WS Update: Righteousness of God

June 21, 2021

Yesterday we continued our sermon series on the importance of God’s armor and looked at the breastplate of righteousness which protects us from the devil’s schemes in our most vital area, our heart. The implication is that as you start another week the most vital thing for you to remember (put on) is the righteousness of God. This is because we carry around in us what Lewis Smedes calls the feeling of “not good enoughness.” Smedes writes:

It is a feeling that we do not measure up and maybe never will measure up to the sorts of person we are meant to be. The feeling, when we are conscious of it, gives us a vague disgust with ourselves, which in turn feels like a hunk of lead on our hearts

What is the cure for this feeling on this Monday morning? The righteousness of God – in particular that Jesus died so that we might be made “righteous in (God’s) sight.” (Romans 3:20) In other words the breastplate we have received means a Christian is seen as perfectly righteous (accepted) by God.

So today if you find yourself discouraged, wondering whether God loves you, put on (apply) this doctrine and refute the lie that God’s acceptance and love for you is conditioned by your performance. Or if you receive criticism and begin to sink into despair or bristle with defensiveness, put on the breastplate and remember that your worth is not measured by the opinion of others but by the fact that you are a beloved child of God. This is the vital nature of this part of the armor, and will protect and enliven you not only this week, but throughout eternity.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. — Romans 3:21-23