Summary: It is in the kiln of spiritual battle and adversity that the character of Christ is hardened in us. Our enemy is effective so we must be completely prepared with the whole, holy armor of God.
Intro: "In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed; they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock"
It is in the kiln of spiritual battle and adversity that the character of Christ is hardened in us. It is difficult even as a pastor for the discouragement that is faced, the distractions, and apparent defeats that the devil shoots at us. These are the very things that will bring out Christ in us.
The armor of God is not optional in the battle that we are embroiled in. It is imperative as we face the enemy we do it in the strength of our Captain Jesus Christ. However, remember even though he has acquired victory we are still called to stand and face the enemy’s assaults with the armor of God and assail the enemy with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. This morning we see the last piece of defensive armor the helm of salvation and the call to grab the hilt of the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
I. The helm of salvation
In the time of the Roman hoplite they wore a helmet of bronze, or leather, or a combination of the two to protect their head from deadly blows. We are called to do the same take the helmet of salvation.
A) Receive a correct mindset
Paul is said to use metonymy where he puts the helm of salvation in place of the mind. At salvation we repent which is usually said that we turn from sin and turn to Jesus as savior. The Greek word for repent is a compound word that comes from a word that means change, and a word that means mind. So at salvation the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and separation from God and we believe on Jesus and confess Him as Lord. Then we receive a new mindset. Paul clearly says in Romans 8.7 the carnal mind is at war with God.
Think of the problems that attack and sometimes overwhelm people’s minds today, depression, ADD, loneliness, low self-esteem. Maybe you battle negativity, what others say about you either drive you to depression or swell your head. The devil will do whatever he can to whisper words of discouragement in our ears. He would love for nothing more than to get us to like Eve be moved by feelings and emotions rather than truth.
So what is Paul trying to tell us? Don’t live based on feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions lie, they can be distorted, and uninformed. Take the helmet of salvation the truth of Who God is and who you are in Christ as a cover and protection to your mind to deflect and defeat the schemes of the Devil.
1 Thessalonians 5.8 “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. The devil would love to destroy you hope and discourage you. 5.11 Paul says encourage one another, why? Because the devil wants to discourage us and make us doubt the promises and presence of God in our life. Ex: Job
B) Receive an encouragement for your mind
The devil loves to attack us with our actions. Remember what you thought last week, remember what you said yesterday, and remember what you did a year ago?
Don’t allow the enemy to discourage you! Our hope of salvation is a firm confidence in what Christ did! We do nothing to be acceptable to Him! Everything you do should be based on what He has already done in your life!
Please remember it is not our mistakes that matter but His mercy! Christ died once for all the righteous for the unrighteous. If there is nothing we can do for salvation then focus on Christ finished work and be encouraged!
However, don’t think that you can do whatever you want. Those that are saved and sealed by the Holy spirit of God live a life patterned by obedience to the will, word and work of Christ.
It is the hope we have in Christ that keeps us from losing our grasp on the reality of God’s grace. If the devil can discourage us and get us to doubt the goodness of God we can be overcome by despair and loose our effectiveness for God’s kingdom. Remember the words of our blessed Lord Jesus do not be discouraged I have overcome the world!
When you are discouraged, or depressed, or distressed remember we can be confident that God will work it to our good.