“And take the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17).
A Roman soldier’s helmet, known as the cassis or galea, protected a soldier’s skull and neck from enemy blows and falling debris. Fashioned from bronze or iron, the helmet included two hinged side pieces to protect the cheekbones and jaw. Helmets were often lined inside with sponge or felt for the sake of comfort.
Horsehair plumes frequently adorned the tops of soldiers’ helmets. Although not used in battle, these plumes were dyed a variety of colors to distinguish the rank of military officers and were primarily used for ceremonial purposes.
Just as the breastplate of righteousness guards the heart, the helmet of salvation guards the mind. This helmet can also be called the “hope of salvation.”
How does the helmet of salvation guard a Christian’s mind? By providing hope, which is a joyful and confident expectation that God will keep His promises.
“24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
A person without hope is vulnerable to the enemy’s lie that life is not worth living.
Our hope is in the salvation of the Lord — not only in His initial salvation from the penalty of sin, but also in His continuing salvation from the power of sin and the attacks of the devil.
Many of Satan’s battles against us happen in the mind. The devil can flash evil and lewd thoughts in our minds, hoping that we will entertain his thoughts and commit sin.
“ 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
He can also bombard our thoughts with lies and doubts, hoping to whittle away at our trust in the Lord and get us discouraged. But perhaps the devil’s most subtle strategy is mind manipulation through subliminal messaging.
Make no mistake, Satan is the god of this world, and he aims to keep people focused on the things of this world. How easy it is to let our guard down when going about our daily lives. But let us not be ignorant of the enemy’s attempts to get our thoughts preoccupied with the lusts and cares of this world.
To counteract the battle going on against our minds, we need to receive God’s Word with all “readiness of mind” and search the Scriptures daily.
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
David said in Psalm 119:11 “ I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
As pilgrims and strangers in this world, we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and set our affection on things above.
“ But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
I Peter 2:11
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
“14 I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
The Bible says everyone has sinned and deserves death. Only through Christ’s sacrifice can we be delivered from sin and death and offered salvation.
Salvation is a gift of God, given by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Upon repentance and baptism, God forgives us from our past sins. We then begin a lifelong process of repentance and growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:8-10 “8 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.”
John 3:16-17 “16 For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
Ephesians 2:4-8 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
Paul makes it clear that “have been saved” equates to the forgiveness of sins and coming under God’s grace. We have been taken off death row.
Our ultimate salvation depends on whether or not we choose to endure to the end.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 “8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
We can receive tremendous hope and comfort by focusing on the incredible sacrifice Christ gave to save us and the amazing Kingdom that is the goal of our salvation. This hope works like a helmet to protect our minds from the discouragement and despair in this world.
John 17:15-16 “My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
Christians have been called out of this world. Though we remain in it, we are not of it and remain separate from it. Our way of living and even of thinking should differ from the world’s. We are to develop the mind of Christ and as we have seen, that means having God’s laws written on our hearts and minds so we can remember to always obey God.
1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Our enemy hates that we have chosen this path and will stop at nothing to destroy us because of it. Just as the helmet protects the vital but vulnerable head from otherwise fatal blows, the hope of salvation can protect our thoughts from our enemy’s attacks and temptations to disobey God.
Without the helmet of salvation, we will be unprotected from the “cares of this world” that bombard our thoughts and feelings. Imagine not knowing what the future ultimately holds. The worries and problems produced by living in this world would overwhelm us!
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”
With the helmet securely fastened. We understand that it doesn’t matter what happens to us now. No matter what trials we face, we know that at the end of it all waits God’s Kingdom and an eternity of His perfect reign and what could be better than that?
How do I keep the helmet secure?
Psalm 3:8 “From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”
Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation.
Revelation 21:1-4 “21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This is the salvation we are fighting for—to enter this glorious Kingdom! Never lose sight of this. This coming Kingdom, with its worldwide peace and prosperity, makes every price in this life worth paying.
No matter what comes, no matter how vicious the attacks our enemy lands on us, we know that as long as we remain with God, we are moving slowly but unstoppably toward an eternal victory.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 “6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
Paul had the vision. He valued his salvation highly and diligently fought the good fight. As the end of his life drew near, he was able to say with complete confidence that he would receive the crown.
When Paul awakes in the first resurrection, he will trade in his soldier’s helmet for a far more glorious, imperishable and eternal crown of righteousness—the crown of a victorious soldier of Christ. We, too, can be assured of victory so long as we—like Paul—faithfully follow our God and His commandments from our heart and mind.
By Stella Ashworth
The Bay Friendship Club
Christian Networking Group