Summary: 15th in a series on spiritual warfare exploring the protection of the helmet of salvation.
Paul instructs all believers to take up a protective helmet.
in all these things, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, Ephesians 6:16
Why do we need this piece of armor? Satan continually seeks to erode our confidence in both our salvation and our Savior.
He twists the truth regarding how we get it.
He twists the truth regarding the miraculous nature of God’s work in us.
He twists the truth regarding how we keep it.
He twists the truth regarding His power to save completely those who call on Him.
In order to confidently march against the gates of hell’s fortresses, we must be absolutely secure in what God has done for us and in us. We must trust the armor God provides.
We must trust the God who provides it.
The personal application of this piece of armor has to do with knowing not doing. Much of the New Testament has to do with reminding believers of their great salvation.
THE CONCEPT OF SALVATION
The noun is translated “deliverance, help, salvation, victory, security”
The verb is translated, “avenge, deliver, preserve, help, save, savior”
It is used to describe rescue from national or individual distress, enemies, sickness and natural disasters like plague or famine. It can describe a rescue from personal distress like worry, fear, confusion, etc. In a spiritual context it describes deliverance from God’s eternal judgment, Satan’s bondage, and sin’s hold. The concept is pretty simple.
It describes the act of rescuing someone from a difficult or desperate situation.
“Save” describes the act of saving.
“Savior” describes the one who rescues.
The word salvation is a broad term used to describe what Jesus did in order to deliver us out of a state of desperation and hopelessness into the hope of eternal life.
It is used in reference to a settled past occurrence -- you have been saved.
It is used in reference to a present unfolding reality -- you are being saved.
It is used in reference to a future hope -- you will be saved completely.
I. THE PLAN OF SALVATION IN ETERNITY PAST
Scripture is clear that God conceived the plan to provide salvation for men even before the foundation of the world in eternity past. Scripture indicates that men were chosen before the foundation of the world. Scripture indicates that Christ was slain before the foundation of the world. It is obvious that these things were planned and decreed according to the purpose of God as the best of all possible plans. It is difficult for time-bound finite creatures to fully comprehend how this all fits together and came about in time and space. There are certain terms related to God’s eternal planning process before anything came into being.
A. The Divine Decree
Any attempt to place a precise order to the various purposes of God is more logical than Biblical. All we know is that God purposed certain events and activities to occur even before time began and various attempts have been made to determine which event occurred in what order. The name attached to this endeavor is called the “Divine Decree”.
For our purpose perhaps it might be called the “Divine Decision.”
1. The decision to create all men and the place for them to live.
2. The decision to permit the fall.
3. The decision to provide salvation sufficient for all men.
4. The decision to choose some from among the fallen and leave the others in their sin.
5. The decision to save the elect through faith in Christ.
There are some specific terms related to God’s activity before time. There are differing interpretations and understanding related to those terms. I offer today my view and only a few related Scriptures.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Rom 8:29-30
Peter, to those who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1Pe 1:2
The term translated foreknew is the Greek word for “experiential knowledge of something or someone” with the preposition “ “pro” in front of it. You end up with the concept of knowing beforehand. Because God knows everything in that he is omniscient, the term seems to refer to something more than a mere cognizance of people and events.
The Romans 8 passage clearly indicates a focus on people who are foreknown rather than faith; a belief held by many. Are we chosen on the basis of “foreknown or foreseen” faith? Foreknowledge appears to describe a selective knowledge which makes one an object of love rather than the mere awareness of a choice or person beforehand.