Exodus tells us about the breastplate of judgment that the High Priest wore as he entered into the presence of God. On it were the precious gems with the names of each of the twelve tribes. He represented his people with the sacrifice to secure their forgiveness. Christ, as our High Priest, represents us as he entered the Holy of Holies while on the cross, bearing our sins upon his heart. As the veil of the temple was torn in half, we see that Christ’s sacrifice was the final payment for our sins. The cross is the center of all my courage. It is all about Christ’s work on my behalf that evil can be defeated in my life. My courage comes from his work for me. As Romans 8:1 says, because of Christ’s work on the cross, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”  Christ bore the breastplate of judgment for us!

In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul tells us, “Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith…” When Paul talks about the full armor of God in Ephesians, Chapter Six,  he exhorts his readers to don the full armor as we struggle against the powers of spiritual evil in heavenly places. Really, the armor is all about Jesus. If we put on Christ, we put on the armor. The Bible seems to suggest that when we put on Christ, we put on the armor. They seem to be one and the same. Consider the pieces. Regarding the belt of truth, Jesus said, “I am the truth…” (John 14:6.) Regarding the breastplate of righteousness, Jesus is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). Regarding the boots of the gospel of peace, Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). Regarding salvation, Jesus is the author and finisher of it all. Regarding the sword of the spirit, the word of God, Jesus is the living word (John 1:1). He seems to be our all in all. But what about the shield of faith or Paul’s reference in 1 Thessalonians regarding the “breastplate of faith?”

The New Testament quotes Habakkuk 2:4 several times; Romans, Galatians, and the book of Hebrews. But all of them say, “The just shall live by faith.” In the book of Habakkuk, in the original, it actually reads, “The just shall live by HIS faith.” You might wonder what the antecedent is to the third person personal pronoun, “His.”   What exactly is it referring to? Let me speculate a little. All the other pieces of armor might be illustrated as characteristics of Christ. Could the “faith” be a reference to Christ’s faith and not our own? Well, Galatians 2:20 says, “The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.” There is so much more security in my victory when the faith that I wear is HIS faith instead of my own. I’m like the apostles in many instances where Jesus asks them, “Why do you have such little faith?” Donald Grey Barnhouse took it this way. He concludes this observation with this comment: “There I discovered the second great fact. The faith of Christ is the source and fullness of life. Christ is everything and all that we need to win the battle. All truth is related to Him. All true righteousness has its source in Him. And so on through the list. Put on Christ, and you put on the whole armor of God. Put on the whole armor of God, and you put on Christ.”