14Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
The Bible has made it clear that the life of the Christian will not be one of ease, but a continuous battle against the evil one. In order to live in victory, one must put on the breastplate of righteousness. The question, then, is how does one do this? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:14 titled “Slaves of Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains what it means to put on the breastplate of righteousness. He begins by stating that putting on the breastplate of righteousness can be equated to putting on Jesus and walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit shows that the Christian is a new creation in Christ and have made Him the master rather than themselves. Second, he explains that to understand the breastplate of righteousness, one must first understand that they were once dead in their sins, but have been made alive through Christ Jesus. They are no longer under the reign of the law and unrighteousness, but under the reign of grace.. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that in putting on the breastplate of righteousness, the Christian needs to realize the help available to them through Jesus Christ, the High Priest. It is through these actions and realizations that they will stand in victory in the day of battle.
- The context of the sermon is Ephesians 6:14 - the armor of God. The apostle Paul is reminding Christians that though they have eternal life, they still face difficulties and spiritual battles in this life.
- The devil and his forces are powerful, subtle, and cunning. The only way to stand against them is by relying on God's strength and using the armor He provides.
- The armor of God includes:
- The belt of truth: The Christian life is based on truth, not feelings.
- The breastplate of righteousness: Protects our heart, feelings, conscience, desires, and will. We must protect ourselves from moods, feelings, disappointments, and the devil's temptations.
- Putting on the breastplate of righteousness means:
- Realizing the old self is dead to sin (Romans 6:6)
- Realizing we are no longer under Satan's dominion
- Realizing we are dead to sin's dominion
- Realizing we are dead to the law (even God's law) - we have died to the law through Christ's body (Romans 7:4)
- Positively, putting on the breastplate of righteousness means:
- Looking to Jesus - seeing how He endured and overcame temptation. We should follow His example.
- Realizing why Jesus died - not just to save us from hell, but to make us good and zealous for good works
- Realizing the consequences of Jesus' work - we are new creatures with a new position. We have a new master (righteousness) and are alive to God.
- Being alive to God means:
- We are open to God's gracious influences and under the reign of grace. God is working in us to will and act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13).
- We are no longer trying to earn salvation or make ourselves good - we are living to please the One who saved us by grace.
- We have God's power and Spirit working in us, so we have no excuse for failure or defeat.
- We no longer fight in the old way (trying to keep the law to earn salvation) but in the new way - by the Spirit's power and with the motive of pleasing Christ. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
- We have help and sympathy available through our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who endured all we face yet without sin. We can come boldly before the throne of grace to find mercy and help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.