This past Sunday, we delved deeply into the profound theme of the armor of God. The focus was not just on the protection it offers but on the immense love that God showers upon us, equipping us to face Satan's schemes.
Last week's discourse on the Belt of Truth highlighted its resemblance to reading the Bible, not merely for knowledge but for divine revelation. This week, we shifted our attention to the second element: the breastplate of righteousness or, as some versions term it, the body armor of God's righteousness. This is imperative because our true battle is against the dark forces of this world, not mere flesh and blood.
Obviously, this lesson recap doesn't cover everything; see the whole lesson by Pastor Mario Bolivar on your YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/WW8yRa_ONrU
We discussed the controversial story of Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5:1-11. I shared that for years, I believed they were punished by God for their deceit. However, after much contemplation and revelation, I've come to a different understanding. The central message of John 10:10 assures us that while Satan aims to steal, kill, and destroy, God's purpose is to grant us a rich and satisfying life. So, it’s inconceivable that God would be behind the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.
Diving further into the scriptures, we are reminded that it is Satan who possesses the power of death, not God. The episode of Ananias and Sapphira reveals the dangers of operating in our own righteousness, which makes us susceptible to Satan's deceit. Peter, in his response to them, seemed to forget the grace he had once received, and so did not offer it to Ananias and Sapphira.
This brings us back to the armor of God. The armor, particularly the breastplate of righteousness, is about clarity. We need to recognize and internalize that nothing can sever us from God's love. We must wear God's righteousness because our own will never suffice.
Sharing a personal anecdote, I talked about receiving a speeding ticket. The takeaway was clear: while we live by the world's rules, we should not adopt its values or goals. This duality is essential for a Christian walk. And while grace is available in many forms, like the option to take a class to avoid points on a driving record, our aim should always be to live in alignment with God's righteousness.
In conclusion, the breastplate of righteousness isn’t just armor; it’s a call to introspect, to understand the difference between the world’s rules and its values, and to always be enveloped in God’s love and righteousness. I urge all to wear it, guarding your hearts, and to never take it off. Amen.
See the sermon slides, with the file below...