and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
(Ephesians 6:17 ESV)
We are currently reading through a passage describing the various pieces of spiritual armor that a child of God must wear in order to stand against the schemes of Satan. So far we’ve read about the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shield of faith. Today we read about the helmet of salvation.
The context of this verse is spiritual warfare against the lies and temptations of Satan. Helmets protect one’s head and, spiritually speaking, we “wear” our salvation to protect our minds from the doubt and discouragement that accompany Satan’s trickery.
Notice that we are told to take the helmet. The Greek word translated “take” is δεχηομαι (pronounced: dekh’-om-ahee). This word means “to receive something that is given”. This word is very appropriate as salvation is a gift from God that He offers to us [Ephesians 2:8-9]. We cannot conjure up salvation or obtain it apart from God. He gives it to us. We decide to take it.
Obviously it would be foolish for a soldier to go into battle without his helmet. Likewise, it is foolish for anyone to face Satan without salvation. Such a person is a sitting duck for his schemes.
Anyone who has admitted their sinfulness and has accepted Jesus’ death as necessary and complete for the forgiveness of those sins is part of God’s eternal family [John 1:12-13]. Such a person is a permanent, eternal citizen of heaven [Ephesians 2:1-7, Philippians 3:20].
We need to keep this in mind when we are attacked by Satan, especially when we fall for one of his lies. Its easy to get down when we sin. But we must remember we are protected by our salvation. While we are not free from the presence of sin on this earth – that won’t happen until heaven – we are right now free from the penalty of sin.
Satan is not only trying to get us to sin. That is just step one. Sin damages relationships. This is Satan’s goal – to damage our relationships with each other and, more importantly, with God. This is what happened when Adam and Eve fell for his lie in the Garden of Eden. The perfect relationship humanity had with God was broken [Genesis 3:1-13]. It remains broken to this day.
But God offers reconciliation through Jesus, a plan He put into effect immediately after that first sin [Genesis 3:15]. Those of us who have accepted God’s offer need never be discouraged because we are saved from the penalty of our sins which is eternal separation from God (we call that ‘hell’).
All the sins of a child of God have been forgiven – past, present, and future. God does not count them against us because they have been paid for by Jesus [Psalm 103:12, Micah 7:19 et. al]. Satan will try to convince us to do something we shouldn’t do. We may err and do it. But no sin we will ever commit will separate us from God. That reality will keep us from getting discouraged.
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