Good old ideas often turn out to be good new ideas. Roman soldiers wore “body armor” to protect their vital organs. Modern soldiers appreciate the amazing capacity of Kevlar to absorb deadly projectiles. Cutting edge materials have replaced chain mail, leather, and metal plates, but the value of body armor remains high.
What’s true in physical combat becomes crucial in spiritual warfare. Our vital “spiritual organs” require the protection of a body armor that we can’t manufacture or purchase—the “body armor of God’s righteousness.” God’s righteousness is issued to us when we believe in Jesus Christ. It’s a gift. “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life’” (Rom. 1:17). When we are dressed in Christ’s righteousness, we win. “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
How does God’s righteousness protect us? The Life Application Bible Commentary on Ephesians (Tyndale House) offers some helpful insight at this point: “Righteousness provides a significant defense: it gives the evidence that we have been made right with God and that this righteousness has been given us by the Holy Spirit. Believers have been made righteous through the blood of Christ. The believers then want to live in uprightness and integrity, desiring to please the One who saved them. Yet that won’t be easy. Satan is ready for battle at every turn, willing to hit us unfairly from behind if given the chance” (p. 132).
As you consider God’s protection this week, keep this picture in mind. When you first trust Christ, the righteous body armor he gives you hardly fits. It’s way too big. But he tells you, “If you will trust and obey me, you will grow into this armor. You will develop righteousness. I have designed your body armor of righteousness to fit the person I will make you, not the person you are right now.” In the meantime, count on that armor to protect you as you grow.