The Breastplate of Righteousness

Ephesians 6: 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

 Breastplate of righteousness

The breastplate is a protective shield covering the torso and mostly the chest to ward off the sword or arrow of the enemy from penetrating. The vital organs in the protected area are the heart and the lungs. The breastplate referred to here is not one made with metal or any other material. It is the breastplate of righteousness or from righteousness. The breastplate is Righteousness.

The Heart

Before we get into what Righteousness is, we would first consider the significance of protecting our chest section with breastplate. The security of this area protects the heart and the lungs. Let’s first talk about the heart.

Biologically, what is the importance of taking care of our heart?

  • Human survival is next to impossible without a functioning heart.
  • Blood containing oxygen is circulated to be body by the heart.
  • Blood containing carbon dioxide is pumped to the lungs by the heart.

Heart Trivia

  1. Heart beats 100,000 times everyday
  2. Pumps 2000 gallons of blood daily
  3. The body blood vessels are 60,000 miles long.

What could happen if the heart in not well maintained or has problems?

  • Heart Attack
  • Enlarged Heart – usually caused by high blood pressure (hypertension) or coronary artery disease.
  • Irregular Heart Rhythm
  • Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Atrial Fibrillation – irregular heart beat
  • Heart Rhythm Disorders – Irregular heart rhythms can cause the pumping function of the heart to fail.
    • (http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/08/top-10-very-important-organs-in-a-human-body-2742148.html)

According to WHO heart disease is the number ONE cause of death in both male and female globally.

Breastplate of righteousness – Part 2

The Lungs

The primary function is breathing. Who can survive not been able to breathe? Genesis 2:7; Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. It was only after the breath of God passed in through the nostrils that he could live.

The lungs are the passage.

  • They take in oxygen and pass out carbon dioxide
  • They Pass oxygenated blood to the heart
  • Body cells receive oxygen to grow and function

Lungs Trivia

What is the average breath count per minute?

  • Adult 12-20 times
  • 6 months old 25-40 times
  • 6 weeks old 30-40 times

Common Lungs Problems

  • Asthma
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung cancer

Although heart disease is the World number one killer, but if all Lungs related diseases are consolidated (COPD, Lower Respiratory infection, Trachea Bronchus & Lung Cancer), lungs problem is a clear number ONE killer and heart problems will come next. This underscores the need to their protection.

(http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/)

Biologically or naturally there are very good reason why we must shield or protect our heart and lungs from attacks, just as we should spiritually.

The Lungs – Breathing Function

Why is breathing important to human?

  1. Breathing is the most fundamental body function and every other function depends on breathing. Breathing directly influences the lungs, the heart, the blood vessels, the lymphatic system, cellular metabolism and optimal function of the immune system. Through the blood circulation breathing is affecting every single cell of the body. The brain is consuming 20% of blood supply so its 20% of oxygen… so oxygenation of the blood and circulation of the blood regulate all the brain functions and development as well. The way you breathe determines the quality of life you live. (legacyacupuncture.com/how-to-breathe.php)
  2. Intake of Oxygen is required to release energy that activates human activities.
  3. The gas waste generated by bodily activities (Carbon-dioxide) is toxic and must be removed from the blood system through exhaling.

What we breathe is Important!

Too much carbon dioxide in the body will kill. The main objective of breathing is to keep carbon dioxide low and Oxygen level high. Most of the time we do not consider the air we breathe. What we breathe and the way we breathe determine the way we live! Many life threatening diseases are contacted through air. The way we breathe can cause depression.

What we breathe will impact the quality of life we live. So God says have the breastplate of righteousness. Protect the lungs, the organs that help to breathe by breathing righteousness. Don’t breathe just any kind of air, only righteousness can make us energetic and fortify our spiritual immunity from all kinds of spiritual sickness.

Does God Breathe?

  1. Man became a living person through the breath of God (Genesis 2:7, John 20:22)
  2. The breath of God raise a dead army (Ezekiel 37: 5-6, 9-10)

 Is there Energy in God’s Breath?

