THE HELMET OF SALVATION
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
And take the helmet of salvation, -- Ephesians 6:17
God exclaims, 'Watch your thoughts! Be careful what you believe! Issues of life and death are formed in your mind!'
Our thought life needs to be carefully guarded. Satan wants to control, to influence what we think, and the way we think. The Holy Spirit wants to influence the way we think. Our mind is a constant battlefield where good and evil spirit beings seek to influence our thoughts moment by moment.
When we are born into this world, we are born with the sin nature we inherited from our bloodline all the way back to Adam and Eve. Because we are sinners from day one, it is the most natural thing in the world to think like a sinner. It is unnatural for us to think like God thinks. Sinners think selfish. Sin is selfishness (and of course, rebellion towards God). Sinners want what they want, whether it's good for them or not. The devil has been granted full, legal right to help us think and believe what we think and believe, because at birth, he legally won the right in the Garden of Eden to be our earthly spiritual father, though most don't know it.
However, that was never the entire conclusion of the matter. Before creation, God purposed Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world. God knowing all things from beginning to end, knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin and that their offspring would be born sinners from then on. He knew that a Savior would have to come upon the world scene to save men and women from their sinful condition, otherwise it would be futile to create Adam and Eve in the first place, let alone allow them to bear offspring.
Hence, though Satan won a degree of legal control of the human race after the fall of Adam and Eve, each person born truly belonged to God because the devil was never given the power to create a human being. The Creator always retains right and control over that which He creates. It's within His power and right to do with His creation as He sees fit.
Each person born after Adam and Eve were given the gift of free will, the ability to believe what they wanted to believe by their Creator. Satan could not strip that from them. Every person born on this planet is given the right to seek out good, or seek out evil. Whatever is in the mind of a person to do, God has seen fit that nothing will stop a person from seeking out good and evil. Satan has not been given the power to hinder this process. He never has ' he never will be. That alone God always had and always will have.
Thus our mind is like a one-man football team. You stand in the stadium, and on one side of the arena is the devil and all evil minds that have chosen to reject Truth somewhere along life's way. On the other side of the arena is God and all those who hunger and thirst for Truth, and will give everything they have to find it and hold onto it. Notice here I have not said that this is a battle of good and evil. That becomes 'relative' in the world we live in. God says, truly, it's a battle for Truth and Lies. As the saying goes and is so true, the road to hell is paved with 'good' intentions.
God has made it perfectly clear that there is none that are 'good.' No, not one, but He alone is good.' (See: Romans 3:10). When we come up with the absolutely foolish statement that God wouldn't let such-an-such go to hell, because he or she was a 'good' person, we are actually speaking a lie to others because we are most likely ignorant of the lie we have believed. How so? Because God has written in His Word that you can only say such a thing about God Himself. There is only One who is 'good.' That is God.
How then can a person get to heaven then, if they are incapable of being 'good enough' for God to accept them into heaven? It's the imputed 'goodness of Jesus Christ' we have been given, free of charge no less, that makes us 'good enough' to be accepted into eternal glory. Let us never forget that. Our righteousness, our spiritual 'goodness' is and always will be as filthy rags. (See: Isaiah 64:6) God's Word states it just that way. Thus we need the righteousness of Jesus Christ to make us spiritually pure and holy. It is the imputed holy righteousness of Jesus Christ that God accepts, and nothing of ourselves.
God so wants us to get this in our minds. It is perhaps the most important building block one can put in one's spiritual foundation for spiritual survival. It is perhaps our most powerful weapon against the lies of Satan.
'You aren't 'good enough' to be accepted in heaven!' a demon whispers in our mind at a weak moment. If I'm honest with myself, and the Truth always is, I rightly should agree with Satan's ambassador. However, I'm to never agree with a lie, God says, if I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ. Thus I have to remind myself and this demon that because it's the righteousness of Christ Jesus that saves me anyway, His goodness, not mine, His holiness, not mine, this demon is as dumb and stupid as they come! One touchdown for Truth again!
'You keep committing the same sin over and over, you hypocrite! When are you going to wake up and realize God will not keep forgiving you for the same sin over and over?!' another demon whispers in your mind. If someone sins against us, how many times are we told that we must forgive that person, if that person asks for forgiveness each time? Seven times seventy, Truth records (See: Matthew 18:22).
'Yeah, but you have sinned this same sin 491 times! I've kept track! Now there is no longer any forgiveness for this sin! You're lost now, pal. You will never make it to heaven. Give it up. Admit it!' this demon persists. And if I don't know what Truth says in its entirety,I might fall for this lie. Only wonderful thing is, I know what 1 Corinthians 13 says about God and His forgiveness and I know what 1 John 1:9 says about it, and I know what Romans 8:1-17 says about it. I know that God says that if I won't forgive others, He will not forgive me. But that implies that if I forgive others who offend and hurt me, He will forgive me, devil, every time. No mathematics are involved you liar!
'Well, you've committed the unpardonable sin! You turned your back on God and once you do that, Hebrews 6:4-6 says it's impossible to be restored back to Him in right standing, so you're just deceiving yourself!' a high level demon whispers in your thoughts. If you have spent any time in God's Word, you are familiar with the parable of 'The Prodigal Son.' (See: Luke 15:11-32). This is parable that God in Christ Himself told. Come up with one other good reason for God recording it in the Bible for us to read today other than to give every person hope and assurance that it is never too late to admit to oneself that no matter how rebellious and how foolish they have been, our heavenly Father will always welcome us back with open arms, and give us His very best, eternal salvation, if we are truly sorry for offending God, for being angry and bitter and Him, and for being utterly foolish in squandering our time, talent and resources for ungodly purposes.
