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The Believer's Armor, Part 2: The Breastplate of Righteousness

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2021 4:00 am

The Believer's Armor, Part 2: The Breastplate of Righteousness

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 12, 2021 4:00 am

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It seems to me the key to all this is the breastplate of righteousness if there is not righteousness in your life, the chances are you're not can have commitment. If there is not a genuine righteousness in your life.

You're not going to have the shield of faith issues of peace that I have the helmet of salvation you not in a wheel disorder last righteousness and go off when they were supposed to. You could very well kiss your car's engine or an important business deal. Goodbye all because you didn't get the warning you need. As a Christian you have a warning system that keeps you from trouble to system that Satan would like to jam with interference or destroyed all together, you learn about that warning system today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues is compelling look at the believers armor based on Ephesians chapter 6 and out with the lesson. Here's John we been studying the great truth in this text related to the believers war with the forces of hell as far as outlined for us in the book of Ephesians the tremendous power and resource of the Christian doesn't want us to get overconfident doesn't want us to dwell with any illusion that because of our resources.

It will be easy because we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly is because we are able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, because we can be filled with the spirit of God because we can allow the spirit to fill us with his might. Because all of these resources are ours. And because we have the very truth of God in our hands and because God's ultimate sovereign design is to produce good works does not mean that it will be easy to live the Christian life.

So having said all of that he has yet to say this in verse 10.

Finally, my brother and be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil fully wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly's wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truthfulness 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 with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Now, in this passage, as we have seen for the last several weeks, the apostle Paul outlines for us strategy. The plan, the enemy, the whole area of the believers warfare and the sum of it all is that we must as it says in verse 11 put on the whole armor repeats in verse 13 take unto us the whole armor. If we are to be victorious. This then is a passage of critical nature in the life of the Christian matter how adept your theology is a matter how solid the foundation of your comprehension no matter how much you know about the Scripture how much you have of information regarding God's true you are still potentially a loser because this is a war that is one and fought really on a day-to-day basis so all the resources that you have intellectually. In addition, all the resources that you have spiritually in the power and presence of the spirit of God can be set aside even by a believer to the point where we begin to lose the battle. So does Paul remind us that we must be very much aware that the Christian life is war and the sooner we learn, it sooner we will experience the victory that God has for us and we saw last time. If you look back at verse 14. The first piece of armor. Paul says says event envisions a Roman soldier in his full battle regalia stand therefore, having your loins girded about with all I say and primarily we said he has in mind here, truthfulness or an attitude of readiness commitment without hypocrisy. The term here, having your loins girded is associated in Hebrew thinking with the idea of readiness or preparedness.

The Jewish people for literally centuries have indicated a readiness to move out with the phrase girded up airline when they left the land of Egypt at the time of the Passover, they were instructed to gird up their line. This is a very common phrase in Jewish thought. The apostle Paul is calling for the very same thing in a spiritual sense, Peter says, for example, in first Peter 113 gird up the loins of your mind.

In other words, get your ride get your mind ready for the things of God. That's what Paul is saying a Jewish person preparing for a trip wouldn't go on the trip with the his garments flowing in the breeze. He would burn his loins with a belt pull his garments through that so that he was pulled together ready for motion for movement.

Same thing was true of a Roman soldier he would take his tunic pulled up through this belt that was tied tightly so that his garment wouldn't get in his way as he was in the battle and so what are our apostle Paul is telling us is that we must have a readiness for the battle. We must be prepared and committed foreign so we suggest you the ideas commitment no other things that happens in as a church begins to grow like ours. People begin to be added on the periphery. This further and further out further and further away as the church gets larger and larger and larger.

It seems as though there is on a general basis, a diminishing of commitment at the extremities because those people don't feel a part of the core and then they become sort of spectators. The commitment level begins to diminish and it becomes incumbent on us to constantly challenge people to commit because the more grace grows, the greater the potential impact, the greater the resistance of the enemy, the more desperately. The commitment is needed. See Gen. Zona Chahal is an Israeli general who as a string of battle credits as long as your environment is quite a man not a Christian man, very Zionist orientation one who believes in the sovereignty of the state of Israel, and who has a high regard for the great tradition history of that great people and that I was privileged to have lunch with him in the to tell you the least of it. He is indeed a fascinating person. I asked him several questions about many things and then he said to me he said.

I appreciated your sermon. I came in and heard you preach last Sunday and he said I appreciate what you said about commitment because he says, commitment is the whole issue with us. He said people think we are a super people we have super intellect or superstrength and that's why we win, but it really is commitment and then he headed by the way, he said what you said about girding up your loins, meaning, commitment, and readiness and preparedness is exactly right.

