“…and take the helmet of salvation…” Ephesians 6:17a
When I was a child, I had a nightly routine. Put on my pajamas, brush my teeth, get tucked in, say my prayers, turn on the night light, and go to sleep. Sound familiar? One part of my regular routine that went on for years, though, might surprise you. Every night after my mom would pray for me, tell me that she loved me, and say goodnight, I would say my own prayer. It went something like this:
“God, please forgive me of all my sins today, and come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Although it might sound like a sweet prayer from a little child, there was much fear wrapped up into those few words. Every single night I asked God to come into my heart…again and again…because I thought that somehow, something I’d done that day had caused Him to leave. I feared losing my salvation, and I wrestled with this fear throughout much of my childhood and into adolescence. Did the sins I committed each day cause Jesus to love and forgive me any less? Thoughts of “If I die before I wake” regularly filled my little mind, always causing me to wonder, “Am I really saved?”
These are the questions with which I genuinely wrestled when I was a child, and I can’t help but wonder how many of us still toss and turn at night over these very thoughts. “Am I really saved? Will I really make it into heaven someday? Is my eternity really secure?” Friends, allow me to welcome you to the helmet of salvation. I’m so glad you’re here.
The helmet of salvation is the next piece of armor that we’re going to study. In battle, this was the piece that protected the head of the soldier, which was a constant target in battle. It’s important to remember who Paul’s audience is here – believers. Therefore, he is not addressing the need for salvation, but rather the assurance of salvation.
One of Satan’s most frequent schemes or “flaming darts” that he shoots our way is doubt. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, we’ll more than likely stop living as those who have been saved and redeemed. If he can get us to doubt our identity in Christ, he can get us to doubt Christ Himself. The more he gets us tangled up in doubt and his web of lies, the less effective we will be in God’s Kingdom here on earth. Do you see the significance of this? The enemy knows he doesn’t necessarily need to win us back to his side. All he needs to do is to get us to dwell in doubt and discouragement, because when we do, our confidence disappears, and our lives become ineffective. We talked about this very thing in yesterday’s lesson. The gospel of peace is our confidence, but when we begin to doubt what God’s grace has done in and through us, we sideline our faith. God is inviting us back into the game today!
The battle rages on. The war isn’t over yet, but the outcome has already been determined. Jesus wins. In Him, we are victorious. The confidence we need to daily stand firm in the face of this spiritual opposition is clinging to this truth:
If we are in Christ, we have been rescued from sin and death by the grace of God, and we have been given an eternal inheritance, one that not even the powers of hell can snatch from our hands. This is our confidence. The helmet of salvation is our hope of glory. We stand secure in Christ, and no scheme of the enemy could ever take that away.