Then at the command of the LORD, at the blast of his breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare (2 Sam 22:16)

By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed (Job 4:9)

Is breathing important to the Spirit of Man?

  • We were made in the image of God. At salvation the Spirit of God comes to live with the spirit of man to provide the living air for the spirit of man.
  • The (spiritual) air we breathe is in the presence of God. (Gen 3:8, Job 27:3-6)

How do we attract the atmosphere of God’s presence?

  • Fellowship with God, through the Word, Worship and Prayer (Proverbs 4:20-22, 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, Acts 16:25-34, Acts 4:31)
  • Man was created to live in God’s presence (Gen 3:8, Psalm 16:11; You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore).

The Function of Respiratory System – Process of Breathing

Trees are regarded as the lungs of the earth. They inhale carbon-dioxide and exhale oxygen. They breathe so humans can breathe good quality air. We are trees of righteousness who must also Inhale God’s presence and Exhale God’s power

Breastplate of Righteousness (Part 3)

Introduction

Last week we discussed further the essentiality of the two important organs located in our torso. The part of the body breastplate of righteousness will cover. The lungs and the heart. We find out that the fundamental purpose of breathing is to maintain high oxygen level and low carbon dioxide level in the body. The benefits of that are very clear. Oxygen releases the energy that all cells and brain need to function, whereas carbon-dioxide is toxic waste that must be excavated from the body. We also found out that how we breathe influences how we live. Our breath count, the quality of air we breathe etc. can cause depression to say the least and whether we have a good life or not. This condition of life is similar to our spiritual life.

It is not an accident that the lungs and the heart are in the same location. Their functions are interconnected. The body needs oxygen, but it is circulated through the blood and it is the blood that delivers carbon-dioxide to the lungs. The Heart pumps the blood.

 

Spiritual Importance of Heart

  1. It’s the real identity of man. 27:19; “As in water face reveals face, So a man’s heart reveals the man”. Prov. 23:7;”As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.
  2. Heart condition influences obedience. Ezekiel 11:19-21; And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God.”
  3. Spoken words come from the heart (words create; good or evil). Lk 6:45; A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Mt 15:18-19; But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. 15:19 For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 15:20 These are the things that defile a person; it is not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person.”
  4. Love of God only works from a pure heart. 1 Timothy 1:5; The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
  5. Faith is from the heart. Romans 10:9-10; 
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Galatians 5:6; For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
  6. Impossible to see God without a pure heart. Matthew 5:8;“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Psalm 24:3-4; Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
  7. God speaks to heart
  8. All issues come from the heart. Proverb 4:23, Mark 4.
  • doubt in their heart (Mark 11:23),
  • believe in their heart (Romans 10:9

 

Ecclesiastes 9:3; This is the unfortunate thing about everything that happens on earth: the same fate awaits everyone; The hearts of all people are full of evil, and there is madness in their hearts during their lives—then they die.

Cultivating a Healthy Heart

The Word is the seed, the soil is the heart. Bible is full of lesson on heart. In KJV heart appeared 725x in the OT and 105x in NT. Your heart is very important, its an essential vital to a healthy life. This why Jesus said in Matthew 5:8; Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. David prayed Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10). And the wise son of David, Solomon said in Proverbs 4:23; Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Out of the heart comes all the issues of life. Not some issue but all the issues…

So hold it right there and let’s think about it… The heart is the soil and out of it are all issues of life.

Without the soil there will be no grass, no plant leaves, to feed animals. There will be no vegetable, fruits, crops and animals for humans to feed on. No insect, birds. The wealth of the world.. gold, diamond, other gems, crude oil, gases, etc the list is long. They all come from the soil. Without the soil, human, the physical man and woman will not exist. God molded the physical man from the soil.

You might ask, Muyiwa what do you mean by the physical man? I am certainly not referring to a man with well-tuned muscles and strongly built body, No! Man is considered a triune being because of his tripartite composition; The Spirit, Soul and Body. My understanding of the bible is that Man is a Spirit, period! He is a Spirit that possesses a Soul and lives inside a body. The body is the physical house that enables him/her to live in this physical world, the soul connects the Spirit with the body functions.

