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Sermon #4237

The Breastplate of Righteousness

A Sermon on Ephesians 6:14


Ephesians 6:14 ESV KJV
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (ESV)

Sermon Description

A breastplate was one of the most important pieces of armor worn by soldiers because it protected their vital organs in battle. As such, when Paul tells the Christian to put on the breastplate of righteousness, he is urging them to protect their vital parts of the heart and mind from the fiery darts of the devil. But how does one protect their heart and mind by putting on the breastplate of righteousness? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:14 titled “The Breastplate of Righteousness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the meaning behind this passage. He begins by stating that one’s own righteousness alone is not enough to be victorious in battle, but rather the only righteousness that can protect is that of God. He then explains the two aspects of God extending his righteousness: imputed and imparted righteousness. Imputed righteousness is the righteousness the Christian receives from God through their faith in Him. But it does not stop there. Imparted righteousness is what makes God’s righteousness a part of who they are as they become a new creation in Him. God imputes and imparts His perfect righteousness to His people so that they can be protected and stand firm in the day of battle.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon text is Ephesians 6:14, specifically focusing on the phrase "having on the breastplate of righteousness".
  2. The sermon examines the armor of God that Paul describes in Ephesians 6, specifically focusing on the breastplate of righteousness in this message.
  3. The breastplate covers vital areas like the heart, lungs, and abdomen. These areas represent things like our feelings, affections, conscience, desires and will. These areas need protection.
  4. Some interpret "righteousness" here as moral rectitude or integrity. But our own righteousness is useless against the devil.
  5. The righteousness referred to is the righteousness of God given to us, not our own righteousness. This is made up of imputed righteousness (justification by faith, Christ's righteousness credited to us) and imparted righteousness (Christ's righteousness infused in us, sanctification).
  6. Imputed righteousness gives us confidence and assurance of salvation. We can overcome the devil by relying on Christ's righteousness, not our own.
  7. We must rely completely on Christ's righteousness, not our own righteousness or good works. Our own righteousness is useless against the devil.
  8. Paul longed to know Christ and His righteousness more fully. We should seek to do the same.

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.