“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Ephesians 6:14)
After truth, righteousness is the next piece of protection in God’s armor and it safeguards the vital organs of our chest region. But let me ask, “Can you explain righteousness? Is it our righteousness?” Revelation 19:7-8 says we, the Bride of Christ, have made ourselves ready, clothed in fine linen, clean and bright, representing our righteous acts. Truly, once we have come to know Jesus Christ personally, God changes us. Our actions become righteous. However, are we righteous of our own accord? If you believe we are, help me comprehend why Isaiah 64:6 says, “…all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…”
In my opinion, God through Isaiah is saying, as sin-cursed creatures even our good deeds or righteousnesses, are soiled in comparison to this Holy God. Therefore, as a child of God I have come to understand, my righteousness is contingent upon Jesus, for He is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah. 23:5-6)
Since righteousness is to be our breastplate, notice breastplates are frontal in nature. Wesley Explanatory Notes say, “No armour for the back is mentioned. We are always to face our enemies.” Why? I think Isaiah 58:6-8 gives the best explanation. When our hearts are so yielded to the Lord our God and we allow Him to change us inwardly, His desires become our desires. We will then truly love, because love fulfills the law (Romans 13:10). When this transformation takes place, Isaiah says, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”
Now we know our amazing God is our breastplate of righteousness. His righteousness protects our front and guards our back.