Guard your heart with all diligence, out of it are all issues of life! The soil is the heart, the heart is the soil. In that teaching, Jesus identified 4 types of hearts.

 

Types of Heart

Jesus in Mark chapter four highlighted four types of hearts;

Pathway Heart ….As soon as the seed is sown Satan steals it. The pathway heart is full traffic, hustles and bustles, hassles, busyness,  that distract the person from giving attention to the Word. From settling down to ponder the Word. So the enemy steals the seed immediately.

Stony Heart ….A person with Stony heart receives the word with joy. But when he is tempted or tested? When trouble, trial or persecution comes because of the word. See, Jesus said persecution comes becomes because of the word. Persecution does not come because you made a wrong choice, the reason for persecution is not because you sinned, persecution comes because you a good treasure inside. When persecution comes it should be signal that the enemy is trying to steal from you something more valuable than silver, gold and diamond. When persecution comes it a RED Alert that you need to stand your ground and say “I won’t let go, I won’t let go.”

The sad thing is if persecuted person has a stony heart, Jesus said because the soil level is low the seed will die. A stony heart is shallow and heart the word cannot anchor its roots. So the seed dies.

Thorny Heart …The thorns are the worries of life, deceitfulness, false security and glamour of wealth, and many other lusts. I want to be like the Jones and the Jones, I want to have the most expensive car, I want to own the most expensive house, clothing, I want that magazine page body etc. Those lusts are thorns, they toxins in the heart that will choke to death the seed.

Good Heart … It is only the good heart that produces, either 30% or 60% or 100%.

How do we cultivate and maintain a Good Heart? If your soil is full of acid, those are some toxin that make the soil very unproductive. You need some treatment for the soil. The way to a healthy heart is not a single day journey or a 30 minutes preaching. The treatment plan is;

Keep it clean, Keep it filled and keep it real!

Keep it Clean: Matthew 19:21; Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Jesus did not say a wealthy person cannot follow Him or enter the kingdom of God. He was simply saying dispose of the possessions that are possessing you. What do you have in your heart that is stealing the word, that is scotching the word or that is choking the word? What thought, emotion, habit or activity prevent the word of God from entering and penetrating your heart? Paul and Peter simplified the heart weeding process with the term “put off the old and Put on the new.” Items that we must dispose include, anger, malice, jealousy, bitterness, rage, deceit, immorality, selfishness, unforgiveness, rejection, evil thoughts and more. Colossians 3:8-10,  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Ephesians 4:22-24,31; 1 Peter 2:1).

Keep it Filled: Matthew 12:43-45;“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.

Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.

Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. A good heart must not be empty. What do you fill it with? Except the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam was told to eat fruits from all the trees, and foremost of them is the tree of life, symbolic of the life of God. You are what you feed your heart with. Biologically your body will respond to the food you eat. And psychologically what you fill your heart with influences your emotion, action, habit and who you are. You are what you feed on. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. So if you filled your heart with joy you’ll become joyful, filled it with faith you’ll become faithful, you filled it with hate you’ll become hateful, you filled it with mercy, you’ll become merciful, if you filled pride you’ll become prideful, you filled it with love, you’ll become loving, but you filled it with junk you’ll become a junkie! Ouch!

Philippians 4:8; “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Only the WORD of God fits the profile! Power your thinking with the WORD by filling your heart with the WORD.

Clean up, fill up and be real! When the word of God is stored in a clean heart, the Spirit of God operates with liberty. The Word of God in a clean heart will always attract and retain the Spirit of God. David said create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right Spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). It is with the Word and the Spirit that we create a garrison, the guard for our heart. Paul said “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7). So the protection or treatment our heart need as shield against all the toxins, and high acidity that weakens the productive capacity of the heart is the peace of God. The peace of God is given by the Spirit of God that comes by the WORD.

