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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Don’t Make Your Own Breastplate

Ephesians 2:1-10

Verses 4-5  But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

 

    It is easy for us to see ourselves as the people behind our righteousness.  We do our best to live as the Lord would have us live and though we slip up now and then we know we are still doing it better than some of the people we know.  The Apostle Paul understood that thinking better than most as he was a Pharisee, the sect of Jewish leaders who thought they were better than anyone else because of their love of the law and following it to the letter and making more laws to make sure the first ones were obeyed.

 

    It was because Paul had grown to adulthood in that form of self-righteousness that he worked so hard at making sure the believers knew it wasn’t the way a Christian should think.  Paul had seen the effects of self-righteousness and knew it wasn’t what God desired for His people.  Yes, God wanted His people to live lives which were set apart from the ways of the world but it was never to be about gaining our own way into God’s graces.

 

    We can’t build our own breastplate of righteousness.  It is only through Jesus living the perfect life which allows us to have any hope of righteousness.  No human, no matter how much they tried to obey the law, could ever live a holy life.  It took a Person already holy to live that perfect life, to show us what righteousness looks like.

 

    Because of our sin we were dead until Jesus lived the life which would bring us life.  His righteousness is the source of our life.  When we lived in our sin we were gratifying the world and we were dead.  Life began only when we found our life in Him.  He loved us so much He came to live a perfectly righteous life and showed us the mercy of God.

 

    Righteousness isn’t about trying to live exactly like Jesus so we can be in right standing with the Lord, it is about not living for self-gratification and more about living for God’s glorification.  Our putting on the armor is not about gearing up our own army, it is about being fit and ready for His army.  It isn’t about fighting our battles but rather about fighting His battles for His name to be praised.

 

Making It Personal

    Have you ever been self-righteous?  When do you struggle with feeling self-righteous?  What does knowing His righteousness mean to you?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    Have you ever thought you are better than someone else?  What makes you think you are better?  Can you ever be perfect like Jesus?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, thank You for seeing us through Jesus’ righteousness.  Help us see what it means to live in Your righteousness and to wear Your armor to bring You glory.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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