"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation ..."
The fifth piece of armor that Paul admonishes us to put on is the helmet of salvation. Since Paul is addressing believers, it is not likely that the helmet of salvation refers to receiving Christ as Savior. Rather, it refers to how our salvation shapes the way we think and live. The helmet protects the head, and in our battle against the evil one it is imperative that we think rightly about salvation.
If the evil one can disrupt the way you think about your salvation, then he will disrupt the way you live out your salvation. Here are truths about salvation that the enemy does not want you to know:
- Salvation is not earned by works; it is a gift from God that we accept by faith. Ephesians 2.8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
- The righteousness required to be saved isn't achieved, it is received. 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
- Because you are saved you should do good works. Ephesians 2.10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We don't do good works in order to be saved; we do good works because we are saved.
- You are saved for God's purposes, not yours. God saved us so that we can serve as agents of His kingdom in our time and place in history. Jesus didn't bring the kingdom so that we can be saved; he saved us so that we serve in the kingdom. 1 Corinthians 6.20: "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
- Salvation is not the goal of the Christian life; it is simply the beginning of it. God does something for us, then does something in us so that he can do something through us. 2 Corinthians 5.18-20: "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
- We are secure in our salvation. Ephesians 1.13-14: "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
- Being saved means that in the future we will be liberated from the struggle against sin and the enemy. Romans 8.23-24: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us ... we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved."
So again, "the helmet of salvation" refers to how salvation in Christ should shape the way we think and live. The helmet protects the head, and in our battle against the evil one it is imperative that we think rightly about salvation. Once you are saved the enemy cannot cause you to lose your salvation. However, he can cause you to lose your effectiveness for Christ.
If the evil one can disrupt the way you think about your salvation, then he will disrupt the way you live out your salvation.
Remember this ... "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)