Summary: Ephesians 6:10-17
GEARING UP FOR WAR - The Helmet of Salvation
February 10, 2019
Ephesians 6:10-17 (p. 817)
My son Tyler was deployed to Iraq during some of the toughest days during Operation Desert Freedom…
SHOW PIC OF TYLER
He was in the country for almost 18 months and did just under a shade of 4,000 missions. Some of those missions involved house clearing, but his job was as a gunner in a fighting vehicle. He had it blown out from under him once while on a mission…He spent the majority of his time in Baghdad…He was quartered in Sadaam Hussain’s palace for a while. He was right in the middle of the war zone…and he was doing one of the most dangerous jobs any soldier can do.
In his vehicle there is a driver, a navigator (usually the Sergeant) and a gunner.
As a gunner his head and shoulders were exposed through the top of the vehicle. He had to have a line of sight so he could engage the enemy. There is a shield, and as you can see by the picture he wears a helmet made out of kevlar and other protective materials…on one mission he had a bullet go through his clipboard and ricochet off his helmet…It saved his life.
When the Apostle Paul lists each piece of the Armor of God, he’s using a vivid illustration for protection and preparation. Each piece protects vital areas the enemy will shoot at…each piece is designed by God and given from God to help us when Satan implements his evil schemes…when his dark forces shoot at us…They are designed to keep us standing…to keep us in the fight.
And the Helmet of Salvation is absolutely vital for spiritual warfare and our spiritual welfare!
In 1 Thessalonians 5:8 Paul expands on this piece of gear. He tells them and us “Let us be self controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and THE HOPE OF SALVATION AS A HELMET.”
Paul has seen tons of Roman soldiers…some pretty close up as he is arrested and put in jail…Their helmets are made of iron, bronze, or brass depending on their unit, rank, region or time.
SHOW PIC OF HELMET
Centurions’ helmets consisted of a bowl that protected the top of the head, a brow guard that protected the face, cheek plates that protected the side of the face. Most officers and some divisions wore plumes on top to make them seem taller and more intimidating to the enemy.
Why was the helmet so vital? Because most battles took place in close combat. The helmet was covered with oil so that glancing blows from swords and axes would deflect. If you’re not wearing your helmet when one of these blows come, it’s going to be a very bad day.
Paul makes it personal when it comes to God’s armor…He uses the words…“Put on” the full armor of God…“Buckle” the belt of truth…“Fit” your feet with readiness…“Take up” the shield of faith… “Take” the helmet of salvation.
In other words…God’s provided you with it…pick it up..put it on…Take it!!!
I. THE HELMET OF SALVATION ONLY PROTECTS US IF WE TAKE IT
This helmet does no good at all if your commander offers it to you but you reject it and leave it in the barracks!
[Here’s what I mean…Last Sunday I had 42 grandkids at my house for lunch (OK it just seemed like 42 but I had a bunch…As we (and I mean by we…mostly Kari) get the lunch feast assembled, the kids head out to play…it is cold so I say… “Put your jackets on…they’re right there on the couch!”
Moments later I look outside and in the 25 degree weather is Kanaan, “the Shuggie,” running around with just a T-shirt. Pappaw told him where the coat was…Pappaw told him it’s cold…Pappaw told him to “Put it on.” He chose not to…he was too busy…in a hurry…didn’t want it to slow him down…who made that choice…Shuggie or Pappaw?]
Many treat the helmet of salvation like Kanaan treated his coat…“I know it’s there…I really don’t believe it’s that cold outside…It’ll slow me down…if I need it I can come back and get it.”
God’s Word says Hell is real…Jesus Himself describes it in this way…“A furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:42) He says it’s “an eternal fire prepared for those who have rejected Him and for the Devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)
Jesus was the greatest theologian about Hell that’s ever walked this earth.
His message…is horrible, it's forever, it's designed to punish the Evil One and his army, it’s a place of sadness and pain that will make you grit your teeth.
And it’s the reason I’ve come…“Accept me…believe in me…give me your life…put on the gift of salvation I’ve provided for you at the cross…and when you do this, my righteousness and salvation will protect you from all this.