We still use that phrase, he said, let me give you an illustration of this is that I have a friend in the San Fernando Valley was a Jewish man and he had a son and his son desire to come to Israel to live there and so I came in lived. I think on it. The boots and he said after several years there, I guess two years or something. He reached the age where he would have to enter the military will return to the United States and he said frankly feeling that the like, and other Americans. He would choose the life of ease and return to America rather than get into the Israeli army said I was surprised to find that he entered the Army well.

The next thing I knew, I received it. Letter from them asking for a private appointment with me because I knew him and I assume that, like any American boy he would say luck general. You know me and I know you. Let's make this thing as easy as we can find me a desk job at my feet up on the desk and so for the Sawhney was going to come to ask a favor. Well he did. He said he showed up at the office and this was his request is a generally said my assignment in the Army is too easy. He said this is what I want said I want to be in the finest most strategic, diligent, difficult regiment in all the Israeli army.

What is it and how I get in it and the general form about the fact that it was a frontline crack regiment of paratroopers that have the most precarious duty and are the front line dropping into whatever the battle is going to be before anybody else, and he said that's the group, but he said that what it takes to be in that group is incredible. He said it closes. Finally, with four days of relentless all day long, marching, climbing up the mount that leads to Masada in the middle of the desert carrying your full pack. That's just the end of it all said that's what I want signed up and not long after that he completed the training lying flat on his stomach, unable to move his body for not one muscle would function, but he made generalship, Tom said to me, that's why we win we win because people like that are committed and that is essentially what the apostle Paul is saying to us in this whole concept of the belt of truth people. This is where you are and it is it the world deludes us with the good life. But we are in the middle of a spiritual battle and we will win. When you get serious about the battle. I believe there is no limit to what God can do, other than our own lack of commitment. I think that's really where Hester will begin as Paul is pointed out notice again in verse 14 he says a Roman soldier will also have on a breastplate, and Paul calls at the breastplate of righteousness. No Roman soldier in his right mind would ever going to a battle without his breastplate, even if he could fight off the personal phone that he was fighting with. You might get shot through with an arrow coming from the other forces and get them in a vulnerable area so I would always wear a breastplate, and surely in a hand-to-hand combat. Anyway, be vulnerable here and there would be some blows that would be parried if he were protected.

So Paul looks at a Roman soldier going into battle and he says not only is he committed and as his loins girded up his belt is on and he's serious about movement. He's going to get in this thing to win it, but he also has his vital area protected Roman soldiers had different kinds of breastplate. Some of them were made out of linen a very heavy linen that hung down very low and it would be covered with. It would take the hooves of an animal, and they would slice them into slices rather thinly and then they would hang them cooking them together so that it was almost like a horn using animals horn kind of material either from the hoof or from the horn. Additionally, they sometimes use a chain mail kind of thing. Sometimes they would use the linen and they would hang little pieces of metal on it and then of course the most familiar one that we know about is the great molded metal almost chest plate that goes all the way from the base of the neck to the top of the thighs covering all that vital area. The one you see with the loan interest peak you are or whatever we associate with a Roman soldier and this was of course to protect this very vital area now. Frankly, I've tried through the years as I've examined the armor of the Christian to see if there's any hierarchy of priority. If there are any more important than others, and that's very very difficult to do well-nigh impossible because you have to put on the whole armor right the whole armor. Each piece is specifically geared to accomplish some certain and absolutely essential factor so we cannot say that one is specifically ranking. First, another second, another third and yet it seems to me that that the key to all of this is the breastplate of righteousness if there is not righteousness in your life, the chances are you're not can have commitment.

If there is not a genuine righteousness in your life. You're not going to have the shield of faith.

The shoes of peace. You not going to have the helmet of salvation, you're not gonna wield the sword.

Unless you are committed to righteousness in your life, and righteousness is just a way of saying a right relationship to God unless things are right between you and God.

That seems to be to be bottom line commitment actually is born out of that. It's when you get right with God that the commitment takes place.

Now let me just talk about this concept of the breastplate of righteousness for a minute and obviously you know that in a battle the area you gotta protect is right in here.

The helmet would protect the head area and in the kind of battle that they would fight hand-to-hand and using a short sword and it wouldn't be the kind that you could cut somebody's head off with so this is the vital area here and what they were endeavoring to protect was the heart area. In the lower area which the Jewish people used to call the bowels admit the midsection were all the other organs are functional organs of the body and soul, breastplate covered two vital areas.

