Summary: Given the fact that you have called to be engaged in the spiritual battle for truth, God has provided you with the necessary armor to successfully engage the enemy. Today we will look at the helmet and the sword.
Introduction: Given the fact that you have called to be engaged in the spiritual battle for truth, God has provided you with the necessary weaponry and armor to successfully engage the enemy. We have looked at the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, and the Shield of Faith. Today we will consider the last two pieces God has made available to you as a Christian soldier – the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.
I. Helmet of Salvation – verse 17
A. The helmet was the most noticeable piece of Roman armor. Often they were ornate, being intricately decorated, and plumed with brightly dyed feathers or horsehair. Parade dress helmets were made with course horsehair plumes that would extend to the waist. The Roman army helmet was usually made of bronze, although iron and leather were also used on occasion. They were designed so that blows to the head from a sword hammer or ax could not pierce. To protect the sides of the face, “cheek–pieces”, hinged to each side, hung down and were secured with leather straps under the chin. A “shelf” on the back of the helmet protected the neck and shoulders from arrows that fell from above. At some point in the first century a “bill” was added to the front of the helmet along with bronze coverings above the ears. A leather liner on the inside made the heavy helmet a little more bearable.
B. The two most vulnerable spots on a soldier are the heart and the head. The breastplate protected the heart. The helmet – the head. The head of the soldier needed protecting, as on it the deadliest strokes might fall, and it is the head that commands the whole body. The head is the seat of the mind
C. Satan’s focus of attacks is either the heart or the mind. Satan is the master of mind games. He seeks to captivate our minds and in so doing poison our minds weakening our faith and making us ineffective.
D. He will attack our minds with deception, distraction, distortion, discouragement and divisiveness.
E. He knows the truth of James 1:8 that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
F. 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity* that is in Christ.”
G. We need to protect our minds.
H. To protect us God has given us the helmet of salvation.
I. Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation”
J. This does not refer to being saved. That’s already happened if you are in Christ’s army.
K. There are three aspects to salvation, three tenses, past, present and future. These are simply defined in this way: the past frees us from the penalty of sin; the present tense is freedom from the power of sin; and the future will deliver us from the presence of sin.
L. 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
M. The helmet of salvation is the hope of ultimate salvation that keeps us from becoming discouraged, distracted, or divided. That is to say the helmet is the full confidence of ultimate victory in Christ.
N. Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
O. Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
P. Colossians 3:2 “your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
II. Sword of the Spirit – verse 17
A. The Roman soldier carried a small dagger and a large double–edged sword used for thrusting. The sword was usually about 24 inches long, and 2 inches wide with parallel sides. This particular weapon was developed after the Romans observed the effectiveness of the short sword in the hands of the battle–hardened Spanish mercenaries. Formerly, the Roman army used a much bigger “slashing” sword. This new shorter and more pointed “piercing” sword proved to be much more effective in close–quarter combat. In an era when almost any wound could be fatal, this short sword was the power behind the Roman army machine. The sword was always carried on the right side in a decorated wooden scabbard. The sword and scabbard were usually attached to either the belt or to a leather strap worn over the shoulder. . Once trained in its use he could wield his sword with great accuracy and power.