“and take the helmet of salvation” Ephesians 5:17a
I really like passage about the armour that Paul says we need to have ready at all times. However, there is one in particular that i have a real difficult time with, that is the helmet of salvation.
From my understanding of the text, the helmet of salvation does NOT mean getting saved. Since it is the 5th piece of armour and Paul was talking to Christians, having it mean “go get saved” does not make a lot of sense in this context.
What I believe it means is to have the assurance of salvation. All good soldiers go out to war fully equipped. And the helmet protect the most vital of all our members. With that in mind and with the interpretation of the text in order, we can deduce that having assurance of salvation is one of the most important arsenal in the life of a Christian. It protects the head that controls everything else. It controls how we run with the sandals of peace, how we use our shield of faith, and how we wield our sword of Spirit that is the Word of God.
However, there are times where we become complacent and are struck by the enemy unawares with a blow to the head. At times we recover and continue fighting. But there may be a time when we have our helmet flying and a concussion disorienting us in the fight. Such was the plight that i faced last year. The devil attacked my helmet and it flew. I frantically searched for it. And as my enemy was towering over me to deal the death blow to my head, God intervened and saved me from the clutches of spiritual death. God gave me back my helmet. But I have yet to fully recover from the concussion of losing my assurance of Salvation. But He has been gracious. And all the more i find myself constantly learning to fully understand the assurance that God has provided for me in his great salvation. (I may share with you all with my experience of Spiritual warfare, or the condition of Spiritual OCD in the future.)
How does the enemy attack our assurance of salvation? There are times when he attacks supernaturally, similar to how he attacked me. However, usually he is more conniving and subtler than that. From my past experience his go to method is ideological or doctrinal poisoning; the fiery darts; before anything extreme. Ideas have consequences. Listening to someone’s interpretation or belief of who God is and how we are to approach God; if we do not scrutinise and hold up their belief to the authority of the Scripture; may grow weeds in our theological field. Such was the devil’s tactic agains eve, and he hasn’t changed his strategy. He makes us question our faith and belief. If in our complacency we say: “Hey, maybe that’s how God reveals himself to them and they can approach God however they want.” Such idea is the first fruit of the unbelief, for the bible has clearly outline how we are to believe God, and how we to approach Him through His Word and prayer. One of my favourite quotes on this is from a song “symbols and signs” by Beautiful Eulogy:
Sometimes what we believe to be true from our supernatural pursuits is actually a fluke. A series of events that’s used to distract you from the Truth
If we entertain the idea, it won’t be long before we question all that we believe, the faith that we have and ultimately our salvation. And it is at that moment when the evil one strikes our helmet away. We lose our assurance due to impurities in our understanding of the knowledge of God. Our assurance is tied with our understanding in the knowledge of the mystery of God; that is Christ himself. And if any part of the doctrine that we have is deficient, or poisoned we lose our effectiveness in our service, become spiritually deficient and thus begins our spiritual depression.
How do we recover from doctrinal poisoning? The only way to cure doctrinal poisoning is to take in pure doctrine. The helmet of salvation itself is made of impervious doctrine and the only cure for the concussion/disorientation is doctrine. When we fully understand the Truth once again, the plant that grows from those seeds will choke and starve the weeds in our hearts and head. Having full assurance makes us active, and useful in the battle and in the service of God and others.
Therefore Brethren, protect your helmet. Be wary of our opponent and the subtle ideological and doctrinal poison that he shots at you. God has won the war, but the battle still needs to be fought and we are in the thick of it. Complacency and laziness would render you easy targets. Do not give the enemy an advantage in this fight. Strive to fully understand the assurance that God has give to us in His Word, that you may wield the weapons of the faith skilfully. Your spiritual life depends on it, and your service in the battle for the kingdom of God depends on you having a strong head. Don’t let the enemy give you a spiritual concussion.
Soli Deo Gloria
Feature Image by Greg Vaal