God's Armor, Not Ours - Part 2 (The Breastplate)
The Roman breastplate was meant to protect the heart and all other vital organs in that vicinity. Scripture does not picture the human heart very kindly to begin with (Jeremiah 17:9), so when Christians have supposedly changed their ways and are attempting to live the Christ-like life, the Breastplate of Righteousness or right-standing with God that guards our emotions, makes sense. Believers should desire to preserve their right-standing and favor with God by thanking and praising Jesus for securing what He could only acquire - our righteousness.
Something to notice with this piece is that Paul specifically calls it a "plate" not breast-mail. This is because by then the Roman army had updated to this segmented breast piece of armor from chainmail. While chainmail allowed flexibility of movement, it was extremely heavy and labor intensive to manufacture.
The segmented armor that Paul gazed at when mentioning the Breastplate of Righteousness was quicker to make, provided the best, updated protection and was much lighter than chainmail. The con was the that maintenance took up too much time and resources.
The Christian's time and attention to his/her spiritual breastplate will always be well worth the time, energy and resources. Remembering this is God's Armor, Not Ours - notice the name of this piece - the Breastplate of Righteousness. God's breastplate of right-standing with Him was purchased by Christ alone. Paul makes this clear as he states -
"There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." - Romans 3:22-26
Paraphrased in my words - Jesus demonstrated His right-standing with Father God by living the perfect life, cloaking Himself with humanity's rebellion and paying the wage for rebellion - death - so that whosoever has faith in Christ's finished work is also justified or found in right-standing with God.
Anytime our relationship with Christ comes under assault, allow The Breastplate of Righteousness, God's purchase of right-standing for us through Christ, to take the impact of the blow. His sacrifice on the cross and victory over death, Hell and the grave will be able to stand against any and all threats to the believer's righteousness. Christ's righteousness, the believer's right-standing with God is perfect, so Christian's can fully rely on The Breastplate of Righteousness.