17 Take the helmet of salvation…
(Ephesians 6:17a NIV)
As we continue on our study of the full armor of God, Paul discusses the next piece of our armor – the helmet of salvation.
As we discovered in our earlier studies, there are pieces of armor that we put on and keep on, an there are other pieces that we put on during battle, and can take off and keep right beside us during times of rest when we’re not in battle. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the boots of the gospel of peace are all pieces that we put on and keep on. The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit are all pieces that we can take off and keep right beside us during times of rest.
Today we take a look at the helmet. While the helmet may have been made of either thick layers of leather or formed metal or some combination of the two materials, the purpose is the same – to protect the head.
Notice that Paul associates the helmet with salvation. Is he talking about getting saved? No. If Paul was talking about accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord at this point, then we would not have any of the other pieces of armor that are dependent on our salvation in the first place. We would not have the belt of truth, nor the breastplate of righteousness, nor the boots of the gospel of peace, nor the shield of faith. You can’t have any of those pieces of armor without salvation first.
So what is Paul talking about? Remember that the best commentary on Scripture is other Scripture. Let’s see if there are any other parallel thoughts that mention the idea of helmets and salvation.
Paul mentions a similar thought in 1 Thessalonians:
… putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
(1 Thessalonians 5:8b NIV)
In both the Ephesians passage as well as the 1 Thessalonians passage, Paul is talking about salvation in the future, our ultimate salvation when we spend eternity with Christ.
Confused yet? Don’t be. Remember our salvation is once and for all, but spans three different time periods:
- our past, when we came to Christ and invited Him into our lives as Savior and Lord
- our present, as we live out the reality of Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives
- our future, as we look forward to the day when we join Christ in heaven and spend eternity with Him
So how does all this tie together? The helmet of salvation reminds us Whose we are, and protects our head from the blows of the enemy. The enemy wants to inflict a head wound, to make us think that our salvation is in doubt. If the enemy cannot inflict a head wound, then he tries to knock us out with a strike to the head, and give us a concussion so we can’t think or function properly.
Often this concussion-like blow to the head comes in the form of disabling doubt and/or discouragement. The enemy does not have to make us a fatality (where we die) as long as he can make us a casualty (where we are no longer a threat).
Our helmet of salvation protects our head and prevents such strikes from the enemy.
Remember to be strong and put on all your armor as you take on the enemy of your soul today. At the end of the day, Paul reminds us in verses 11 through 14, to be the one standing, victorious in the battle.