E49: Armor of God series: The helmet of salvation

PODCAST: What does it actually mean that salvation is a helmet for us?

  • E49: Armor of God series: The helmet of salvation
  • We’ve come to the 3rd episode in our series about the armor of God – “the helmet of salvation.” This is a piece of the armor that Paul actually talks about on more than one occasion and he says that we put on the helmet of salvation as a hope! Join Kathy and Julia as we discuss what this means, why it’s so hopeful, and dig into what salvation really is.

    Transcript: “Living the Gospel” podcast, Episode 49: The helmet of salvation

    Welcome to ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we talk about how we can “live the gospel” every day, no matter who we are, where we live, and what our circumstances are.

    Kathy: Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of “Living the Gospel.” I’m Kathy.

    Julia: And I’m Julia. And we are continuing today with our theme of “the full armor of God.”

    Kathy: Right. And last week we heard from Eunice and Milenko.

    Julia: That’s right.

    Kathy: I actually just listened to that episode they did about the footwear of preparation for the gospel of peace – and that was a really good explanation they gave there – and about the shield of faith. So, it was really encouraging.

    Julia: We’ve also covered the breastplate of righteousness and the belt of truth in our last episode that the two of us did together. So, today we’re going to talk about the helmet of salvation.

    Kathy: Right. I’m just going to say though, that I actually love doing this, because I find, for myself anyway, that when I sit down and I start to research, and I think about like, how can we explain this and how can we, you know, kind of shed some more light on what all of this is, and then I have to really think about it, and really, like, work with it, I find that it becomes …

    Julia: Well, you get something for yourself out of it too.

    Kathy: Yeah, and it just is like, you know … The armor of God, in a way I think like, we hear about the armor of God often, right? Like, as Christians, that’s kind of a familiar concept. And it can kind of just be like, oh yeah, the armor of God, we know what that is, right?

    Julia: Yeah, one of those expressions that we all always hear.

    Kathy: But, just to get a more concrete understanding, and to make it more personal. What is this, and how can I use it for myself? It’s been really good for me, to be able to do that.

    Julia: Let’s read the verse again. So, Ephesians 6:17 says, “… and take the helmet of salvation.” So, why is salvation a helmet?

    Kathy: Well, the helmet of salvation is actually one piece of the armor that Paul writes about twice. So, he also takes up the same theme in the first letter to the Thessalonians and he says, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” And that’s in 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10. So, I think it’s because salvation gives us hope, right? And hope, actually, is one of the biggest things that can protect us from Satan’s darts.

    Julia: Yeah, it’s a tremendous protection against discouragement, for starters.

    Kathy: Yeah. And, well that goes right along with … I looked up again – last time I said I looked up what Johan Oscar Smith wrote about the armor of God. And here’s what he says about the helmet of salvation: “The spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places are only too happy to make trouble for believers, when given the chance. But the helmet of salvation is hard and resistant to everything that rains down upon it from the air. A jubilant soul doesn’t become despondent. It is one who is downcast who is at risk. Discouragement is unbelief, but unbelief is faith in the power of Satan. Once you begin to believe that, everything goes wrong.”

    Julia: And of course, the opposite of that, is to rejoice in hope of what’s going to take place in you. So, when I have a firm faith in salvation – that I personally am saved – then that gives me joy. And that belief, that hope and joy, they become a helmet for me. Satan’s mightiest weapons – spirits of discouragement and unbelief – they can’t get through to a person whose hope is salvation.

    Kathy: It has to be a personal belief for me. We can kind of know that Jesus died to save us. But do I believe that personally? Jesus died to save me! And I think that’s a good question to ask yourself. Do I really believe that? That I am saved, actually? And if I truly believe in that, then actually discouragement and unbelief can’t have any kind of power over me at all, right?

    Julia: Right. Well, there are those verses in Ephesians 1 that say that He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. For salvation! He chose us for salvation! Which is tremendously hopeful, to think of the work that He is doing and is going to complete in us.

    Kathy: Right. So, I think when Satan tries to come with discouragement – “Oh look, you’ve done this again” – like, it’s so easy, you just … No Satan! I’m sorry, but I’m saved! I’m not sorry, actually!

