The spiritual war is a reality. We are in a real battle, and God has given us the warning and equipped us with the armor to RELENTLESSLY STAND!
–Belt of Truth: Truth leads to freedom and “sets us free.” Foundational to the rest of the armor. Satan is a liar. There is a standard
-Breastplate of Righteousness: We take on Christ’s righteousness… God sees us not as His enemy, but through the lens of Christ Jesus’ Righteousness.
-Shoes of Peace: Peace made possible through Christ. He made peace with us! We can have the peace of God no matter our circumstances… “peace that passes all understanding!”
-Shield of Faith: Transferring trust from self to Christ. Extinguishes the fiery darts of the enemy (accusation, temptation, rejection)
Final Piece of Armor (defensive)
The Roman helmet – the most important part of the armor. Shortest description because it’s obvious the significance. Protects against life-threatening blows to the head.
WHAT IS THE HELMET’S PURPOSE?
“It’s a gospel reminder of hope for God’s people that points to God’s promise of securing our salvation.”
What is Salvation?
First, let’s talk about what it’s not.
It’s not anything you do by yourself.
The helmet isn’t a metaphor for you putting something on, pulling yourself from the pit of destruction. It’s a REMINDER… that our salvation has been made secure “in Christ.” Paul clarifies this in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For we are saved by grace through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
So putting on the helmet isn’t you doing what you have to be saved. That’s what it is not. So what is it?
Let’s first head up in the canopy to get a bigger, overarching picture of salvation as the Bible defines it. Salvation is the meta-narrative of Scripture, and we see this theme of God as a divine warrior throughout the Bible. So, while Paul is probably staring at this Roman soldier and using his armor as a metaphor for our spiritual weapons. There’s no doubt that he’s picturing an important OT reference. In the book of Isaiah, we see God as this divine warrior whose purpose is to rescue his people. Isaiah 59:16-17
And from this divine warrior, we see salvation in two parts.
First, IT’S A RESCUE. God comes to the rescue of His people…over and over again! The story of the Exodus permeates not just the entire OT but the NT as well. God delivers his people from oppressive slavery. God rescues Noah and his family from the devastating flood, God rescues Daniel from the Lion’s Den, David from the Philistine Giant and his army of impending doom, Shadrach—Meshach—Abednego from the fiery furnace, Jonah from the belly of the whale, Rahab from the destruction of Jericho, Esther—Mordecai—and the Jewish nation from an evil plot, healed the sick, made the blind to see, the lame to walk, and rescued Lazareth from the clutch of death. God saves his people by constantly coming to our rescue.
And the second part of this salvation is not just that God rescues his people, but that he also TRIUMPH OVER THE ENEMY. That theme of triumph is repeated throughout the Bible.
In Exodus 15:3, the song of Moses celebrates Israel’s deliverance from the Egyptians and declares that “Yahweh is a warrior!” He triumphed over the Egyptian armies, who were perceived as other gods. Psalm 68, Isaiah 19, and Daniel 7—Yahweh is riding his chariot on the clouds. The Book of Numbers is this prevailing picture of God’s army on the march to take the promised land. In Deuteronomy, the ark of the covenant is seen as God’s portable throne where the presence of the warrior-king encamps around his people as they prepare for battle. In Joshua, it was God who triumphantly led Israel into victory at Jericho. In Judges and Kings, we see moments where the heavenly army fights on behalf of God’s people.
Crossover into the NT, God now triumphs over sin, the law, and death itself…Colossians 2:15 “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them.” And ultimately, He will triumph at the end of the age when he returns again (Revelation).
In other words, we see a clear image of God as this divine warrior who brings salvation through 2 parts:
a. the rescue of His people and:
b. His triumph over the enemy.
Definition: Salvation is God rescuing His people and reigning triumphant over the enemy.
So it begs the question, why do we need to be rescued? In other words, What do we need to be saved from?
