Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as the leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Also Titus 3:5-6).

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Also Matthew 5:20).

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

I John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

MEMORY VERSE: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. —Ephesians 6:14

CENTRAL THOUGHT: To find out how we may exchange the filthy garments of our righteousness for the robe of His righteousness; and what it means for us to have on His righteousness as the breastplate of Christian armor.


Isaiah 64:6 “Unclean”: polluted and defiled. “Righteousnesses”: our righteous deeds and acts. “Filthy rags”: polluted garments. “Our deeds, whatever they may seem to be, if we think to merit by them at God’s hand, are as rags, and will not cover us; filthy rags, and will but defile us. Even our few good works…are so defective and defiled as done by us, that they need to be washed in the fountain open for sin and uncleanness” (Matthew Henry Commentary).

Romans 10:4 “The end”: consummation. “[This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness)” (HELPS Word Studies).


The scriptures in Isaiah state two important truths: praise that God has covered us with His robe of righteousness and lament for the insufficiency and unworthiness of our own righteousness. We can go to the scene in the Garden of Eden for an illustration. When Adam and Eve had sinned, they immediately sensed their nakedness and sewed fig leaves together in an effort to cover themselves. Yet when they knew they were soon to face the Creator they hid, proof that the aprons they had made were not enough. Indeed, in the aftermath of their sin, God slew an animal and used its skins to make coats for them so they were truly covered.

The fig leaves represent our filthy rags. The coats show us how it is only God’s righteousness that can cover the shame of our condition. The passage from Zechariah 3 provides a further illustration of the filthy garments that must be exchanged for the robe of righteousness.

Romans 5 lets us know that God’s righteousness is a free gift, and it is given so we may reign over sin in this life. Romans 10 explains the dilemma again, and declares that Christ is the only effective, sufficient answer for sin. The entire book of Romans should be studied for its presentation of this subject!

In Philippians 3 Paul testified of his personal grapple with this dilemma, and how he solved it by throwing everything he had counted as personal gain or merit into the trash heap, and winning Christ, making Him and His righteousness his own.

In the letter to Titus, Paul explains the power of the grace of God, which not only brings pardon, but true deliverance from the power of sin. It is grace which enables an individual to do what he could not do before Christ—to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.

The scriptures certainly do not excuse sin, nor our weakness and insufficiency to overcome sin. John writes plainly that it is deception to believe that we can remain in unrighteousness.

So, we must put on Christ. We must be suited with what only He can give. As He wore righteousness to accomplish our salvation, so we must allow Him to cover our souls with it. His zeal and passion against sin becomes ours, and we too can ride prosperously with victory.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. From Isaiah 61:10 to Philippians 3:9, the verses in our lesson speak of God imparting to us His righteousness. How does He do this?
  2. What actions on our part are necessary for God to impute His righteousness to us?
  3. In Titus 2:11 and I John 3:7, it speaks of God not only imputing His righteousness to us but also transforming the heart and life. Describe this process.
  4. What does putting on the breastplate of righteousness mean for us personally?
  5. Connect the mission of Jesus, the mighty Warrior, with our mission, as His recruits.


I’m very interested in the process by which God exchanges our filthy rags of what we feel are moral, righteous deeds, for His true righteousness. Why aren’t our efforts good enough? Isn’t it righteous that we have compassion on the starving in foreign, famine-stricken lands, the suffering, abused children, or the homeless dogs and cats? The simple answer is that a person may do all of these honorable deeds while yet having the stain of sin—a heart bent toward thinking its own thoughts, speaking its own words and having its own way— instead of a God-centered heart that is focused on God’s thoughts, God’s words and God’s way. This renders all of the good, moral actions of a person still as filthy, because of the strain of self-centeredness remaining. It is necessary for God to change who we are, that we may be righteous, thereby producing truly righteous actions (Malachi 3:3).

God must “take the filthy garments” away from us. How does He do this? “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). We must “receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17) and mercy (Titus 3:5-6) that he has freely given, and

“submit” ourselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3). We must
“believe” (Romans 10:4; 9-19) in Him (John 3:15-16), and openly “confess” our faith in Him (Romans 10:10; II Corinthians 4:13).

The saving grace which declares an unjust sinner “righteous” in God’s sight will begin to work the works of righteousness in the life and conduct. It will “teach” an individual to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). The precious Holy Spirit will be given for the asking, empowering and strengthening us to walk in all God’s commands. The fruit of righteousness will be the standard by which our lives are known (Matthew 7:20;
I John 3:7).

With that understanding, let us then gird on this bulletproof vest with the same ardor and vengeance against sin as our Lord and Savior (II Corinthians 10:4-6)! Christ’s righteousness imputed to us and producing in us positive, righteous fruits will be a safeguard as we proceed through a world full of corruption and lust.

The picture of Christ going forth conquering and to conquer, clad with the breastplate of righteousness, implies a zeal to help and rescue fallen mankind; therefore, let us not forget the focus of our mission: to seek and to save the lost. Put on the breastplate and ride into your office or workplace. Buckle it securely and tackle the task at school or university. Make sure you’re wearing it at the breakfast table and at the family reunion. You’re in the service of the mighty King of kings!

—Angela Gellenbeck


— by Tiffany Gellenbeck, KY

A little while back I was faced with a situation that would cause me to either stand up for myself or back down in complete humility. I don’t remember what was said, but for whatever reason I was left feeling insulted and offended. Immediately I wanted to stand my ground and say, “I’m right and you are the one at fault.” You know the feeling.

When I got a chance to think everything over, I realized that undoubtedly I was in the wrong and what was said was definitely true.

After being honest with myself, I knew the next step would be letting go of my attitude. I wasn’t very excited to do that, but I knew I wouldn’t have peace until I did. So, letting go of self-will, I humbled myself yet again and crucified the attitude that had me bound.

I came out of the battle victorious with the lesson that the sooner you humble yourself and look the matter over honestly, the better and happier your life will be.

I thank God for this victory and the lesson I received from it.

Click here to listen to the beautiful song, “Victory”: