Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
It was a damp and drizzly evening in Chicago. The ambulance sped towards the scene of the accident, lights flashing and siren blaring. The rider of the motorcycle lay on the ground, bruised and scraped from the impact of sliding across the pavement. His once sleek cycle was now dozens of feet away, displayed in a heap of mangled metal and peeling rubber.
Carefully, the EMTs assessed the marred man’s condition. “The helmet saved your life”, assured one of the technicians. “It protected your brain from the collision’s impact. You sustained some injuries, but I think you are going to be alright.”
We wouldn’t advise someone to ride a motorcycle without a helmet anymore than we’d encourage a football player to ready for a scrimmage without his helmet securely in place. Yet how often do we walk onto the real-life battlefield of daily spiritual war without our divine headgear in place?
The Apostle Paul begins this line of Scripture with a simple instruction for his readers in Ephesus—to “take” or quite literally “to put on” the helmet of salvation. This infers that we put on our helmets before we engage our enemies. That seems easy enough. Yet many of us fail to do just that. So, let’s consider what the helmet of salvation is and how we may ensure we are securely suited up for spiritual battle.
What is the helmet of salvation? The gift of salvation in Jesus Christ is literally our helmet; they are one and the same. The moment we believe and profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior by grace through faith, we are outfitted with this defensive headpiece. It is an ongoing, eternal state of protection and deliverance from sin that we as God’s children enjoy now and forevermore.
The helmet of salvation provides:
- safety from the enemy’s attack on our minds;
- saving help today from the power of sin and the lure of temptation; and the
- confidence of knowing with full assurance we will be rescued from future judgment.
The ‘helmet’ alludes to a ‘mind controlled by Christ’—surrendered, intentionally fixed upon and abiding in Christ. When we daily ‘set our minds upon heavenly things’ (Colossians 3:2), we suit up for battle against the enemy’s schemes and the world’s temptations.
Question for reflection and discussion: Do you have a personal daily practice of intentionally ‘setting your mind upon heavenly things’? If not, start today.