What does it mean to wear the helmet of salvation?
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”Ephesians 6:17
When a soldier suited up for battle, the helmet was the last piece of armor to go on. It was the final act of readiness in preparation for combat. A helmet was vital for survival, protecting the brain, the command station for the rest of the body. If the head was badly damaged, the rest of the armor would be of little use.
The assurance of salvation is our defense against anything the enemy throws at us. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Salvation is not limited to a one-time act of the past or even a future hope. God’s salvation is an ongoing, eternal state that His children enjoy in the present. It is daily protection and deliverance from our sin nature and Satan’s schemes.
Because of the power of the cross, our enemy no longer has any hold on us (Romans 6:10; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 1:18). He knows that, but he also knows that most of God’s children do not know that — or, at least, they do not live as if they know. The helmet of salvation reminds us to protect our minds, which is the primary area of attack from Satan. Your thoughts are a gateway to how you see yourself, others, your circumstances, how you see your relationships with God and others, it is the basis for spiritual warfare that embodies depression, low self esteem and mental health. Through the mind verbal confessions out of the mouth connects to the manifestation of your physical circumstances.
“A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:20–21 (see also James 3)
We must learn to protect our thoughts so that Satans fiery missiles do not lodge in our minds and set us on fire. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
There are several actions a believer can take to keep this helmet functioning:
1. Renew our minds. Our minds are battlefields. The outcomes of those battles determine the course of our lives. Romans 12:1–2 instructs us to renew our minds by allowing the truth of God’s Word to wipe out anything contrary to it. Old ideas, opinions, and worldviews must be replaced. We must allow God’s truth to continually wash away the world’s filth, lies, and confusion from our minds and adopt God’s perspective.
2. Reject doubts that arise from circumstances. Human beings are sensory creatures. What we cannot fathom with our five senses, we tend to disregard. If we allow them to, circumstances may convince us that God does not really love us or that His Word is not true. It is impossible to have faith and doubt at the same time. God rewards our faith. With the helmet of salvation firmly in place, we can choose to believe what appears impossible (Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:8–9).
3. Keep an eternal perspective. When life crashes in around us, we must remember to look up. Our salvation is the most precious gift we have received. Keeping our eyes on that can help us weather life’s storms. We can choose to live our lives by the motto: “If it doesn’t have eternal significance, it’s not important” (Matthew 6:20; 1 Corinthians 3:11–13).
4. When we consider ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God” (Romans 6:11), we eliminate many of the opportunities Satan uses to entrap us. When choosing sin is no longer an option for us because we recognize ourselves to be “new creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:9), we effectively cut off many avenues of failure.
5. Find all our hope in Him. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” Psalm 73:25
The helmet is most effective when we recognize what it represents. The salvation Jesus purchased for us cannot share the place of importance in our hearts with earthly things. When pleasing the Lord we eliminate many of Satan’s lures and render his evil suggestions powerless. The most effective way to use the Helmet of Salvation is to rebuke any thoughts in the moment they occur that are contrary to anything from the Lord.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
As we wear the helmet of salvation every day, our minds become more insulated against the suggestions, desires, and traps the enemy lays for us. We choose to guard our minds from excessive worldly influence and instead think on things that honor Christ (Philippians 4:8). In doing so, we wear our salvation as a protective helmet that will “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7; cf. Isaiah 26:3; 1 Peter 1:5).