“And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION…” – Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)
Spiritual warfare is not gimmicks or methods but it is the practical outworking of the ministry of Christ in me. Every part of the armour that we will look at over the next issues is an aspect of the ministry of Christ. This is not literal armour that you put on each morning – in any case, when did you take it off? It is the spiritual reality of the finished and completed work of Christ.
HELMET OF SALVATION
The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. Not only that, but it can also be one of the most troublesome.
Before we look at what the helmet actually does and how it protects us, we should note that it is the helmet of salvation. That is not just being born again but it is the complete and full salvation. In other words, it is bringing to our minds the full and complete finished work of Jesus Christ. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:8:
“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
It is the hope, the assurance that this salvation will indeed be applied to our lives and we will live in the good of it.
Most sin and doubt begin with a thought which we turn over in our minds until it takes root. Probably, too, one of the biggest problems within the Christian Life is human thinking and understanding that goes against God’s understanding and actions.
These words of Isaiah the prophet should be taken to heart by us all.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” – Isaiah 55:8, 9
A clear Scriptural example of this is the original 12 spies who were sent out to look at the land. All looked at the same land – the same people – the same situation – but 10 of them had no idea of the protection of the helmet of salvation. They looked at the promise of God and then at the people and decided that, humanly speaking, it was just not possible – how right they were. But Joshua and Caleb, looking at the same situation, did not apply human thinking but allowed the Lord’s thinking to come through – if He has called us to this Land; if He has given us this Land, He has surely made provision to deal with the problems, even the giants, that we may encounter.
Abraham also applied the helmet of salvation:
“In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.’ WITHOUT becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” – Romans 4:18-21
Notice it begins with the Word of the Lord clearly spoken – you will have children. He then looks at his own body and that of Sarah and accepts the fact that both of them humanly speaking are ‘past it’, but he does not waiver in faith but grew strong in the Lord who had given the word, accepting that He could do what man could never do? Did Abraham always get it right? – No. There are some clear examples, including Ishmael, where he did not have the helmet of salvation and human reasoning took over. Let’s be encouraged, though, that it is possible and you can find many other such examples in Scripture to show what happens when you allow God’s mind to come through and not our human reasoning.
It becomes evident as we look at this part of the armour just how important it is. Satan is the master at twisting the truth and so we need to know protection over our thinking that we do not side with him rather than seeing what the Lord can do.
The helmet of salvation, therefore, enables us to think about things in a new way. It is not just the ‘old man’ that is dictating to our lives but we have been delivered from the old. We can see in Scripture the contrast that this brings when the past and present lives are put considered together.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:1-7.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor.2:12-16
What a Difference!
What a difference, dead to alive, works to grace, natural to spiritual, no ability to understand to be able to appraise Spiritual things. These are just a few of the glorious changes and we can see just how a ‘new mind’ helps us when walking in this world and when we come up against the enemy. However, it does not start there because when we were in an unsaved state the mind was bombarded and controlled by the ways of this world; that is why Scripture talks of the renewing of the mind.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” – Romans 12:1-3
Renewing is renovation and the only other time the Greek word is used in Titus 3:5 shows us
how this is done:
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” – Titus 3:5
The Holy Sprit is the One Who renovates our mind as we allow Him to; as we look to Him and choose His ways over our old ways; as we set ourselves to see the salvation of the Lord worked out in our lives.
This, Romans also tells us, is a transformation. The Greek word here is the word from which we get ‘metamorphoses’. The word is only used twice elsewhere in the New Testament and its use is very graphic. First, in Mark 9:2 at the transfiguration, where Jesus body changed into a ‘heavenly’ one. It was not just a spotlight shining on the Lord but a complete change that took place from the inside out. The other use of the word is in 2 Corinthians 3:18:
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
As we look at Him we are ‘transformed’, changed to be like Him!
Don’t underestimate the need to know the reality of this piece of armour, as it is doubtful if we can really walk by faith or, indeed, be properly transformed without realising the protection we have for our minds in Christ. Every day we brush shoulders with the world and the ways of the world but we, like Abraham, can look at it, appreciate it means that it is impossible to live for Christ, but then look to Him, give Him the glory and see Him do it.