“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
The “stand” which the Christian is expected to make against the “principalities and powers” of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12,13) is in large part made possible by the protection provided by the great breastplate of righteousness—the strong, upper-body armor designed to ward off fatal blows of the enemy to our vital organs. Obviously, the strength of this armor can be none other than the spiritual “power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). “The LORD my strength . . . My goodness . . . my shield, and He in whom I trust” (Psalm 144:1,2).
This is none other than the gift of righteousness by which we reign in life (Romans 5:17), the new man of holiness (Ephesians 4:24), appropriated “through the faith of Christ” (Philippians 3:9) by which we are “made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15).
Yet, we are told we must take up and put on this armor (Ephesians 6:11–13). As soldiers engaged in active warfare, we are to “put on righteousness as a breastplate” (Isaiah 59:17), flee the desires of youth, and “follow after righteousness” (I Timothy 6:11) separating ourselves from the unclean thing and the unequal yoke of sin (II Corinthians 6:14–18). We are to “yield” our bodies “as instruments [weapons] of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13–22) and “awake to righteousness, and sin not” (I Corinthians 15:34). This life style of righteousness is the Christian’s assurance that the Lord will bless and defend us in our battle “as with a shield” (Psalm 5:11,12). With God’s righteousness, we can “go in the strength of the Lord GOD” (Psalm 71:16), and “in (His) righteousness shall (we) be exalted” (Psalm 89:16). HMM III