The heart and the bowel area, not to the Jews. This had a great significance. Symbolically, the heart represented the mind. The Bible says as a man think if that is what heart so is he out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, the heart is the thinking act aspect of life, the heart in Hebrew terms or symbols means the mind, the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked thinking is associated with the heart.

The bowels are associated with feelings in the motion. It talks about the bowels of compassion or shutting up the bowels of lava, not loving someone a properly and this is because emotions give us feelings in our stomach don't emotions hit us in the stomach.

We ache in our stomach when certain emotions are felt and so the Hebrews is a good way to demonstrate the heart then means the thinking process and the bowels refers to the emotion and if we can draw that across to our imagery in terms of the armor.

This is what were saying. Satan wants to attack a believer to areas primarily one is thinking to.

It is a motion one in the way he thinks and feels another in the way he responds emotionally and the believer must be protected because this is where Satan makes his attack. He feeds your thinking processes with false information. He feeds your emotions with false information. He wants to cloud your mind with false doctrine lies religious untruth anything he can and he wants to appeal to the wrong parts of your emotions. He wants to elicit evil emotional responses.

He wants to twist and pervert your affection and so the some of it is this, people listen. If you protect your thinking and your feeling from the attacks of Satan.

Your impregnable will try to confuse your mind with false doctrine, or to try to confuse your emotions to make you long for lust for feel laughter and have affection for the wrong thing. Now if you just take the mind and emotions. Together they encompass everything that causes us to act. They encompass the concept of knowledge. That's the first key to responding you got absurd amount.

Note understanding conscience will desires, drives, affections, feelings and emotions. All those things that cause us to act are protected by the breastplate of righteousness.

Satan moves into your life, and he has some things he wants to do.

He wants to he wants to snatch away the word of God from your mind and fill it with lies right fill it with perversion. Fill up your mind with garbage, fill up your mind with a morality that isn't God's. Fill up your mind with a theology that isn't God's. Fill up your mind with all kinds of untruth and half-truths, so he attacks the mind.

He wants you to wrongly understand things he doesn't want to interpret things rightly.

He wants you to say about Sinnott's not so bad.

So we literally drowns you in a sea of it so you become very tolerant of any entertains you with it so that you don't think it's as evil as it really is.

So he has you laughing at sin on your television or in the movies he has you hearing it put to beautiful tunes and music so that clouds and confuses the clear thinking of your mind. From there he moves to destroy your conscience to get you to do things that you shouldn't do to sera conscience that once warned you that soon will not warn you any longer. He wants to debilitate your will. Breaking down your will.

He wants to confuse your emotions by causing you to feel wrongfully toward thing. She wants to corrupt your desires.

You want to draw your affections to the wrong thing in all of this attack comes by Satan and that vital area and simply does the apostle Paul say it's protected by righteous nests by righteousness protect your thinking and your feeling in your impregnable against Satan.

Now what is the righteousness of which Paul speaks what is he really talking about. There are only three possible things to consider one would be self-righteousness to would be imputed righteousness and free would be practical righteousness either is talking about our own.

The self-righteousness is talking about the righteousness of Christ given to us, or is talking about living out the righteousness of Christ given to us will look and see which is the case, let's look first of all, of the concept of our own righteousness. There are some people think they're all right.

Just because they're good folks, you know why Satan only want to do to somebody think about what is Satan's ultimate goal with individuals wanting what is is to cast them into an eternal kingdom with him. Satan's ultimate goal is to draw men and to hell with him to keep them back from coming to God. He does not want to populate God's kingdom. He does not want people bowing to Jesus Christ. He does not want citizens of heaven he wants to populate hell he wants to populate his own dominion so Satan's ultimate goal is to destroy the put into hell now this is what Satan will do. But there are some people say, well, my own righteousness will be sufficient to prevent that Satan wants to mess up your life all along the way there. Some people think they're good enough to handle in the time of the Bible. The Pharisees were that way they thought they were good enough, they thought they could make it and that's why Matthew 520 Jesus said, except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees who never enter the kingdom. They were wrong.

They were good and by grace are you saved through faith that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God not of what works you can't do it, and yet they thought they could in Luke chapter 18, we find the typical attitude of the Pharisee, a legalist somebody thinks he can make it by his own goodness. We have people like that today. In fact, every religious system in the world, apart from Christianity is based on the fact that man can do it himself that he can be good enough on his own. So in Luke 18 Nine a certain parable of the Lord tells two men went into the temple to pray, one is a Pharisee and the other is a tax collector Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I think. I'm not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers are as this tax collector. In other words, I'm so glad I'm so good I'm so happy about me, aren't you.