R.C. Sproul was on a college campus for a speaking engagement. He was one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. A pastor, author, theologian, professor, and president of a college and seminary. He founded Ligonier Ministries and the popular Radio program that is still broadcasted all over the world. He is most known for his articulate defense of the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. Now picture R.C. Sproul strolling through campus when he’s approached by this zealous college student eager to share his faith. The student doesn’t know R.C. but approaches him with such confidence when he asks, “Sir do you know if you’re saved? I want you to be saved.” This college cuts straight to the heart of this stranger. R.C. Sproul thought for a moment and kindly responded, “Saved from what?” The college student fumbled over his words and didn’t know how to respond. It was this interaction that led R.C. to write a book titled, “Saved From What?” Until this essential question can be answered, we won’t be able to make sense of the sacrifice of Christ and explain it to others. So what are you saved from?
There are some people here who believe Christ died for them, but outside of eternal fire insurance, they don’t know how that news affects them in the here and now. There are some who walk into this building every week in search of a blessing without the realization that they’re actually in need. This is not some self-help book or motivational speech. It’s a battle plan each morning you wake up. Perhaps others in here recognize they have needs but have misunderstood their truest need. You might think your greatest need is to expand your business, improve your relationships, be well-liked, get out of debt, or get your kids to behave better. Truth is…that’s not your greatest need. The Bible is full of people like this. Mark 2—paralyzed man wants to walk, Jesus forgives his sins. Spiritual > Physical.
Question: do you know what you need to be saved from?
Mark 8—Peter’s example (saved from Romans oppression, missed the mark—saved from yourself)
Jesus came to rescue us from the power of sin and death.
After Jesus met with Zaccheus in his home for dinner, Jesus declared: “Today salvation has come to this house,…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10
Luke 19:9-10 – Jesus tells the world, “this is why I came.” To RESCUE the lost.
According to Bible, salvation comes in 3 tenses:
• We have been saved—Justification
• Romans 5:9—“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
• We are being saved—Sanctification
• Romans 6:22—”But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and in the end, eternal life.”
• 1 Corinthians 1:18—“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
A lot of people are hurt in their progress in the Christian life because they think they’re removed from conflict once they’re saved. But that’s not true. That’s why we’ve been in this teaching series in the first place. God doesn’t remove you from you the battle. He puts you on the winning side of the battle!
• We will be saved—Glorification
• Romans 8:30—“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
By understanding these tenses, we can see salvation for what it is. That it’s not just our fire insurance. It’s not just the ABCs of life, salvation is the A-Z of the Christian life. It’s how we live in the Kingdom of God.
Because we have been saved by the cross of Christ, we have a future hope that we belong to him forever. Because our past is solidified and because our future is secure, we can live in the present knowing that: 2 Peter 1:3 matters greatly: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.”
This helps us to understand how to live right now! The security of your future gives you the steady assurance to move forward in this battle.
HOW DOES THE HELMET PROTECT?
Discouragement that leads to doubt
Discouragement that leads to apathy
C.S. Lewis wrote a book titled, “Screwtape Letters.” He writes from Satan’s perspective. It’s basically a correspondence from an older, experienced demon named Screwtape writing to a young demon in training called Wormwood. The purpose of these letters is for Screwtape to coach Wormwood on how humans operate so that he can achieve the objective of separating his “patient” from the Lord. In the 7th of his 31 letters, Screwtape reveals the dangers of apathy for humans. Screwtape advises Wormwood to make the patient apathetic to his new-found Christianity.
He says, “If the patient becomes apathetic, he will be on the way towards hell. The safest road to Hell is the gradual one. Gradually the patient will be distracted from his faith and become numb to the touch of God. Over time less interesting things will be required to fill the time that the patient would otherwise spend with God. Anything would be sufficient to attract his wandering attention, and you will eventually be successful in separating the patient from God.” —C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters
• Notice the gradual effect of apathy. It’s the “Little things…”
• Putting the helmet on guards against the attacks—
• Over time leads to a dark place—successfully separating the “patient.”
WHAT DOES THE HELMET PRODUCE?
• Hope (eternal)—This is what the helmet really is. A helmet of HOPE.
1 Thessalonians 5:8, “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.” And this hope we have isn’t in a process…it’s in a person!
We have a living hope according to 1 Peter 1:3:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Pastor Matt Surber finishes up the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /
Pastor Matt Surber continues in the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /
Teaching Pastor Jeff Garner, of Mission City Church in San Antonio, TX, continues in the series, Relentless, a study of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6.Read More /