“The helmet of salvation protects the Christian from the devil’s attacks on the mind. This matters, how we think will have a major impact on whether we can stand when the devil hurls his fiery darts. He (the devil) can plant destructive thoughts in your mind in such a way that you fail to see their origin. Properly understood, the helmet of salvation prevents Satan from filling your mind with destructive thoughts.” Shafer Parker, Jr.
A. Situational Analysis
“Properly understood, the helmet of salvation prevents Satan from filling your mind with destructive thoughts,” says Pastor Shafer Parker, Jr. We are writing a series of articles on Spiritual Warfare to encourage Christians to update their awareness of the Cosmic Battle they are engaged in and the enormous power God has to protect them in their daily lives. The Bible tells Christians they can be protected from and overcome Satan and the forces of darkness by putting “on the full Armor of God” because “each piece has divine power to demolish strongholds.”
Remember that Pastor Parker at Hawkwood Baptist Fellowship reminds Christians “that we believe in a personal God.” He continues with “The Bible also teaches that a personality lies behind the evil in this world. The devil is as real as God, although he is not the same as God…he, like us and like all the angels, is a created being, dependent on God for his continued existence. But for all that, never forget he is also a personal being. He communicates with us, after a fashion…he can develop special strategies for individuals. There are people in which he takes special interest. And he is constantly seeking out those whom he can devour, metaphorically speaking.”
To battle Satan, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians to “put on the full armor of God, so…you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (on its divine power).
To date we have published Spiritual Warfare articles on the following topics:
- Part I, What You Need to Know About Satan and his “Schemes”
- Part II, How to Take Your Stand Against the Devil’s Schemes
- The Belt of Truth
- The Breastplate of Righteousness
- How to Stand Firm After You Put on the Armor of God
- Part III, The Full Armor of God – The Gospel of Peace
- Part IV, The Full Armor of God – The Shield of Faith
If you didn’t have a chance to read them, you can find them at www.ABAdvisors.com/blog.
The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to put on “The Helmet of Salvation” so Satan can’t derail you from becoming a mature Christian or being effective with building Christ’s – Church The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). And for those who desire to build and lead a Kingdom business you would be wise to know the enemy and how to defend yourself against Satan or he will make your life miserable.
B. Putting on The Helmet of Salvation
Salvation – The Definition, Need and Relevance in Warfare
Except for my “Notes,” the information in this Section B is from Bible Study Guides at http://www.freebiblestudyguides.org).
What purpose did the helmet serve in the Roman army? The Roman helmet, like helmets today, protected the head from the attacks of the enemy. There is some evidence to suggest that the Romans had special ceremonial helmets used in parades that denoted rank and standing. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8
What is salvation? Salvation basically means to be saved or delivered from something (see examples in Exodus 14:13 and Micah 7:6-8). In the New Testament, as we will see, it is generally used to refer to deliverance from the eternal death penalty of sin and deliverance into God’s Kingdom…Every human being has thought and acted in ways that are abominable to God. Our sins break God’s beautiful living laws designed for our good. Sin is so vile to God that it requires the death penalty. God’s justice requires that penalty. But God’s loving mercy provided the most incredible substitute. Jesus Christ, our Creator, was willing to die in our place! To be saved, we need a Savior.
What is the penalty of our sins, and how did God save us from that penalty? “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). (Note: To understand “sin”, “sins”, and the “sinful nature” better, see our article on “Real Christianity, Why You Should Consider It” at www.ABAdvisors.com/blog.)
How do we receive salvation? It is important to understand that salvation cannot be earned. It is a gift from God and not something we can obtain through the right actions, thus obligating God to give it to us. Still, as we’ve seen in the scriptures covered so far, repentance (abhorring our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness and help to obey His laws), faith, accepting Christ’s sacrifice and coming to the knowledge of the truth are all steps in accepting the free gift. In no way do these efforts make up for our sins that caused the death of our Creator and Savior! “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Is salvation a permanent, irrevocable gift, or does it have to be maintained? The New Testament tells us that we “have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5), that we “are being saved” (1 Corinthians 1:18) and that we “will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). What does this mean for us? “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:4-8).
Paul makes it clear that “have been saved” equates to the forgiveness of sins and coming under God’s grace. We have been taken off death row. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Salvation can also describe the ongoing conversion process. Paul also calls this being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This involves having God’s laws written in our minds and meditating on them so we can better follow them (Hebrews 10:16; Psalm 119:97-99). As we saw in the lesson on the breastplate of righteousness, God expects us to obey His commandments.
What does salvation have to do with a helmet? Christians have been called out of this world. Though we remain in it, we are not of it and remain separate from it. Our way of living and even of thinking should differ from the world’s. We are to develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), and as we have seen, that means having God’s laws written on our hearts and minds so we can remember to always obey God. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16).
Our enemy hates that we have chosen this path and will stop at nothing to destroy us because of it. Just as the helmet protects the vital but vulnerable head from otherwise fatal blows, the hope of salvation can protect our thoughts from our enemy’s attacks and temptations to disobey God.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Without the helmet of salvation, we will be unprotected from the “cares of this world” that bombard our thoughts and feelings. Imagine not knowing what the future ultimately holds. The worries and problems produced by living in this world would overwhelm us! “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:33, NIV).
