Wednesday: Helmet and Sword
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The helmet of salvation in Ephesians 6:17 is most likely taken from Isaiah 59:17, although Paul applies it differently.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

In Isaiah 59, it is God who wears the helmet of salvation; here, in Ephesians, the Christian is called upon to receive it. Whereas the previous items may have been laid out for the soldier to be picked up, the helmet is handed to him. Perhaps this is to emphasize the total “giftedness” of salvation. In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul speaks of the helmet as the hope of salvation. In Ephesians 6:17, the helmet is depicted simply as salvation. How may this shift in emphasis help to explain how salvation can be a weapon of defense?

Salvation in the New Testament is a present experience that will climax in eternity by way of deliverance from every kind of evil. The victorious helmet that God (Isa. 59:17) wears is given to the believer as a protection. Because the ultimate goal of the devil’s attack is to deprive Christians of their salvation, the present assurance of salvation that is “given” to them apart from their own works becomes a powerful weapon for surviving the conflict. Truly can the believer in any spiritual conflict proclaim with the psalmist, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle” (Ps. 140:7, NKJV).

After mentioning the helmet of salvation, Paul speaks next about “the sword of the spirit,” which is the Word of God. Compare that text with Hebrews 4:12. What important truth is being conveyed by these verses, especially in the context of our battle with Satan?

The temptation of Christ as recorded in Matthew 4:1-10 is a beautiful illustration of how the Word of God can be an effective weapon. The passage should also provide an incentive to Christians to buttress themselves with the truths that are revealed in the Word of God.

So many forces are at play in attempts to weaken our trust in the Bible. What are some of those forces in your own society, church, or culture? More importantly, how can you defend yourself against any and every attempt (which at times can be very subtle) to weaken your trust in the Word of God?

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Wednesday: Helmet and Sword — 12 Comments

  1. "What important truth is being conveyed by these verses, especially in the context of our battle with Satan?
    The temptation of Christ as recorded in Matthew 4:1-10 is a beautiful illustration of how the Word of God can be an effective weapon."

    Herein lays a philosophical problem for the Christian as far as I am concerned. What is our relationship and role concerning the controversy between Christ and Satan? For some reason we seem to think of ourselves as being far more important than we really are so that we picture ourselves as solders equipped with weapons to destroy the enemy for God. In this lesson the sword is the perfect example.

    Anyone who has seen the sport of fencing knows very well that the sword is used both to strike the opponent and to deflect an opponent's attack. It is both offensive and defensive at the same time so that it can act as a shield when needed.

    Besides that, we need to think about the entire phrase "sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17 NKJV). It is the Spirit's sword not ours and yet we sometimes treat it as though it is ours to use as a weapon to bludgeon our opponents into submission. We were never given the job of convicting people of truth - that is the job the Spirit does (Jn 16:8). Ours is to witness and testify to the truth (Acts 1:8) and in doing that we can defend our position with everything we have (2 Pet 3:15) which to me is the reason why we have the armor. But to use the Bible as a weapon, absolutely not! Even in the temptations Christ endured in the wilderness "it is written" was used defensively not offensively. Jesus was basing the stand He took on scripture which the devil can't argue against.

    So, I ask how long are we going to ignore the simple fact that the battle is God's battle, not ours. The Old Testament has several very good examples of that.

    • The first is when God led the mixed multitude to the sea during the exodus. They were hemmed in on all sides with apparently nowhere to run. Then Moses told the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today" (Ex. 14:13 NKJV). Which He did, it was all God alone without any human "help."
    • The second was when Jehoshaphat was facing overwhelming enemy forces. The prophet Jahaziel told the people, "Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's'" (2 Chron. 20:15 NKJV). Then God came to Jehoshaphat and said, "You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you (2 Chron. 20:17 NKJV). You can read the entire account in 2 Chron 20.
    • Then there is the story of Gideon. The vast majority of sermons I have heard on the story always seem to focus on the attributes of the 300 while ignoring or at least bypassing the reasons for why God gave victory to Gideon the way He did. "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying,`My own hand has saved me.'" (Judges 7:2 NKJV).

    Furthermore, artists usually depict the battle, almost without fail, as the 300 men rushing into battle with trumpets and torches in hand but that is not how the Bible tells it. Gideon's and his men didn't run into the camp swinging swords. What they did do is, "Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers-- they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing-- and they cried, 'The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!' And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled" (Judges 7:20-21 NKJV emphasis mine). Only after the enemy fled did Gideon and his band of 300 chase after them.

    As scripture states, "'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6 NKJV). We are participants for sure but not the core - we are the support troops not the front liners. God is not dependent on us instead we are dependent on Him.

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    • Very good comment Tyler. Once we have things in their proper perspective then we're getting somewhere. Too often we think that God needs our help (look what happened when the men tried to "save" the ark from falling). The Bible cleary says "and having done all to stand". That's all we need to do! Stand and we will see the salvation of the Lord. MAy God guide us into all truth!

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  2. In short...the helmet of His salvation, reflecting the assurance of His salvation. I have hope, in that assurance, that the salvation of the Lord is just, righteous and sure. By the sword of the Truth, that His Living Truth is powerful and discerns my heart, my thoughts and the intent of my responses to the sanctification of His salvation. With assurance in His salvation, and the living Word, He is our strength.

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  3. please pray for me breathen because i read the word and then it disapears from my mind, this worries me a lot because in a time like this we will have to have the word in our heart, and on our lips so we will be able to speak in our lives and to others.

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    • jasmine i feel the same way.you have the concept but your lips can not bring the text verbatum.Lets pray the Holy spirit will guide us at the time we are to stand for what we beleave.

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    • Please do not read the words but instead "Study". Please ask the Holy Spirit to bring back what you have studied in your mind, then apply what you have studied to your life, and start living it, He will help you He did it for me

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  4. Taking it as it is,what is the importance of an helmet? It protects the head. What we take (eat) or see will determine our way of thinking. If we take the word of God and choose to see/watch holy things, then we train our minds into Christ's righteousness. The helmet is handed to us (total giftedness of salvation) - righteousness. Let us be righteous before the lord always. AMEN.

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  5. We are engaged in a warfare against the host of darkness. Unless we follow our leader closely, Satan will obtain victory over us::: Mark 13:33 says "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is" (KJV)!

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  6. I thank God for this discussion. I have really liked the way Cluthe put his words, yes it is untill we know that it is not our war when we wil be saved .. please saints pray for me, I got a job and I am supposed to report on 22nd nov, 2012. I really thank God for that, but the biggest dilemma is some people in that company go to job on Sabbath, please pray for me that I may get the amble time to attend Sabbath. God bless you all as we prepare for His Sabbath.

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  7. We are faced with a tight and tough battle. During the Israelites' time, they passed information about the battle to every fighter. And so they prepared for it.

    Even the captains, war commanders etc plan and prepare for a mission before moving. This enables them to know when, where, who to attack.
    This implies that failing to plan is planning to fail. As Christians, we must plan our strategies now.

    We are faced by this war already. And there is no one who will come and fight for us our battles. You and I will have to plan, and derive the best strategies to help us win. And for now is a good grasp and memory of the scriptures.
    May God help us.

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  8. As a saying goes, if the head is not cut off we will never stop wearing a cap, as Christians we are on a war front. We need to put on our protections which is Jesus Christ, we can not see the enemy with our naked ayes.

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