. . . and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
The obvious use of a helmet in battle is to protect the head against injury. In the context of spiritual warfare the helmet of salvation is available to the believer to protect the mind against the assaults of doubt, discouragement and despair. If the enemy succeeds in convincing us that we have no hope of final victory he can squelch our confidence in God and cripple our Christian walk.
Paul wrote, But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8 ESV) So, the helmet of salvation is the “hope” of salvation. This hope is the strong confidence we have that one day our conflict with Satan will be over and that final victory will be ours (Romans 16:20). It the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ and the inheritance that awaits us in heaven (Colossians 1:5). It is the hope that our dead bodies will be raised to life; our mortal bodies will take on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-55).
With the helmet of the hope of our salvation protecting our minds we can fight the enemy not as one who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:26) but as those who have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). To the Roman church Paul wrote, For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:22-25 ESV)
The promise of our ultimate salvation is found throughout scripture. Jesus said, For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:40 ESV) Jesus also said that he gives eternal life to his sheep and no one is able to snatch them out of his Father’s hand (John 10:27-29).
The writer of Hebrews wrote that because Jesus continues forever as high priest that he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God because he lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:24-25). Because we have hope, we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV)
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV) But we are not to be pitied because our hope extends beyond this life. And we are not to be defeated by thoughts of doubt, discouragement or despair hurled at us by the devil. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV)
Do you live in hope?
Scriptures for meditation:
Romans 8:30, 13:11
2 Corinthians 4:16-18