It is good to know that God has given us the gift of the breastplate of righteousness, which is part of the armor of the God. This gift is for his glory and our good. So then, let us consider how this armor strongly protects us from two of Satan’s schemes.
One of the ways that Satan opposes the people of God is to accuse us before God (Job 1-2; Zechariah 3; Rev 12). As our adversary, Satan seeks to disrupt our fellowship with God. One means is to attempt to raise questions about our standing before God. The evil one strives to find an ally within us called a guilty conscience. By attacking us here, he seeks to cause all kinds of uneasiness in us. An attack might proceed something like this: “How can you possibly imagine that God will accept you? Look at the ugly mess your life is in! The Holy God, whom you presume to call ‘Father’, will have nothing to do with you, sinner! I have observed your way of life. You call yourself a child of God? Hypocrite is a better name for someone like you.” And so Satan seeks to unnerve us, to raise doubt and fear and unbelief in the good news of Jesus Christ.
How do you handle such attacks?
- A mere professor of religion will shrug them off. “Why should I worry? I made a decision, I was baptized, and I am a member of the church! I even serve in the church!” But notice the emphasis on “I”. Such an attitude reveals reliance on “works righteousness”. And such a person does not have any firm basis for salvation.
- On the other hand, a true believer will renew his or her repentance, humbly bow before the Father, and cry out, “Father in heaven, I have no other hope but the blood and righteousness of your Son. Lord Jesus, I trust in you! Lord, you know all about my sin, and my deepest thoughts and motives, but your saving grace is all the merit I need. I rest on you.” Every time a true believer relies on Christ, he or she will experience the full strength of Christ’s righteousness. There is no condemnation (Romans 8:1)!
Another tactic of the evil one is to distract us from the glory of Christ and the joy of knowing the Lord. There are many subtle attacks here. One method is to tempt us to add a little to Christ—a little ritual, a little doctrinal knowledge, a little experience, or a little service. Once the believer falls into the trap, the devil promptly kicks the legs out from that one little extra. Some problem enters the church or the believer’s life, and he or she finds out that there is no joy in that little extra. They have lost connection with the head of the church. The only way back is repentance and reliance on the Lord’s perfect righteousness. Another method is to draw our hearts away from our first love to pursue worldly things: wealth, sports, recreation, vacation, homes, tech toys, and so on capture the heart, and the believer wanders from the battle line to the sidelines. Listen to their talk. It is not about Christ and his righteousness. It is about their current infatuation with the worldly thing. Can such a person recover? Yes, praise God that Christ’s righteousness is sufficient even for that bitter denial of Christ.
Think of the words of verse two of “At the Foot of the Cross” by Steve & Vikki Cook. “Upon the cross of Jesus, Lord I would fix my eyes, for it always will remind me of these truths. My iniquity seems endless, yet greater still your grace, and I will glory in the Cross throughout the ages.”
Has something besides the Risen Lord Jesus captured your heart? What is the burning passion, the desire of your heart? Do you want to sing “love songs” to the Lord Christ, to praise the Father by the power of the Spirit for God’s Beloved Son? Or do you wonder what in the world a preacher or this blog writer is talking about? “What has happened to all your joy? … I am perplexed you” (Galatians 4:15, 20)! I plead with you. Put on God’s armor! Rest and rejoice in Christ’s surpassing righteousness.
Grace and peace, David