Your Robe & Breastplate
of Righteousness
(by Brian Melia)



Many biblical words have sadly faded from regular use in modern society; one of these words is righteousness. However, one of the times the word righteousness is still sometimes used is when someone is said to be ‘self-righteous’. This attitude of self-righteousness regrettably characterised many of the Pharisees. Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, where the Pharisee prayed self-righteously in pride in his own actions: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. (Luke 18:11). However, in thinking that his own works could give him right standing before God, he was tragically mistaken (as well as displaying one of the worst sins – pride). Clearly, he had ignored a consistent message of the Scriptures, such as Isaiah 64:6: And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags and as Paul wrote later “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). To be righteous is to be right in the eyes of God – this would mean being holy and pure and perfect in all our actions which not even the best of us get anywhere near.


So how can we come before a God who is perfect in his holiness? Thankfully, because the Lord greatly desires our fellowship and wants us to experience his eternal love, he has provided the perfect answer: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). That Jesus would take our sins on himself on the cross, and those who believe in him would be credited with his perfect righteousness, is stunning beyond words. Yet this is exactly what was prophesied, as the Father said of the Son : My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53:11).


So, Jesus has become for us our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30) and this enables us to come before the throne of God without condemnation and without guilt, to receive his love and bring our prayers and thanks with confidence – as those accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). The Scriptures picture us wearing this perfect righteousness that is given to us in our Saviour the Lord Jesus, as a wonderful robe: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). But what of our daily sins – our unrighteous behaviour, words and thoughts; do they not spoil this gift of righteousness? Yet again the Lord has provided the answer through the cross – as long as we admit our failings: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


We need to remember that in our fallen world, we battle not against flesh and blood but against the schemes of evil spiritual powers including the wiles of the devil. Paul urges us to put on the whole armour of God which includes the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:11-14). Satan is an accuser of believers day and night aiming to bring condemnation into the hearts of the saints but we overcome these accusations by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:10-11). The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from condemnation. It is by the blood of Jesus that we are cleansed from our sins, enabling us to come before the throne of the Father in the righteousness of Jesus, without condemnation and free from guilt.

Let every son and daughter of the Lord put on their breastplates of righteousness and let us be ever thankful in wearing our wonderful robes of righteousness.



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