The Purpose of Righteous Living
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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. Ephesians 6:11-13
I like how Paul (the author of the book of Ephesians) says “therefore” when saying to put on the armor of God. He’s saying that because there is a battle going on, we NEED to put on the whole armor of God. He’s not saying to do it simply because it’s how God desires for us to live, but he is saying it is necessary based on the situation.
Many times, when people look at what it means to live a life of righteousness, they choose not to do so because it seems like a difficult standard to live by.
But if we understand the purpose or righteousness, we’ll understand it’s for our own good and it’s not God putting restrictions on us. In describing righteousness, Paul chooses to use the breastplate.
Ephesians 6: 14 … with the breastplate of righteousness in place”
The purpose of a breastplate is for protection in a battle, and likewise living a life of righteousness is for our own protection. We go to battle every day whether we like it or not.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Who do you think is going to be in a better position for a battle? The one who goes in with no gear and is unaware of what’s going on? Or the one who is suited up and knows there’s a battle going on? Living a life of righteousness is not an easy thing to do. But we have the Holy Spirit to help us. As the Holy Spirit works on the inside of us, we become more yielded and submitted to the Holy Spirit, and righteousness becomes a lifestyle instead of something we have to strive for.
I see the Holy Spirit as an activation for the armor of God. In a superhero movie, a superhero can have their suit on but have no power. They might need to press a button or do something to activate the power of the suit. If we try to put on the whole armor of God, without God himself, we’re wearing a suit with no power. Living a life of righteousness takes God himself, and he has given us the Holy Spirit to help. Also, it turns out living out a life with God is actually an incredibly fun and life-transforming experience.
Learning to live a life of righteousness and becoming more Christ-like is a never-ending process, but it’s one that’s worth going through. The spiritual battle continues regardless of our choice to be submitted to the Holy Spirit or not. It is important we have the right gear for the battles we will face in life. The good news is that with God, we’re fighting a rigged war.