By Pastor Alex Ruelo
Ephesians 6:10-12 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” There is a battle that is happening right now. It is silent. It has been going on since the beginning of time. There is a personal war as well as a spiritual one in the church. Satan hates you and this church, that is why he continuously tries to destroy it. Paul has been warning the people in Ephesus about a war in the spiritual realm, saying the fight is not against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. You do not physically see it, unlike here on earth where you can even watch it from the news. But the war that is going on right now is something that you cannot imagine. People are also dying everyday: many are losing hope, families are torn apart, and relationships are broken because of this unseen battle. It targets heavenly places, the church, your homes, and anywhere you feel safe. This enemy is not weak too. And sad to say, many Christians are losing the battle.
In the New Living Translation of the Bible, the breastplate of righteousness is automatically translated into God’s breastplate of righteousness. The verse said put on every piece of God’s armor. Therefore, it is God’s breastplate of righteousness. Sometimes, people think it is their righteousness that will save them from their enemies. But no. It is always God’s righteousness. Nothing you did can save you from this battle, but only the goodness of God. You can boast about your accomplishments in the ministry, the number of years you have been a Christian, the things you do for the church, the number of souls you brought to God and how much money you have donated to the church. But it is only by God’s righteousness that you can defeat the enemy. There is nothing you can boast.
What is God’s righteousness? Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All your righteousness is garbage in front of God. But Paul said in Romans 3: 25-26, “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” God knew that man was going to sin even before he created Him. God did not just spare him from his sin. He gave man His only Son so that they. Can be justified for their sins. That is God’s righteousness. Paul said you need to wear God’s righteousness. You need to put it on, showing everybody that you are no longer the sinner you once were, believing that Jesus died for you so you can stand against the enemy. Many are discouraged because you do not understand the righteousness of God , that it can be used to stand against the enemy and win the battle.
You have to understand that man is a triune being. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Man has a body a spirit and soul. When you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, your spirit became alive. That spirit will have eternal life. The enemy cannot destroy it because it is already alive. The soul is your problem. It is your emotions, your feelings and your will. You need to protect it.
What does the breastplate of God’s righteousness protect? It protects your emotions. The enemy wants to keep on attacking your emotions. During this pandemic, the enemy closed all doors and windows which made man feel like he is all alone. You start to believe the lies of the enemy. The breastplate protects your will. Because your emotions are down, everything you do is out of proportion. But when you put on God’s righteousness, you are doing His will. You will not fail in your decisions. The breastplate also literally protects your body. If you do not, you can hurt yourself and everybody else around you. The enemy will say anything to get you back for himself.
The battle is almost over. The enemy is working double time, trying to destroy everything in its path. But God is righteous and He wants His creation to be a part of His perfect plan. Keep the faith. Galatians 2:16 says, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” To have God’s righteousness, you need to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s perfect sacrifice for your sins. Stop receiving the lies of the enemy. Open your spiritual eyes. You cannot see the enemy. You might be cooped up in your homes because of the pandemic but the enemy is still there. Do not let him walk out of your house when the damage has already been done. Be prepared and ready to fight. Turn away from your sins. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear,” says Isaiah 59:1-2 . You think you have no hope of changing. But God is too good for you. He can hear you even when you do not say anything. It is your sin that has cut you off from God. Turn away.
God’s righteousness is all you need. Not yours. Pick up your armor again, dust it off and believe. Continue the fight that you left. The battle is almost over.