Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Whole Armor of God, Part 7

Today I continue my series of articles commenting on the concept and principles involved in the Armor of God, which the apostle Paul described in the New Testament. This is the topic of the Sunday school lesson I am currently teaching.

The Armor of God – Righteousness
2. Righteousness: Having on the Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).

Righteousness implies conformity to a standard. With God, the standard is His holiness. God, in His actions, does not contradict what He is in His character. Since man is made in the image of God, he is also expected to live in accordance with the character of God. This standard of course is holiness. This code of conduct is found in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and in other parts of the Holy Bible such as in the book of Leviticus. The problem, of course, is that no one is able to live up to these lofty standards. People to whom the commands of God have not been revealed have this code of conduct in their hearts, which they do not live up to, as mentioned by Paul (Romans 2:11-15).

God came to earth in the likeness of sinful flesh, but being sinless, and lived without ever having ever sinned (Romans 8:3; 4:15). He was named “Jesus” and fulfilled the law. In being crucified He represented all of mankind before God (I John 2:2). He took the sins of the whole world in his own body and tasted death for all mankind (I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 2:9).

God then is just, righteous, and holy and makes just, righteous, and holy the ones who have faith in Jesus. He took the wrath of God against Himself for all of mankind. Thus, He is Just and the Justifier of those who believe on Jesus (Romans 3:26).
This then allows the following to make up the armor of righteousness which protects the individual of God from the various attacks or blows of the enemy.

A. Faith is counted for righteousness.

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4, 5 “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:13, 16

B. We are the Righteousness of God in Christ.

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21

C. A person must repent of his sins for forgiveness to be counted righteous.

“For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” Acts 17:29, 30

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47

D. Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe.

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:4

E. Jesus is our Righteousness.

“In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:6

F. Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God.

“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8

G. Walk after the Spirit.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

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