14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
having put on the breastplate of righteousness [operational righteousness],
The “breastplate” protected the chest from a lethal attack. This armor protected the vital organs of the body with a metal breastplate. This piece of armor protected the heart, lungs, and chest in general.
“Righteousness” here is sanctifying righteousness that comes when we yield to God’s direction for our lives. It is not the justification before God we received when we became believers. We cannot “put on” justification; it is not something we do but what God does. However, imputed righteousness makes practical or sanctifying righteousness possible. The breastplate is that which consists of righteousness. Our sanctification or personal righteousness protects us from lethal spiritual attack.
Personal sanctification protects our spiritual vitality.
Soldiers in God’s service operate with integrity. This integrity comes from living a sanctified life. The Christian will not allow himself to be entangled with everyday issues to the detriment of his spirituality (2 Ti 2:4). Those who live with integrity live their daily lives moment-by-moment in fellowship with God.
Ro 6: 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.