    Julia: I’m not sorry!

    Kathy: I’m not sorry at all!

    Kathy: Because what I can do is, I can get right back up, and I can keep going! And I thought, that very familiar verse in Jeremiah 29:11, where it says that God’s thoughts for you are of a future and a hope. And that’s 180 degrees opposite of Satan’s thoughts, which are to discourage you and to steal your joy. If I have this complete faith that I am saved, then actually, it’s impossible for Satan to get through that helmet of salvation and get into my thoughts.

    Julia: I guess this maybe sounds like a funny question, given that we’re already deep into this, but if we think about “what is salvation?” Like, to start with, Jesus died so that we could live. He Himself paid the price for our sins.

    Kathy: Right, because in Romans 6:23 it actually says that the wages of sin is death.

    Julia: But then, opposite of that, it says that the gift of God is eternal life. So, our faith is that we who believe in Him will have everlasting life! So, we’ll meet Him one day and we’ll spend eternity together with Him! That’s an incredible salvation, that we actually don’t owe death anything, in spite of the fact that we’ve sinned!

    Kathy: Right. And that we’ve done nothing to deserve that. Absolutely nothing to deserve that. And we can be saved because we believe in Him. But then I also thought, it’s not just to believe that my sins are forgiven, but also to believe that He is my personal Savior. So then I have a way to follow Him on, right? And He said that if we want to be His disciples, we need to take up our cross, deny our self, and follow Him. And actually, Eunice and Milenko talked about that for a whole podcast episode, so if you haven’t listened to that one yet, I’d recommend going back and listening to it, because it’s really good.

    Listen here: What it means to take up your cross daily

    Julia: Because here’s where salvation goes deeper, right? That salvation isn’t just one and done, you know. Jesus died for my sins, I have eternal life, and that’s it. But that the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes about being “saved to the uttermost.” So that’s a salvation not just from the wages of sin, but from the burden of sinning.

    Kathy: Right, right. Exactly.

    Julia: Which is a whole different ball game!

    Kathy: Right. And I think we all know what that feels like, that burden of sin. That I have something that I know is such a deeply ingrained part of my nature, and I hate that. I hate the way it makes me act; I hate the way it makes me feel. But Jesus has come to save me from that, so I don’t have to be bound to that for the rest of my life. This belief in that salvation, to me that means … it inspires a burning, reciprocal love for Jesus in me, right? It’s not just, “Thank you Jesus that you’ve done this for me,” but, “Thank you Jesus that you’ve saved my life, and you’ve saved me from the wages of sin, and now I’m going to give my entire life to live for you. I am going to take up my cross, and I’m going to follow you, through the flesh. To overcome the sin that I find in my own flesh.”

    Julia: And then we’re transformed! From darkness to light. The lust of the flesh is replaced by the fruit of the Spirit, as we’re obedient to overcome the things that God gives us light over. That’s a miracle!

    Kathy: An absolute inner transformation of my very nature.

    Julia: If you have that hope, if you hope in that, you can see, kind of, how effective that is in your fight against the powers of darkness, right?

    Kathy: Yeah, exactly. I just thought about it like this, that like, when I have that strong of a hope, then how there’s no way Satan can convince me to give up my hope of … Like it’s written in 1 John 3:2, I love this verse, where it says that, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” But that’s my hope, that I shall be like Him! And if I really truly believe in that as a possibility for my own life, and that’s my hope, that’s what my vision is set on, that joy of salvation, then how is Satan going to be able to pierce me with doubt and discouragement?

    Julia: Anything that he tries to offer you is just going to look like garbage next to that, right?

    Kathy: Yeah, exactly.

    Julia: To think that we will be like Him. And that that starts now. That doesn’t just happen, you know, at that moment in the twinkling of an eye, it says we’ll be transformed, and we will, our bodies will be transformed, but we already are being transformed now, into His nature.