I've done on my own. I'm arrived I'm self righteous I fast twice a week and he only had a fast several times a year, but he was really going at it. I give tithes of all that I possess near the corner was a tax collector beating on his breath saying God be merciful to me a sinner. Jesus said, I tell you that's the man that went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone that exalts himself to be abased, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted, another word for justified is made righteous was really righteous. The man who thought he could do on his own or the man who knew he couldn't.

Jesus said the man who knew he could. You could call the story a good man that went to hell in a bad minute with the hip as long as you think you can do it on your own, you're stuck with your self-righteousness. You do not have a breastplate, you will never defend yourself against Satan, he will cast you into hell forever know God is the ultimate right to do that Satan is the one who allures all the best you can do doesn't make Isaiah 64 six is all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. That's the best we have. If you by your goodness to get into heaven, you are the most deluded person of all. In Romans chapter 3 and verse 10 we read these very provocative words, there is none righteous, no not one.

If you just said there is none righteous, somebody was said except me. So the Bible says no, not even you not want there is none that understand there is none that seek after God. They are all gone out of the way they are together become unprofitable. There is none that do. It's good, no not one word unprofitable means to go sour like milk the whole human race is gone sour.

There's nobody righteous, nobody good and the whole thing. As a result, it says in the end of verse 19. Every mouth is stopped in the whole world is guilty before God. Why verse 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Self-righteousness is not the breastplate of righteousness you will be a victim of the forces of hell, for sure.

If you're trying to cover yourself in your own right, that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. The title of his current study on grace to you, the believers armor.

John one of the very first series I ever heard you teach was Ephesians chapter 6 the believers armor, and we returned to this series. Every few years. I think it's helpful to do that. We've typically done it because Satan never eases up from his spiritual attacks and we are committed to equipping believers for those spiritual challenges and in that effort. We are grateful to God for how he's expanding our reach to believers who speak languages other than English. Heather that's been an amazing part of the development of grace to you over the last decade or so, yes, with regard to the believers armor. I would just remind people that the apostle Paul said were not to be ignorant of Satan's devices and so we have to repeat this.

We have to go back to it periodically so that we aren't ignorant of his devices and how wonderful that we have been able to get this material translated into multiple languages. This what we call our grace reaches out GR O for short and little bit of background on that it was 2013 that we launch the initiative called grace reaches out and the objective of this is to translate the collection of our most important fundamental basic sermons into languages other than English in the total number of sermons to be translated into these languages is about 600 sermons. The GR O project is one way where fulfilling grace use purpose statement which is to make our Bible teaching available to as wide an audience as possible, and specifically GR O expands the scope of our Bible teaching to people who otherwise would be out of reach because of language barriers get more specific. The work on the first four languages Arabic, Chinese, French and Portuguese is about 90% complete sermons are available for free downloading and you can access them right on our website Jide TY.org. That's right, you can access them in Arabic, Chinese, French and Portuguese go to the website. Click on sermons scroll down the page and you'll see on the right side heading for grace reaches out and there you'll find links to the available sermons and those other languages and now work in the Russian language is well underway and Farsi, or Persian is even in production. The goal is to eventually broadcast these other languages on radio and other media outlets in the regions where these languages are being spoken so we need you to pray for the translation work and the re-voicing of those translations in those languages that it would lead to many coming to Christ and growing in grace and in the knowledge of him. That's right. And thank you, John, and friend. If you want to play a strategic part in giving believers across the globe access to biblical truth that transforms lives.

Thanks for expressing your support when you contact us today.

Call us at 855 grace or right to grace to you.

Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412.

You can also make a donation@ourwebsitejidety.org. Thank you for all that you do to support Bible teaching in your community and in communities around the world. Thanks especially for your prayers, your most important ministry to us again to express your financial support. Call 855 grace or go to Jide TY.while you're online. I encourage you to see for yourself all the translation work that's been done so far. Perhaps you or someone you know could benefit from John sermons translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, even Farsi. You'll find those on our website. We also have books in the MacArthur study Bible translated into most of those languages.

Find out about all of that@ourwebsitejidety.org now for John MacArthur and the staff on Phil Johnson with a question for you whenever you are tempted to sin any time and every time. Do you have a real choice not to sin. Consider that tomorrow when we're back with 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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