“Take the helmet of salvation”
The Roman soldier’s helmet was usually made of a hard metal such as bronze or iron. The inside was lined with something like felt or sponge to make it bearable. Sometimes a hinged visor was added for additional protection and plumes or crests could be used for decorative purposes. Normally a weapon such as an axe or a hammer was needed to pierce it.
In his letter to the Thessalonians Paul referred to ‘the hope of salvation’ as being the Christian’s helmet. (1 Thess 5:8) Here he calls it ‘the helmet of salvation.’ In both it is our trust in the salvation that God has provided for us in Christ. As the helmet protects the head of the soldier so this helmet protects our head with its mind as director of our life and responses. Having chosen to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ – and the salvation that He has gained for us through His death and resurrection – we clothe our thinking with this Truth. Through it we deflect the weapons of doubt that will be flung against us and hold our heads high in the confidence that Christ has given us.
- “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
- “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
- “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
Charles Hodge wrote, “that which adorns and protects the Christian, which enables him to hold up his head with confidence and joy, is the fact that he is saved.’ In Christ our salvation as believers is certain.
Like all gifts this one too has to be taken, opened and accepted. So Paul tells us to ‘take’ the helmet – that is to ‘take’ it in our hands, ‘take’ with it the significance that is in it and ‘take’ it to our heads where we put it on and wear it – always. Sometimes, when we are conscious that danger threatens, it would be wise to ‘take’ time to remind ourselves that it is in place so that we are conscious of its presence and all that it represents.
It could be asked just who is entitled to this helmet. The answer would be that anyone who has, however imperfectly, acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour is both allowed and expected to wear it.
Lift the helmet and put it on. When doubts and fear arrive turn your head towards them and use the helmet to deflect them – with the words “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” (Ps 118:14)
Lord Jesus, please help me to put my full hope and trust in You – and to rely upon You to guide and guard my mind and spirit at all times. Amen.