Author: Ron Graham
As Christians we are at war —not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of wickedness and darkness. To win this war, to fight the good fight, we must be adequately equipped. Part of that equipment is "the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:17).
¶“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty strength. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
¶“13Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day —to stand firm having done all. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet, prepare yourselves with the gospel of peace. 16That's not all: take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Paul may have drawn this image from Isaiah who describes the Redeemer of Zion: "He put righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head" (Isaiah 59:17)
Paul uses the same image in 1Thessalonians 5:8 where he urges Christians to "Put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation".
Isaiah’s "Redeemer of Zion" is Jesus Christ, and he is "the Captain of our salvation" (Hebrews 2:10). So we wear the same armour as he. We become "conformed to the image of God’s Son" (Romans 8:29).
What does it mean to put on the helmet of salvation and the full armour of God? That's what this lesson is about.
We now consider the following points. Soldiers of Christ, who put on the helmet of salvation, must be willing to...
HEED the Captian’s orders;
ENTER the Lord’s army by the correct procedure;
LEARN the skills and attitudes required of the Lord’s army;
MATURE in the strength with Christ’s stature as their measure;
ENDURE the hardships of battle with courage;
TRIUMPH in the day of salvation.
Soldiers must heed and obey the orders of their superiors. Helmets protect their heads, but they are not expected to use their heads to invent orders for themselves. Soldiers don't do their own will, but rather the will of their superiors.
In the Lord’s army, his soldiers heed his will, and he says to them, "Don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is" (Ephesians 5:17).
People can't just turn up at parade and expect to be treated as soldiers. There are procedures to be followed rigidly for entrance into the army.
Before you can put on the helmet of salvation, you have to be initiated into the army of the Lord. There is an entry protocol that starts with a confession of belief in Jesus Christ, and is completed when one is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).
This process includes repentance and baptism, the ceremony in which God gives new life in Christ and salvation by grace (Ephesians 2:1-6, Romans 6)
Soldiers are expected to train hard, learn various skills, and aquire certain attitudes. Those who have "not learned Christ" (Ephesians 4:20) have no helmet of salvation to wear and no place in his army.
The helmet of salvation obligates its wearers to become completely new persons by being "taught in Christ" and adopting his image (Ephesians 4:20-24)
The helmet of salvation heightens one's stature to "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). We strive to grow strong and mature like the Captain of our salvation.
Those who put on the helmet of salvation must be courageous, and "walk worthy of the calling" (Ephesians 4:1-5).
They must be true to the bond that unites them with their comrades. The helmet is not for the weak, the selfish, or the cowardly.
Having endured the battle to the end, the soldiers of Christ will triumph with him. They have a place reserved in heavenly glory through the wonderful plan of salvation so wonderfully worked out by God.
The strategy of the Lord’s army is to win glory, and exchange their helmets for crowns (Ephesians 1:3-12, 1Timothy 4:7-8).