Dressed for success

 Week 3

8-8-15

 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:13-17 (NKJV)

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13 (NKJV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

THE ARMOR OF GOD CONSISTS OF…

THE BELT OF TRUTH

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, Ephesians (6:14a NIV)

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

the breastplate of righteousness in place, Ephesians 6:14b (NIV)

WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS?

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:10 (NIV)

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV)

RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A GIFT THAT COMES THROUGH FAITH

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis (15:6 NIV)

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, Romans 3:22 (NIV)

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 5:21 (NIV)

HOW DO I PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS?

1) GET A CLEAR PICTURE FOR WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR YOU

You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God. Galatians 3:1-6 (MSG)

2) CREATE A HUNGER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

3) OFFER YOURSELF TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. Romans 6:19 (NIV)

But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NCV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

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