repentance. According to Psalm 66:18, until reconciliation takes place, God will not pay attention to my prayers. Remember that Jesus said it was those who would abide in Him that could ask whatever they wished and it would be granted to them (John 15:7). Reconciliation is part of the day to day aspects of abiding in Christ.

It is a simple fact that even as Christians we will sin and will therefore need to seek God’s forgiveness in daily life. This is not forgiveness as is needed for salvation, but forgiveness that keeps us in a harmonious relationship with God. 1 John 1:7-9 addresses this truth saying, “if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As a Christian I will sin, but because my righteousness is based in Christ, when I do sin then I am to confess those sins and be restored into fellowship with Him. The devil may accuse me of sin, and he may even be correct about it, but the breastplate of righteousness will protect me from letting that accusation destroy both my prayer life and my daily fellowship with God.

The Protection of Imparted Righteousness

The imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ is critical to both our salvation and in daily living for Him. Imputed righteousness is part of the make up of the Breastplate of righteousness, but there is also what Martyn Lloyd-Jones called “imparted” righteousness. This is the practical righteousness which is expressed in daily living as we strive to be obedient to God in all things. Note again in the text that we are to have “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” While we cannot be righteous on our own and so need the imputed righteousness of Christ, we then need to live in accordance with that and put on practical righteousness. It is the imputed righteousness of Christ that makes practical righteousness possible, but practical righteousness will only be a reality when we daily live in obedience to the Lord. This is in keeping with our new nature anyway, so it is not the impossible task it would otherwise be.

Hebrews 10 explains how what God has done for us in Christ is to flow into our daily lives. In the first part of the chapter, he explains the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself to cleanse us from all sin and bring forgiveness. Then, starting in vs 18, he goes on to say, 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer [any] offering for sin. 19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since [we have] a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging [one another]; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

Our changed standing before God is to result in a changed manner of living too. Imputed righteousness must result in imparted righteousness. Hebrews 10:26 goes on to warn, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” To claim to belong to Christ and then willfully go against His commandments is to, as vs. 29 states it, “trample underfoot the Son of God” and “regard as unclean the blood” He shed to save you. This is defiant sin and defiant sin is not the mark of a true Christian. This is the presumptuous type of sin that would lead to either exclusion from the congregation or even being stoned in the Old Testament (Numbers 15:30; Deuteronomy 17:12,13; 18:20-22). David’s prayer in Psalm 19:13 was that the Lord would keep him back from presumptuous sins.

The practical righteousness of living in obedience to Christ is a wonderful defense against many areas of the devil’s attacks. Let me mention a few briefly.

First, in the matter of temptations. Satan’s temptations are presented to us in three major areas which 1 John 2:16 describes as the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and boastful pride of life. Some temptations are so flagrant that they are easily recognized and avoided. Other temptations are very subtle or will work on our emotions to make us feel like we have no choice but to commit the sin. The truth concerning temptation is stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” While there will be times that we will feel like this verse is not true, it is true nonetheless, and the breastplate of righteousness will protect us as we develop a stronger desire to do right more than anything else.

Flagrant, open sins start with hidden, modest sins. How is that men commit adultery? It starts with a wandering eye. Job was a righteous man and defended himself against the accusations made against him saying “I have made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I gaze at a virgin” (Job 31:31). This may not be easy in a society where pornography is easily obtained and immodesty is used to sell nearly everything, but that only stresses the importance. Men, this same covenant with your eyes is one of the links of armor in your breastplate of righteousness. King David did not keep such a covenant with his eyes, so when he saw Bathsheba bathing, he kept looking and his lust resulted in adultery and murder.

