Our next piece of equipment in our study of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), inspired by fellow cop-turned-minister Tony Miano’s excellent “Take Up the Shield: Comparing the Uniform of the Police Officer & the Armor of God” is the “riot” HELMET of Salvation.
In Ephesians 6:17, God–through Paul–instructs us (it is actually a command or “marching orders” if you will) to put on the whole armor of God and to “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” When a soldier (or–for purposes of this study–a police officer on a SWAT, riot or similar duty call) suited up for battle, the helmet was the last piece of armor to go on. It was the final act of readiness in preparation for combat. A helmet is vital for survival, protecting the brain, the command station for the rest of the body. If the head is badly damaged, the rest of the armor will be of little use. As police officers, we must armor up and keep our helmets buckled so that the devil's fiery missiles do not lodge in our thoughts and set us on fire. Click To Tweet
Moreover, the assurance of salvation is the believer’s strong defense against anything the enemy throws at us. Jesus, the ultimate servant-Warrior, says to us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The idea in this verse is that, as we prepare for Satan’s attacks, we must grab our Kevlar helmet and strap it on. Genuine salvation is not limited to a one-time act of the past (just “repeating a prayer” does not save us — stay with me). Rather, the salvation God affords us by being born again in Christ alone (John 3:1-21, 14:6) is an ongoing, eternal state. It is daily protection and deliverance from our sin nature and Satan’s schemes. Do you have this protection?
Because of the power of the cross, our common enemy no longer has any hold on us (Romans 6:10; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 1:18). Now as cops, we don’t wear our helmets all that often. Most just gather dust in the trunk of our patrol vehicles and only come out on SWAT ops, riot calls, active shooter situations, etc. But the meaning God has for us here is that we must “armor up” and keep our helmets buckled so that the devil’s fiery missiles do not lodge in our thoughts and set us on fire. Through this helmet of salvation, we can:
“destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Teaching on this, our wholly biblical friends at Got Questions Ministries share actions that we believers (again, the Armor of God is for believers only) can take to keep our helmets fastened and functioning:
- Renew our minds. Our minds are battlefields. The outcomes of those battles determine the course of our lives. Romans 12:1–2instructs us to renew our minds by allowing the truth of God’s Word to wipe out anything contrary to it. Old ideas, opinions, and worldviews must be replaced. We must allow God’s truth to continually wash away the world’s filth, lies, and confusion from our minds and adopt God’s perspective.
- Reject doubts that arise from circumstances. Human beings are sensory creatures. What we cannot fathom with our five senses, we tend to disregard. If we allow them to, circumstances may convince us that God does not really love us or that His Word is not true. It is impossible to have faith and doubt at the same time. God rewards our faith. With the helmet of salvation firmly in place, we can choose to believe what appears impossible (Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:8–9).
- Keep an eternal perspective. When life crashes in around us, we must remember to look up. Our salvation is the most precious gift we have received. Keeping our eyes on that can help us weather life’s storms. We can choose to live our lives by the motto: “If it doesn’t have eternal significance, it’s not important” (see Matthew 6:20; 1 Corinthians 3:11–13).
- Our victory is already accomplished. When we consider ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God” (Romans 6:11), we eliminate many of the opportunities Satan uses to entrap us and attack us. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can decide that sin is no longer be a viable option for us because we recognize ourselves to be “new creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:9) in Christ (effectively cutting off many avenues of failure).
Amen! Friends, the helmet of salvation protects our minds and thoughts. It protects us from the kinds of mental injuries and trauma inflicted on us through this rough profession (police suicide; Post Traumatic Stress injury — PTSi — I refuse to call it a “disorder”, etc.).
As we wear the helmet of salvation every day, our minds become more insulated against the suggestions, desires, and traps the enemy lays for us. We choose to guard our minds from excessive worldly influence and instead think on things that honor Christ (Philippians 4:8). In doing so, we wear our salvation as a protective helmet that will “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 and a plethora of other passages.that I strongly encourage you to study and even commit to memory).
Finally, take careful note of the word “salvation” here. The “helmet of salvation” is for–and only for–the saved. It simply won’t “fit” or otherwise be effective for the unsaved (the same goes for every other piece of spiritual armor or weaponry). So are you in fact saved (a “Christian” as God alone gets to define it)? As I’ve shared throughout this series, if you’re not saved, you are utterly defenseless against the enemy. Accordingly, I beg you to make TODAY “the day of your salvation” (and know I’m here to help).