The Breastplate of Righteousness

Danny and his sister Becky crowded around the library book their mom held on her lap. Danny frowned at the picture of a Roman soldier. “What’s he wearing for armor?”

Their mom tapped the picture. “It’s a lorica segmentata, the type of breastplate the Roman soldier wore at the time Paul wrote Ephesians. The lorica segmentata was made of overlapping pieces of metal held together with leather straps. It was flexible so it didn’t get in the way when the Roman soldier used his sword and shield. It could be taken apart into four pieces, so it packed away into a compact bundle when the soldier had to travel. The lorica segmentata not only protected the soldiers’ front, but also his shoulders and back.”

Becky pulled out the family Bible and pointed at the passage about the armor of God. “The verse mentions a breastplate of righteousness.”

Their mom nodded. “Yes. As soldiers of God, we are given a breastplate of Christ’s righteousness to protect our hearts. This breastplate, like the lorica segmentata, is designed to be used in the battle of this life along with our shield and sword. It isn’t constricting for a warrior. Warriors are used to moving within the constrictions of armor, just like we have to walk in the path of the new righteousness we have been given. But those who don’t want to fight will find the breastplate too constricting. They will take off the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness to wear their own righteousness instead. They will think this is freeing, but instead it leaves their heart vulnerable.”


Questions to think about:

  1. Read Ephesians 6:13-14, Philippians 3:9, Isaiah 59:17, and I Thessalonians 5:8 by yourself or with your parents. What does the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness protect?
  2. Is wearing Christ’s righteousness constricting for a Christian? What happens if we take it off and put our own righteousness instead?