No set of armor would be complete without something to protect your head. In our study of Ephesians 6, we’ve already taken up the Girdle of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Footwear of the Gospel, and the Shield of Faith. Now Paul adds,
and receive the helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17, LEB)
Just a short phrase in this list, but it’s an incredibly powerful piece of armor. As every Christian knows, salvation is one of the core tenants of our faith. We wouldn’t be here without Jesus dying to save us and continuing to work on bringing His followers into the family of God. But usually we think of salvation as something we’re given, like grace, rather than something that we keep carrying around as part of our armor. So let’s take a look at the idea of salvation in that context.
A Helmet On God’s Head
One of the most interesting things about the Helmet of Salvation is that it’s one of the armor pieces that God Himself wears. We referenced the verse about God’s helmet a few weeks ago when talking about the Breastplate of Righteousness. It reads,
He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head. He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle. (Is. 59:17, WEB)
When we’re told, “receive the helmet of salvation,” we’re being given a piece of armor identical to one that God has worn on His own head. “Salvation belongs to Yahweh,” which gives Him the absolute right to wear it as a helmet and to share it with whomever He wills (Ps. 5:8, WEB).
The Hope Of Salvation
There’s another verse besides Ephesians 6 that talks about armor of God, but we don’t usually look at it so closely since it’s not as detailed. It does give us more information about this helmet, though.
But let us, since we belong to the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and, for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God didn’t appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:8-9, WEB)
Through Jesus, the “author of salvation” (Heb. 2:10; 5:9), we have a sure and certain hope. We know that He has already secured victory over the enemy and that if we remain faithful we’re promised eternal life at the end. That hope of salvation protects our heads in spiritual battle like a helmet.
Transformed by Salvation
What does protecting your head accomplish in a spiritual context? Adam Clarke says our helmet “protects the understanding from being darkened, and the judgement from being confused by any temptations of Satan, or subtle arguments of the sophistical ungodly” (commentary on Eph. 6:17). The hope of and understanding about salvation fills us with an assurance that relates to keeping our minds in a right place.
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything praiseworthy, think about these things. (Phil. 4:7-8, LEB)
Receiving salvation changes us. It’s not about Jesus tapping you with a magic wand so you can keep living your life the same way as before except you’re “saved” now. It means the beginning of a relationship that transforms us on a fundamental level. How we think, speak, and everything we do alters when we come to Jesus and He rescues us as only He can (Acts 4:12). And it’s more than just a one-time-thing. It’s a lifelong process.
Keep Your Helmet On
Repentance, believing in Jesus, and accepting Him as your Savior begins a walk that’s meant to last the rest of our lives (Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:10). It’s fitting that salvation is part of our armor, for it’s something we should be keeping on our minds during our entire walk as Christians.
So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12-13, WEB)
We’re meant to keep working on salvation with God for the rest of our lives. He’s committed to not letting us perish and it’s up to us to keep working toward eternal life as well by building a relationship with Him and obeying His word. We must never forget or tun away from what Christ and the Father have done and are doing for and in us. Rather, let us put on the Helmet of Salvation as we continue with God to fight our spiritual battles.