PART 22 – TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION (31/1/19)
'Take the helmet of salvation...' (Ephesians 6:17)
During this week’s devotionals, we have been considering how David fell into sin with Bathsheba, and how we can protect ourselves. Each day we have been considering a different piece of the ‘Armour of God’ (Ephesians 6:10-20), which is God’s power and wisdom on how to overcome temptation and evil. Today, we continue with 'The helmet of salvation'.
The night that David fell into sin with Bathsheba was precipitated by passivity - he had failed to go to war! Put spiritually, he had failed to put on his armour and, in particular, he was not wearing the 'helmet of salvation'. The helmet protects the head and the thinking. David's thinking went astray in this moment. Let's learn how the helmet of salvation can protect us from such stupidity.
Helmet of salvation
This could be termed ‘helmet of victory’. In Christ we have and will have a great victory that we need to know about and keep in mind. Paul commands us to ‘take helmet of salvation’. We are to fill our minds and ask for the Holy Spirit's power, in order to live in light of what Jesus has done to save us. Paul's words are taken from Isaiah,
'He (the LORD) put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak' (Isaiah 59:17).
For Paul, in this context, the hemet of salvation has a particular focus - God is powerful to save/rescue us from all powers that come against us. Putting on this helmet is to choose faith over fear.
Past, present and future salvation
However, 'salvation' in the Bible has a past, present and future aspect. To put on this helmet of salvation is to protect one's thinking by understanding of all three facets. Let's briefly look at each.
1. Past salvation - Are you filled with joy that you were saved by Christ? Are you overflowing with thanks? See Ephesians 1:3-6. (Follow the links)
2. Present salvation – Are you confident in God’s present power, love and protection?
See Ephesians 1:7-8, Ephesians 1:22-23. (Follow the links)
3. Future salvation – Are you living for eternity? Are you filled with the joy of that future hope when all things will be restored?
See Ephesians 1:9-10; Ephesians 1: 18 (Follow the links)
Which aspect of salvation - past, present, or future - are you most in need of remembering?
RESPONSE – TAKE UP THE HELMET OF SALVATION
Each response this week will be around putting on each part of the armour of God.
A good way to put on the helmet of salvation is to pray.
Take some time to meditate on and pray out of the following text, which speaks about knowing the hope of our salvation; this text is principally about future salvation, however, we can also ask the Holy Spirit to open our spiritual eyes to all aspects of our salvation.
‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe’. (Ephesians 1:18-19)
2. PUT ON THE ARMOUR BY MEMORISING THE TRUTH
Let’s put on the helmet of salvation by making a commitment to memorise the armour of God this week.
‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Ephesians 6:14-17)
3. BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES
The ‘helmet of salvation’ protects our thinking. Specifically, we can fall, like David, into sexual impurity, as we fail to fill our minds with God's salvation. We can be fooled into envisioning the godless life as one of joy and freedom, rather than incurring God's wrath, our own destruction, from which we have been saved by the blood of Jesus. If we remove the helmet of salvation we will begin to love what God hates!
A key to freedom is confession - bringing things into the light. A couple of specific questions for you:
1. If you are married - Have you ever spoken to your spouse about struggles that you have with temptation? Will you make some time to talk this week and answer this question: Where, if at all, are you being unfaithful in action or thinking, or being tempted to do so?
2. If you are single - Will you make some time to talk to a friend (of the same sex) and answer the following question: Where, if at all, are you being sexually impure in action, thinking or feeling tempted to do so?
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use
Include the reference throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. A few questions you could use when meditating:
GOSPEL- What does this text say about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does this text say about you, the church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does this text say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?