Summary: Keeping a salvation mindset will protect us from distraction, disorientation, and discouragement as we keep our eyes on the prize.
Don’t Lose Your Mind
Ephesians 6:13-17 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation…
Intro: It seems that each piece of armor in this list describes our conversion experience, saying something about how we came to faith in Christ. Truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation… these all come into play when we call on the Lord for forgiveness and experience a life change because of His grace at work in our lives. However, each of these also become an ongoing reality. Truth must be sought through diligent prayer and study. Righteousness is maintained by continually trusting in Jesus and His work on the cross. Peace with God is kept through humility and repentance, since God resists the proud. Faith or trust requires continual growth and must not become stagnant.
-Today, as we look at the helmet of salvation, we will see both a current and a future reality. When we first put our trust in Jesus to take care of our sin problem, we are covered by His goodness, saved from spiritual death, from doing life without God. The term “Salvation” means preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil. When a rescue worker or caring citizen comes to someone’s rescue, we say they saved that person’s life. Firefighters, policemen, EMT’s, search & rescue – these and many others try to save lives from danger or harm.
-The helmet of salvation is one way Paul described the fact that Jesus has and will save us from certain destruction. We were doing life on our own without God, and were headed for the wrong finish line. We were going the wrong way, which would have ended badly, being separated from God forever in a place of suffering. That was not God’s plan for us! He offered us the only alternative (grace and forgiveness), and saved us from the trap of the enemy of our souls.
-Cecil Conrad was a farm boy, tired of waking up at the crack of dawn to clean up after cows. He lied about his age, joined the Army and helped free Asia from the Axis.
But it was in the next war, battling Communists in Korea, that Conrad might truly have regretted his change of career. In a too-shallow foxhole, somewhere north of Seoul, the 188th Airborne Division soldier held his gun close to his head, trying to shield himself from fast-flying ordnance that "whistled through the air like birds tweeting," he said. Then the world exploded in his face. "It was like being smacked with a baseball bat. It knocked me backwards," Conrad said.
Dirt had hit him, a chunk of sod flung up by a shell, Conrad thought, as he gradually accepted the fact that he was still alive. Then he touched his helmet, and felt the hole that a shell had torn out of the steel. "I knew a piece of sod couldn’t do that," he said.
By the laws of nature, that big bullet ought to have kept on going, making a fatal journey through his skull and brain. Instead, it struck the steel at such an angle that it cut through the metal and then glanced off. He had a bruise and a headache, but he would live to tell the story.
Conrad still has that old helmet, with its tell-tale furrow in the brow. A Korean vet thankful for the helmet that saved his life. (www.sermoncentral.com)
-So Paul says that believers should take this helmet of salvation (bronze, leather with cheek pieces) and put it on (v.13 says to put on the full armor of God). Now why would Paul be telling those who are already followers of Christ to get their salvation on? Isn’t it already on? I think the main thing Paul meant to convey here was the idea that believers need to look at life through the lens of salvation. This perspective is more than just the fact that they are saved from who knows what right now, or saved from a worse life. That is important, but this helmet of salvation is an awareness of the continual and progressive nature of God’s work in us. What’s more, it helps us remember that our total salvation is closer than ever - our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The crowning moment of our salvation will be the day when Jesus comes back to this earth in person to finalize what we’ve been waiting for – seeing Him and being joined to Him forever.