“Take the helmet of salvation…”-Ephesians 6:17
Helmets are vital in protecting the head from serious injuries. I am a bike rider and never ride my bike without a helmet. I never snow ski without a helmet. Many people have been killed with head trauma when they accidentally skied into a tree like famous singer Sono Bono a few years ago. And I would never drive a motorcycle without a helmet. Years ago, I saw a man die just after I helped place him into an ambulance late one night after he had a motorcycle wreck near my house. He was not wearing a helmet and his motorcycle had flipped end over end on I-35. Helmets are vital in protecting our head from injury. Imagine how much more they are needed in time of battle!
The Roman helmet, like helmets today, protected the head from the attacks of the enemy. The helmet of salvation protects us spiritually from a powerful attacks against our mind from the enemy. Without the helmet, we leave ourselves exposed on the spiritual battlefield.
So what is this helmet of salvation Paul tells us we are to put on? It is none other than our hope and confidence that we are saved through Christ. Our trust is not in ourselves or what we have done but in what Jesus has already done for us by dying for us on the cross and being raised by God in the resurrection. This confidence protects us from doubt and other of the weapons enemies which would weaken us when we face adversity or calamity. As Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, “But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.” It is our firm hope and confidence in what Jesus has done for us that gives us courage and boldness to face our challenges, whatever they may be unafraid.
The helmet of salvation also protects us from sinful and selfish thoughts that would draw us away from Christ. As Christians, we are not to be controlled by worldly values. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When we put on the helmet of salvation, we can avoid sinful thoughts and understand what is good and true. When we forget to do this, we are susceptible to thoughts that are planted in us by the enemy, who seeks to harm our walk with Christ. We are to keep our thoughts under the guidance and direction of Christ for as Paul exhorts, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The helmet of salvation as well as the rest of the armor is “putting on Christ.” This helmet of salvation protects us from thoughts and inclinations which would draw us away from Christ. But we must consciously put it on every day to protect our minds. We must put on the helmet of salvation in our daily lives so that we may be confident in Christ. And in order to keep it secured, we must daily, consciously submit to His ways. When God is on our side, there is no battle we cannot face in this world.
Almighty God, salvation comes through your Son Jesus alone. Please grant us the assurance that we are your children, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and by nothing we have done. Help us to renew our minds. Purge any thoughts that are not holy or true, and equip us for spiritual warfare. Remove any doubts that may cloud our minds and help us to keep our minds on heavenly things and values, even amidst the worries of this present pandemic. We love you Lord, and trust in you today and everyday. Amen.
Question for Reflection
1. Why does Paul describe the helmet as the helmet of salvation? Whose salvation is being referred to here?
2. How does our faith in Jesus and his atoning work of salvation for us (the helmet of salvation) give us confidence to face trials and threats unafraid?
3. Besides strengthening our courage to face trials and threats and protecting us from fear and worry what else does the helmet of salvation protect our minds from?
4. How can daily putting on the helmet of salvation strengthen you in the midst of this pandemic threat?