Keep it real: The foundation of our connection with God must be LOVE. Luke 10:27; He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” We must devote our hearts to God. Love Him completely and relentlessly. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Let us give Him our hearts as our first fruits this year.

God has already prescribed a treatment plan for us this year. It is The Journey 2016, I want to encourage you to join a team today. I will talk a little more about that. But right now I want to invite you to dedicate your heart to God. If you desire right now is God I want a renewed heart, I want to rededicate my heart to You, this is your moment. I want God to touch my heart again, God fill my heart with Your Joy, peace, love and Your Spirit, I want to invite you to the altar. Feel comfortable if you’ll like to knee do it, you prefer to stand do it, talk to God as you come

Breastplate of Righteousness (Part 4)

Introduction

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I have been justified, discharged and acquitted from sins and I have been redeemed. I have right standing with God. I stand in the presence of God as His covenant child. I have access to all benefits of the covenant of righteousness in Christ Jesus. I have authority over satan, sickness and every contrary conditions. In Jesus name. That is Righteousness. We are the righteousness of God and we need to always maintain our righteousness consciousness.

What is Righteousness?

English Definition

The quality of being morally right or justifiable. (online dictionary)

locus standi;

The right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court: a foreign government which has not been recognized by the UK government has no locus standi in the English courts

Origin: Latin, literally ‘place of standing’. (www.oxforddictionaries.com/us)

The inference from these English definition portrays a positional right. A good standing that may not be available to everybody. Those with no good standing may ab initio be denied access to the court or may upfront lost the opportunity of being acquitted. A person with a good/right standing once, may lose that standing except she maintains the position. To maintain right standing, behavioral initiatives that can sustain that locus standi are necessary. Which means there are two main types of Righteousness in the Bible expected of all children of God.  These are Positional Righteousness and Behavioral Righteousness.

Positional Righteousness

ATS Bible Dictionary (Bible Hub)

Rectitude, justice, holiness; an essential perfection of God’s character, Job 36:3; Isaiah 51:5-8; John 17:25; and of his administration, Genesis 18:25; Romans 3:21,22; 10:3. It is the wonder of grace that as the righteous guardian of the law, he can acquit the unrighteous. “The righteousness of Christ” includes his spotless holiness, his perfect obedience the law demands; and “the righteousness of faith” is that imputed to the sinner who believes in Christ. With reference to personal character, righteousness is used both for uprightness between man and man, and for true religion, Genesis 18:23; Le 19:15; Isaiah 60:17; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 5:9.

“God’s righteousness (or justice) is the natural expression of His holiness. If He is infinitely pure, then He must be opposed to all sin, and that opposition to sin must be demonstrated in His treatment of His creatures. When we read that God is righteous or just, we are being assured that His actions toward us are in perfect agreement with His holy nature” (Richard Strauss – https://bible.org/seriespage/6-righteousness)

Hebrews 7:1-3; For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually

2 Corinthians 5:21; God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 6:14; Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Psalm 145:17; The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.

Psalm 50:6; And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice.

Deuteronomy 32:4; “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

Psalm 48:10; As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.

Psalm 97:2; Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Psalm 119:142; Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth

Behavioral Righteousness

In a marriage both positional and behavioral righteousness are required to retain the relationship. Say a wife who of course is now Mrs. Richard, having the marriage certificate and maybe also a wedding ring, insists that now that I’m Mrs. Richard, I have all the rights by way of this marriage. She does, yes. Then she says it does not matter how she behaves. She continue to behave like she used to before marrying; date any man she likes, sleeps out with her friends anytime she wants etc. You be the judge of that marriage. If she wants to maintain her right standing in that marriage she must have behavioral change.

1 John 2:29; If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him

1 John 3:7; Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Matthew 3:15; Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

Matthew 5:6; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:20 – For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

2 Timothy 2:22 – Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Acts 10:35; But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Acts 10:34-35; Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. (NIV)

Romans 6:13-16; And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

1 Timothy 6:11; But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

1 Peter 2:24; “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”