Summary: 62nd in a series from Ephesians. The helmet of salvation is the assurance that Jesus will carry our salvation to its full and complete fulfillment.
I’m sure that many of you have probably heard or read something similar to this, but when I ran across it again this week, it seemed to be an appropriate introduction to this morning’s message. I’ve edited it a bit for time, but I think you’ll get the idea:
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s & 80’s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets...
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!
Let’s go back to just one of these items that has particular relevance for us this morning:
...when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets...
Even though it is true that many of us did indeed survive riding our bikes without a helmet, since we didn’t really know better and they weren’t readily available, no one would advocate that either we or our kids do the same today. I know that when I ride my bike, I certainly put my helmet on every time because I never know when I might need it to protect my head. And in the spiritual battle that we’re engaged in as followers of Jesus, we need to make sure we always have our spiritual helmet on, too, because we never know when we’ll need it. Let’s continue our study of the armor of God as we read our passage for this morning:
Take the helmet of salvation...
Ephesians 6:17 (NIV)
As we did last week with the shield of faith, let’s answer three essential questions about the helmet of salvation this morning:
• Why do I need the helmet if salvation?
• What is the helmet of salvation?
• How do I take the helmet of salvation?
WHY DO I NEED THE HELMET OF SALVATION?
Once again, understanding the nature and the purpose of the Roman soldier’s helmet will give us some insight into why the helmet of salvation is so important to those of us who are followers of Jesus. Roman military helmets could be made out of either leather or metal. The helmet had a band to protect the forehead and plates for the cheeks, and it extended down in back to protect the neck. When the helmet was strapped in place, it exposed little besides the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Although the helmet would protect the head from arrows, its primary purpose was to ward off blows from the enemy’s broadsword. Next week, we’ll look at the sword of the Spirit, where Paul describes a smaller, dagger-type sword. But the broadsword was a massive, three to four foot long weapon that was held in both hands like a baseball bat. A soldier would lift it over his head and chop down on his opponent’s head in order to try and create a split personality. And the helmet was the primary means of protecting the head against those blows.
It’s not too difficult to see the spiritual implications of the helmet. We’ve consistently noted that Satan’s attacks primarily come against our mind. And it is the helmet of salvation that protects us from those attacks. And based on what we know about Satan’s attacks both from the Scriptures and our own personal experiences, we find that just like the broadsword had two sides, the attacks of Satan also have two main sides.