With the helmet securely fastened, we can have the same confidence that Paul did that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18)…“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
How do I keep the helmet secure?
Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation. “Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon your people. Selah” (Psalm 3:8 KJV).
[Except for my “Notes,” the information above, in this Section B, is from Bible Study Guides at http://www.freebiblestudyguides.org).]
C. Putting on The Helmet of Salvation
Salvation – Satan’s Schemes and The Helmet’s Protection
“Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…Take the helmet of salvation….” Ephesians 6:13, 14, 17a
“‘Take the helmet of salvation,’ or, as it is expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, ‘…the hope of salvation as a helmet’…in the description of the Grecian armour, on the crest and other parts of the helmet were a great variety of emblematical figures, and that it is very likely the apostle refers to helmets which had on them an emblematical representation of hope; namely, that the person should be safe who wore it, that he should be prosperous in all his engagements, and ever escape safe from battle. So the hope of conquering every adversary and surmounting every difficulty, through the blood of the Lamb, is as a helmet that protects the head; an impenetrable one…The hope of continual safety and protection, built on the promises of God, to which the upright follower of Christ feels he has a divine right, protects the understanding from being darkened, and the judgment from being confused by any temptations of Satan, or subtle arguments of the sophistical ungodly. He who carries Christ in his heart cannot be cheated out of the hope of his heaven.” (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
“If you know you are saved, if you know you belong to God and He belongs to you, if you know that all God’s promises are sealed in the blood of His Son, it is very hard for the devil to knock you down. Moreover, if in being saved you have learned to look forward to heaven as your true home, if your desire for God and heaven has reached the point that you will settle for nothing less, you will stand like a rock…The man or woman who wears the helmet of salvation will stand in the fight against the devil because his hopes are too high, too big to be satisfied on this earth. His mind is set on heavenly things, not on earthly things” (Pastor Shafer Parker, Jr.).
This doesn’t mean that you or the process are perfect. Abraham is cited in Hebrews as the model example of faith in God, yet he “failed” in the process several times that we know of, losing faith and taking matters into his own hands, having his offspring with a concubine. Then, he was unethical two times when he lied about Sarah to men who wanted her. But, in the end Abraham kept his focus on heaven despite the setbacks along the way.
“Abraham stayed faithful to God because he had something in mind beyond the confines of this world. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham knew that God had promised him a heavenly home, a permanent, heavenly city with eternal foundations. That’s the vision that kept Abraham faithful. That’s why all his life he refused to settle down and build something permanent…His tent was itself a confession of his heart’s desire. Like the old gospel song says, he was telling the world – ‘This world is not my home, I’m just passing through, My treasures are laid up, Somewhere beyond the blue…’ So there we have it. (Pastor Shafer Parker, Jr.)
The confession of a believer’s heart is different for each person. What is your confession of your heart’s desire for heaven? Parker goes on to say that,
“The gospel protects the mind because it has the effect of giving the Christian a powerful hope, a hope that will keep you standing when there’s no earthly reason to do so.”
Following are five strategies Satan will use to work on your mind in order to get you to lose hope:
- Satan will try to get you to give up. This may include things like stop going to church, stop giving to God’s work, stop spending time with God in His Word and/or in prayer, stop focusing on living in the “new nature” instead of the “old nature,” not staying on the narrow path, not providing services for the Kingdom, not believing in victory over sin and Satan, or not believing in God’s promises.
- Satan will try to get you to join his side. This can be done by just quitting, joining a religion other than Christianity, making this present world more important than God’s Kingdom, or attending a Christian church that embraces an empty – watered down theology that does not adhere to the gospel.
- Satan will subtly get you to embrace his point of view. In doing so he will work on your mind until you agree with him with such beliefs as:
- This world is all there is,
- This life is all that has meaning,
- Material things matter most (“he who dies with the most toys wins,”
- It feels good and gives me pleasure,
- Power is where it’s at (“The end justifies the means”),
- Going to church to put on an image or appearance of being spiritual, or
- God is not a personal God, he is not involved in your day-to-day life.
- Satan will subtly get you to become his agent without you even knowing it. “Misery loves company.” This is one of the worst and includes things such as
- influencing other Christians to buy-in to 1-3 above,
- introducing friends or family to pornography, or infidelity,
- influencing others to distrust God, or
- destroying God’s work through gossip, pervasive negativity, constant criticism, or distracting others from their Kingdom work.
- Satan will try to get you to give up on God by getting you to believe the rewards are not worth the cost. He does this through such thoughts as:
- God doesn’t really care about me,
- Heaven is no big deal, “who wants to just lay around and worship God every day, or
- God is not a good God, why would He let this happen to me?