    Kathy: Yeah. And Peter writes about it like this, in 1 Peter 1, starting at verse 6: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” So, we do know – it makes it clear there – we do have to be tested by fire, right? We do have to go through these things that show us what’s in our nature so that we can be purified from those things. But we know that the end of that is the salvation of our soul, right? And that’s what gives us hope and joy to get through all these things.

    Julia: Because salvation is a work. But there’s hope in it. And that’s why it’s part of this suit of armor.

    Kathy: And it’s not a work in my own strength. It’s a work that God leads me to. The Holy Spirit leads me through my flesh. And it’s that power that Jesus was resurrected with, that same power is available to me to overcome the things in my flesh. Which is just incredible when you think about it!

    Julia: It really is.

    Kathy: This is the Spirit that is in me and works in me to do God’s will.

    Julia: And I have to have a strong belief in that for this to be effective. To believe that I do have the exact same possibility as Jesus.

    Kathy: So, I thought, actually, about our calling and what we will inherit, and what we are saved – not just what we are saved from, but what we are saved to. And just, a couple of verses that stuck out to me, where Paul wrote in Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” 

    Julia: That’s a hope!

    Kathy: Yeah, that’s actually almost unbelievable, that we are called to inherit with Him. And it makes any kind of battles, any trials, everything that we have to kind of go through, as a disciple … When we have to pick up our cross and follow Him, and there is this cross in our life. And that causes, as Peter writes too, it’s a suffering for the flesh, right? But when we have this in mind, that the end result – our salvation – is that we’re going to inherit all things with Jesus, of course that’s a helmet for us! Of course, Satan can’t get at us then with His – what does Paul call it – the wiles of the devil. Right?

    Julia: It’s just – we’ve heard the analogy before, about a racehorse that has blinders on, so that it can’t see to the sides. If you have this incredible goal in front of you, and that’s what you’re lasered in on, then that’s how you’re going to reach out for it. That’s how you’re going to run. Like, blinders on, I don’t care about anything else around me. None of that stuff is important. What’s important to me is that I see the end of this hope of my salvation. That I come to that point where I am like Jesus. That I can enter into eternity full of the virtues.

    Kathy: And if I fall, and if I stumble – and that happens, especially as we’re kind of starting on the way – I’m saved! Like, I’m still saved. Jesus has died for my sins, so that then, when I fall, I repent of that. It’s not that I say, “Oh well, I fell, it’s not a big deal.” I repent, and I’m sorrowful over my sin, but I have a hope that I can get up and next time, because Jesus is with me, I can do it better. Right? Next time I don’t have to fall. So there actually is no reason for discouragement.

    Julia: And it can become a very decisive life. Like, there’s this verse in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26. It says, “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.” So, it’s a very decisive. We’re fighting for something. And we’re working for something. It is a real battle!

    Kathy: But we’re doing it for this imperishable crown. And then I can fight with conviction for that, knowing that this is going to be the end of my faith. So yeah, when we have that helmet of salvation on, and I think it’s a question we can really ask ourselves, do I truly believe that I have been saved? And that I am in this process of salvation. Do I truly believe that? And if I do, then that helmet of salvation is so effective in my life.

    Julia: And if don’t – pray! Pray to God to open your eyes and see what it is that you’ve been called to and what you can be saved from. And read in the Gospels, read about Jesus, until you believe that He died for you, for your sins.

    Kathy: And that you were called before the foundations of the worlds were laid, as Julia said at the beginning there. You were called. God thought of you. And He called you out. And His love for you is so great. He wants it to succeed for you. And He’s given you these incredibly great promises. And what we have to do is just go forward in faith and lay hold of them.

    Julia: If you want to read more about the incredible salvation that we are called to, there are a couple of really good articles on activechristianity.org that you might want to look up. One is called “What does it mean to be saved to the uttermost?” and another good one is “What is the result of salvation?” So give those a read.

    Kathy: And we’ll put the links in the episode description so you don’t have to look far. Next week Milenko and Eunice are back again. And they are going to be talking about that last piece of the armor of God, which is the sword of the Spirit. So you can look forward to that.

    Julia: Until next time.

    Kathy: Until next time.

    Julia: Thanks for tuning in.

    Kathy: Bye