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?