“Put on the whole armor of God . . . . For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the . . . spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places . . . . In all circumstances . . . take the helmet of salvation . . . .” – Ephesians 6:11-12, 16-17
Serving in a local charity assisting families needing food and clothing often broke my heart. We helped with groceries and sets of clothing, but folks also needed more than loaves of bread. In their desperate circumstances, they needed prayer, God’s love, and recognition that Jesus is the bread of life. Thankfully, some folks also were ready to receive the good news of salvation through Christ.
With thankful hearts, believers certainly recognize that the helmet of salvation is the particular spiritual armor that ultimately wins the war against misery of body and soul in our world—and in spiritual battles against cosmic evil. The key Bible verses use the helmet of a first-century Roman soldier as an effective metaphor for spiritual warfare protection. The bronze (or iron) helmet was designed with hinged cheek pieces and a neck guard to shield the soldier’s head, his decision control center.
The Roman army was the world’s largest fighting force in its day. However, Christians who have accepted Jesus Christ and his redeeming forgiveness—provided through his sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection from the grave—have access to the greatest transformative power in all creation. They possess salvation in the already (now, on earth) and in the not-yet (eternally, in heaven).
Romans 8:37 (KJV) declares that “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” And, 1 John 4:4 assures, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them [spirits against Christ], because the one who is in you [Christ] is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan].”
The helmet of salvation protects the transformed Christian who is a new creation, and safeguards his mind and soul. No longer are you conformed to the darkness of this world, but you are “transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
We praise you, O God! We worship and magnify our gracious God who has “qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).
May God help us share Jesus’s gospel of love and light in our fallen world, as we encourage people to choose this salvation. Amen.
Kay Henry is a columnist for The Claremore Progress. All Bible quotations are from “The Holy Bible, English Standard Version” (ESV), unless otherwise noted.