The breastplate of righteousness can protect you from whatever sin plagues you the most. The practical life of righteousness that results from a pursuit of holiness, a life set apart unto God, will keep you from sin. Is a sharp and angry tongue your problem? Consider James 1:20, “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God,” or Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger pacifies contention.” Do you lie and manipulate others to get your way? Not only are we to be like Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6), and live according to the Bible, which is the truth (John 17:17), but we are to seek to the Father’s will, not our own (Matthew 6:10). Are you proud or boastful? 1 Peter 5:5-6 tells us “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Are you lazy and slothful? Ephesians 4:16 states that we are to redeem the time, make the most of it, for the days are evil. Are you lacking in self-control? Galatians 5:23 lists self-control as one of the fruit of the Spirit, and 1 Corinthians 9:25 speaks of exercising self-control that we might win an imperishable wreath from God. Do the material things of this world entice you? Jesus explained clearly in Matthew 6:19-24 that you cannot serve both God and mammon, and from the pragmatic standpoint the things of this earth can be stolen or destroyed while the things of heaven are permanent.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Pursue holiness above all else and out of that comes righteous living which enables you to resist the temptations that once plagued you. Why? Who could care much about the things of this world when we have heaven in view?

Second, in the matter of persecution, the breastplate of righteousness keeps us from becoming despondent. I think we all understand that it can be hard to be different from everyone around us. Life is a lot easier if we just blend in with everyone else and do what they do whether it is right or wrong. It is not pleasant to be made the butt of jokes; over looked for promotions because of our ethical stands, or be slandered by those who hate righteousness. It is so much worse for our brothers and sisters in countries where added to these is persecution that causes physical suffering as well. If you are not careful to be living in and pursuing righteous living, it would be easy to give up just to avoid the pain. However, to do so would cause the loss of the only source of joy there can be in such circumstances, and that is that God is pleased with us. Jesus said that we could rejoice and be glad when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness because our reward in heaven would be great and that it was the same for the prophets that went before us (Matthew 5:11,12). If we are living in righteousness and are reviled, insulted, falsely accused and or even persecuted physically, we can still be joyful in Christ. Paul said that he was content and even joyful in suffering for Christ’s sake (Philippians 3:8-10).

Third, in the matter of contentment and joy in the Christian life, practical righteousness makes all the difference. The Christian who pursues personal holiness which results in righteous living can have joy in any circumstance (Philippians 4). The Christian who does not is one of the most miserable people that exists because there are consequences to not living in practical righteousness. Not only are you more open to Satan’s designs against you, but you will also find yourself fruitless, lose your rewards, bring reproach on God’s glory and find yourself one miserable guilt-ridden person. The purpose of your life ends up being unfulfilled and that leaves you with a shallow existence. Rather than storing up treasures in heaven, you will end up with the wood, hay and stubble of this earth that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Rather than bringing praise to the Father by your good works (Matthew 5:16) and adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect (Titus 2:10), you bring shame and reproach. These things eventually lead to depression. Instead of having the fruit of the Spirit, you end up with the opposite. Instead of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control you get hatred, sorrow, turmoil, anxiety, malice, depravity, disloyalty, harshness & self indulgence.

David describes what this was like during the time he refused to deal with his sin with Bathsheba. In Psalm 32 David says, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and might Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” In short, the Christian who is in sin is miserable. God is a loving father and He will chasten us as needed to bring us back to where we need to be (Hebrews 12:5-11). We should praise Him for that discipline because woe to us if we are in sin and we are not miserable under His chastening hand. Why? Because Hebrews 12:8 states that “if you are without discipline . . . then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” It is much better to be a son who is disciplined than an illegitimate child who will be cast out.

Conclusion

The breastplate of righteousness is our protection against Satan’s devices to deceive us through our emotions and false beliefs. Such deception leads to wrong decisions and choices and therefore a miserable life. Do you have on the breastplate of righteousness the Lord has provided for you? Are you relying on the imputed righteousness of Christ to give you security in salvation, confidence in prayer and assurance of forgiveness? Are you living in imparted righteousness by which you can live overcoming temptation, persevering in persecution and having contentment and joy in any circumstance?

 

The next sermon in this series is: See Spiritual Warfare Part 14: Feet Shod with the Gospel of Peace)

KIDS CORNER
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times the words “righteous” and “righteousness” are mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents the meaning of righteousness and how you can be righteous.

THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is necessary to be successful in spiritual warfare? Define success. Why is truth so important? What are the dangers to truth when you relax – entertainment, among friends, even in church? Describe the breastplate of a Roman soldier and its purpose. What is the breastplate of righteousness supposed to protect? Explain. What is righteousness? Can man be righteous by his own effort? Explain. How does a man become righteous before God? How does imputed righteousness protect us from the lies of the devil concerning salvation? How does imputed righteousness impact prayer life? How does imputed righteousness protect the Christian when he sins? What is the effect of imputed righteousness on daily fellowship with God? What is necessary to restore a proper relationship with God after sin has occurred? Do that now if your relationship with God is strained. What effect should imputed righteousness have on the way a Christian lives? What is defiant or presumptuous sin and what may it indicate about someone professing to be a Christian? How does practical righteousness protect us from temptation? Give examples. How does practical righteousness encourage the believer in the midst of persecution? What is the effect of practical righteousness on joy and contentment? Explain. What negative consequences will come upon the professing believer that does not live in practical righteousness?

Sermon Notes – 4/5/2009

Spiritual Warfare, Part 13; The Breastplate of Righteousness

Introduction

Spiritual warfare is real and we must be ____________ for it or we will be casualties

Because _________ about God is so foundational it is the primary target of the devil’s lies and slanders

Truth must be continually applied to _______ the various facets of your life

We _________ be grounded in truth or we will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine

The Breastplate of Righteousness

        The Breastplate of a Soldier protected the _________ organs within his thorax

        The Protection of a Breastplate

Jewish culture used internal ___________ to describe the emotions, thought and choice

___________ = compassion / tender mercies (Psalm 69:16)

___________= seat of volition / choice ( Proverbs 4:4; Matthew 15:18-19)

___________(reins – KJV) = mind or “inner man” (Proverbs 23:16)

The breastplate of righteousness _____________ the mind, emotions and will

______________ are easily manipulated to get you to do something you might not otherwise do

        The Nature of Righteousness

Righteousness, like truth, is not something ____________ can manufacture and establish

Man has _______ righteousness of his own – Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5

In believing the gospel we have righteousness ________to us – 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Isaiah 61:10; 1 Cor. 1:30

Christ’s imputed righteousness allows us to stand in God’s ___________& is a defense against the devil

        The Protection of Imputed Righteousness

Concerning salvation, it counteracts Satan’s lie that you have to be good _________in order to be saved

Salvation is based on the mercy and _________of God which imputes to you the righteousness of Christ

Concerning prayer, it counteracts Satan’s lies that keep you __________ from God

The righteousness of Christ allows us to come boldly ______God’s throne of grace – Hebrews 4:15, 10:19

Concerning sins after salvation, it gives confidence that we have _______ lost our salvation

Sin breaks ______________ with God and removes confidence in prayer – Psalm 66:18

_______________ of sin restores a Christian’s fellowship with God – 1 John 1:9.

        The Protection of Imparted Righteousness

Imparted righteousness is the _____________ expression of striving to live daily in obedience to God

Imputed righteousness makes imparted / practical righteousness _____________

Christ’s sacrifice of Himself is ______________ to cleanse us from all sin and bring forgiveness

Our changed standing before God is to result in a changed ___________ of living

Defiant or presumptuous sin __________________ Christ which is inconsistent with being a Christian

Practical righteousness protects from the __________________ of sin – 1 John 2:15-16; 1 Cor. 10:13

___________ – Job 31:31

A sharp or ___________ tongue – James 1:20; Proverbs 15:18

___________ and manipulation – John 14:6; John 17:17; Matthew 6:10

Pride and __________ – 1 Peter 5:5-6

______________ and slothfulness – Ephesians 4:16

______________ – Galatians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 9:25

The world has little attraction for those pursuing ______________

Practical righteousness keeps us from being _______________ in persecution

The Christian can be ____________ even in persecution – Matthew 5:11-12; Philippians 3:8-10

Practical righteousness can bring ______________ in every circumstance of life – Philippians 4

Christians that live in ongoing sin will be the most _________________ of all people

Their life is shallow and its ________is unfulfilled. Their end will be without reward – 1 Cor. 3:12-15

They will have the _____________ of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives – cf. Galatians 5:22-23

They will be ____________ by God – or they are illegitimate – Hebrews 12:5-11


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