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The Helmet of Salvation

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:11-17)

The Christian life can be described as a spiritual battle. Although we have been saved from the power and consequences of sin, being still in the world and waiting still for the full consummation of our salvation, we will continue to face opposition from this fallen world and the evil one. But, our victory in this spiritual warfare has already been guaranteed by the person and work of Christ. What is expected of us, then, is to fight from victory by means of God’s command and provision for the battle: put on the whole armor of God.

There are several pieces that make up the whole armor of God. Every piece is important and necessary, which is why the believer, a soldier of God, cannot go into battle leaving a single piece or few pieces behind. This is exactly why the command of the apostle Paul was to put on the whole armor of God - with emphasis on the word “whole”, referring to the entire and complete set of armor.

One of the pieces in this whole armor of God is the helmet. Now, we see helmets being worn by many groups of people. Firefighters use it during a rescue mission, police officers use it during a bust operation, motorcyclists use it during a ride. But across all of these helmet users, the purpose of the helmet is the same: to protect the head of the person wearing it. Why? Because the head is important to keeping the person alive and conscious. If a blow is done on the head, it could cause an injury, unconsciousness, or worse, even death.

So why did the apostle Paul associate the soldier’s helmet to the believer’s salvation? In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul further describes this helmet to us. He says, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation”. So this helmet is referring to our hope of salvation - it is both the assurance and confidence that our salvation is secured forever. Our salvation which began in justification and progressed to sanctification, will surely result to glorification.

Dear believer, this is the hope of our salvation: God will keep us to the end. This truth sharpens our focus and protects our faith as we engage in spiritual warfare. We may encounter fears, face temptations, and go through struggles in this life. But amidst and regardless of what we are facing, there is not even the slightest possibility that a true believer can fall out of grace or stumble out of God’s fold. This is our assurance: God is faithful to His promise that this work of salvation which He started in us, He will also complete for us - and nothing could ever change that.

When we are confident of God’s saving and preserving grace, nothing would surely hold us back from fighting the good fight because we know that the victory has already been secured. As good soldiers wearing this helmet of salvation, we are all the more strengthened and encouraged to fight courageously in the battle field, with the single aim of pleasing the One who enlisted us (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

Jesus Himself promised that we are secured forever. He says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” This is our source of security: nothing and no one can ever snatch us out of God’s hand.

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