“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)
The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…
One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …
1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II. The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III. The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV. The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)
Now Paul turns our attention to a description of this armour…
(Eph 6:14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
In this devotion, we will be looking at the second piece of the armour of God, the Breastplate of Righteousness that is placed on the chest. There are three main aspects to this piece of spiritual armour.
The Breastplate of Righteousness:
1. It is called the “breastplate of righteousness” – this breastplate represents “righteousness”, in other words it means “to be just, proper, fitting, pleasing or right in the sight of the Lord”. This applies to the Christian warrior in two different ways:
a. A sinner must be found righteous in God’s sight to enter into His presence throughout eternity. The sinner can only be looked upon as “righteous” in God’s sight, based upon the gracious intervention of God in their lives, as God applies the shed blood of Christ to their account which covers their sins. In doing so, the righteousness of Christ is placed upon the account of sinful man.
This is known as “positional righteousness”; in other words, it is describing OUR POSITION (OR STANDING) BEFORE GOD. (Roms 3:20-27, Phils 3:7-10)
b. Once saved, the Christian is given the responsibility to live their lives in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to God. This can only be accomplished through the gracious enabling of the Lord.
This is known as “experiential righteousness”; in other words, it is describing OUR EXPERIENCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN OUR DAY TO DAY WALK. (Phils 1:9-11, James 3:17-18)
Both types of righteousness are acts God’s intervening grace and is involved in this piece of armour.
2. It covers the “chest” – the chest is the container of many vital organs (heart, lungs, liver, etc.) that support the life we have within us. The righteousness of Christ that is placed in our life (Positional righteousness) is the core, basis, foundation of our eternal life and right standing before the Lord (Prov 11:4, Prov 12:28, Roms 8:10)…
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:17-21)
However, the existence of works that are pleasing in God’s sight (experiential righteousness) in our lives is the natural result, and absolute proof, of our possession of Christ’s righteousness and the eternal security that is found in Him (John 15:5, James 2:14-26)
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” (Titus 3:4-8)
3. It is a defensive piece of spiritual armour – When we minister to the Lord, having a righteous standing before Him and assured of its possession through our works of righteousness, we are ministering to Him in a pleasing way and are made insusceptible to Satan’s attacks which bring doubts of our salvation into our mind.
One of the greatest ways we can strengthen our testimony and service to Christ is through the possession and assurance of His righteousness in our lives. Think of it this way:
1. If we do not possess the righteousness of Christ, all of our service to Him is simply looked upon as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)
2. If we do not possess works of righteousness in our lives, we cannot be pleasing Him in our ministry, because it is through living Godly lives (possessing a clean vessel) that we can be used of Him. (2 Tim 2:19-21)
3. But also, if we do not possess works of righteousness in our lives, we will be in a state of constant doubting of our salvation and unable to enjoy boldness and confidence in our service to Him. (Hebs 4:16,1 Thess 2:2, Phil 1:14-20)
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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