The apostle Paul instructs us concerning the matter of hope in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” and Romans 8:5, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” These Scriptures hold the secret to preventing Satan from being successful in filling your mind with destructive thoughts. Why? Because if you set your mind on what the Spirit desires and your hope is in Christ and eternal life with Him, you will learn how to be successful in overcoming Satan’s attacks on your mind and emotions.
As Shaffer Parker says, “Moreover, if in being saved you have learned to look forward to heaven as your true home, if your desire for God and heaven has reached the point that you will settle for nothing less, you will stand like a rock.”
Following are five strategies the Bible provides on how to use The Helmet of the Hope of Salvation to protect yourself from Satan. You are using the Helmet of salvation when:
- You want to go to heaven because its more interesting, important and valuable, so you have set your mind on it until your affections for heaven are more desirable than your affections for this world. This will happen when you understand that:
- your “real” father and family is located there,
- your ultimate spiritual and emotional desires will be satisfied there, and only there,
- real rewards will be distributed there and only there,
- your work there will not be in vain, under a curse – your work (effort) for the kingdom will last forever, and
- heaven becomes desirable to the degree that we invest in it, to the degree that we give our lives and our wealth to things that will be permanent and provide everlasting returns (in business terms, “the greatest bang for the buck”).
- Your loyalty is to Christ and the Kingdom. You are loyal to them when:
- you obey God,
- you obey Christ’s teachings,
- you stand up for Christ,
- you live according to the principles of the Kingdom Culture, not the world’s culture, and
- you “declare God’s glory and faithfulness throughout the earth” as we are instructed everywhere in Scripture.
You are “the children of God!” “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10a).
- Your life is ruled by Kingdom principles. Pastor Shafer Parker, Jr. summarized it this way: a) “The biggest gospel principle of all is the one that says salvation, and especially security of salvation, must be linked to sanctification (meaning growth in holiness, growth in Christ-likeness)…‘Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure’” (1 John 3:3). Shafer is not saying that sanctification saves you; he is saying that it is proof that you are saved – really a child of God. Read the book of 1 John. Also consider the following Scriptures:“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15).
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:1-5).
“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:7-10).
- You do what you can to build up those who are in the faith.“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
- You are determined to stand with Jesus (your King) and those who stand with Him.“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).
This is the salvation you are fighting for—living under the power, protection, and blessings of the Kingdom of God while on earth to give you victory over the flesh (old nature), the world and Satan. And, someday living in the coming Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven, with its beauty, love, peace and rewards for eternity! That’s what makes the battles in this life worth it and that’s what helps you keep your eye on the goal.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
D. How to Stand Firm After You Put on the Armor of God
“Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm…” Ephesians 13-14a
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
Note that Paul says “when” the day of evil comes, not if. When the devil tempted Christ in Luke 4:1-13, Christ ALWAYS used Scripture, and ONLY Scripture, to take his stand against the devil. Knowing God is much more powerful than Satan and that Scriptures’ “divine power to demolish strongholds…, demolish arguments…, and…take captive every thought,” Jesus simply stood His ground with only Scripture as His weapon!
Why? Because Christ knew Satan fears God the Father and that if He stood on (had faith in and obeyed) the truth of God’s word, Satan would give up and go away, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). “Is that it?” you ask. “Is that all I have to do?” Yes, that’s all there is and that’s all you have to do! Do not battle with people. Do not battle with your flesh. Just quote Scripture to Satan, believe the Scripture and then trust in God’s power and obey God. “I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD,” (1 Kings 20:28).
Following is a brief Action Plan:
- Read the Bible regularly so the Holy Spirit can “remind you” of what Scripture says during Satan’s attacks, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
- Obey Scripture in your daily life, see verses above.
- Allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify you and teach you obedience, 1 Peter 5:8-9.
- “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Resist means to repeal, not to agree with, not to receive his thoughts into your mind and soul and not to entertain anything that is contrary to the Word of God!
- Quote Scripture back to Satan as Jesus did. Memorize a few key verses for this purpose, such as 1 John 5:11-13, 1 John 1:9, Galatians 2:20-21, John 15, John 15:9- 12, and others as the Holy Spirit instructs you to.
- Focus on overcoming the World and Satan, 1 John 5:4-5.
- Unity with other Christians. Make a declaration of interdependence with true “believers” and work together. Satan uses the age old strategy of “divide and conquer”, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
And remember that sanctification is a process, not an event! “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:5- 8). To succeed in sanctification rely on the power of Christ living in you, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body (of sin), I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:20-21).
If you don’t have a Bible, you can go online to www.netbible.org. In the upper left corner where it says Display Bible, scroll to John and click on Go. And if you want someone to talk to about the things in this letter, call us at ABA!
In the next issue of The Spirit Led Business™, Part V on Spiritual Warfare, we will continue with insights on how to use The Helmet of Salvation to take your stand against the devil’s (Satan) schemes.
Note: All Bible verses are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
The Spirit Led Business™ is published by American Business Advisors, Inc. to provide business and personal improvement information and ideas. All material is presented to provide general and broad information only. The information found in this publication does not constitute business, tax, financial, or legal advice and should not be acted upon without seeking the counsel of a professional advisor.