Logically, when you examine this parable, it is probably the most unfair thing I've ever personally observed recorded in the Bible. It makes absolutely no sense to heap all the lavish accolades on the rebellious, wayward son by the father, while the obedient son doesn't even so much as get one gold star out of the deal, let alone a big love hug like his pig-stinking brother gets. God fully purposed us to get a little angry when we logically think about what went on here. He wants us to come to the conclusion that this is just not fair at all! Why? Because God knew the battle that was going to be waged against the minds of his people here on earth. God had to provide a weapon of hope that would destroy the lies of the devil for people who once walked with God, then turned their backs on Him, yet come to the realization of their folly in time and seek to get right with God in Christ Jesus again. For those people, he gave us the parable of The Prodigal son. It serves virtually no other purpose.
Every person who God determines will spend eternity in hell will have committed the unpardonable sin, 'blasphemy against the Holy Spirit' in other words. They rejected Truth and followed the Lie, willfully. They loved Darkness and Deception more than they loved Light.
Those that get to spend eternity with God in glory are they that had a burning desire to be pleasing to God at whatever price they had to pay, and nothing or no one was going to stop them. They recognized they were selfish and rebellious at the core of their being, and that only a Savior from God could save them from it. They recognize that Jesus Christ alone is the only human being who has, and can, and did, meet all the qualifications of being that Savior.
Our thought life must constantly be examined in light of God's holy Word. We must learn to let the Holy Spirit saturate our minds with Truth instead of lies. When our thoughts begin to differ with what God has declared in His Word, we must quickly realign our thoughts with God's Word.
It is no coincidence that God's Word reads this way in Ephesians 6:17:
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
God is saying clearly here that you do not have the helmet of salvation on to protect your mind if you are not using the 'sword of the Holy Spirit', which is the Word of God.
What weapon does the Holy Spirit give us to wage effective spiritual warfare on our behalf? Ephesians 6:17 says: the Word of God. How do we swing that sword effectively? By letting the Word of God replace lies in our mind. By letting the Word of God change the way we think, which ultimately changes the way we act, the way we behave, the way we respond.
Scripture memorization is one of the most effective ways to train our mind to think as the Holy Spirit desires it to think. More specifically, memorizing scriptures that assure us of God's forgiveness toward us, and the assurance of eternal salvation, are tops on the list of Truths the Holy Spirit wants us to have instant recall of and peace with. They are the foundational building Truths on which we build our relationship with Jesus Christ on.
God desires that we become so knowledgeable of the Truths of eternal salvation that the devil never ever will waste his time trying to lie to us that we are not saved, all sins can and will be forgiven, if we confess them to God and are truly sorry for committing them, or we have committed the unpardonable sin, and therefore we cannot be restored back to God in good standing.
God wants us secure in our salvation. God wants us to know upside down and inside out what saves us, and keeps us saved.
God also wants us to stop sinning as quickly as possible. If we don't, Truth assures us that God will be forced to chastise us and discipline us, not as punishment, but because He loves us enough to not let us be a peace while we sin. When we sin, depending on the nature of the sin/s we are committing, it brings some form of spiritual death to us, because sin gives Satan legal right to enter the defense perimeter God places around us. God wants us to be wise and keep all doors closed in the defense perimeter surrounding us. Yet if we sin as believers on Jesus Christ, it opens the door for demons to enter our defense perimeter. Repenting of our sin(s), on a daily basis if necessary, asking God's forgiveness, which He always grants, and earnestly seeking Him for ways to stop committing that sin, closes the door in our defense perimeter to the devil.
Prayer is the next weapon that God says a believer in Christ is to use to keep doors shut in your defense perimeter. Ephesians 6:18 tells us so. A wise and knowledgeable soldier of Jesus Christ appropriates the blood of Jesus in prayer over their mind every night before going to sleep, and first thing when they wake up as they start their day. A father or mother prays the blood of Jesus of their children's minds frequently as well. In addition, a wise soldier of the Lord asks God daily to protect them from evil, and protect their love ones from evil as well. God isn't obligated to do that, I hope you know. Jesus told us in Matthew 6:13 that we are to do this on a daily basis ' not just once in awhile. He is trying to help us realize that we need to pray on a daily basis about the topics mentioned in Matthew 6, for our own good.
Angels respond as we pray. Good angels and fallen angels. Angels respond as God tells them to respond, and God tells the angels what to do when we pray. The Holy Spirit also responds as we pray. God doesn't obligate Himself to fight for us until someone prays. It is impossible to pray too often, about the same thing. The devil wants you to believe that God tires of hearing your prayers. God never tires of hearing our prayers ' especially the unselfish ones. God delights in hearing our unselfish prayers, truly, especially when they are for the welfare of others, and they are in line with Truth, the Word of God.
In conclusion: A person acts ultimately the way they believe. A person believes according to Truth from God, Lies from Satan, and/or Self, which is usually always selfish and usually not Holy Spirit motivated. God tells us that we are to guard our minds, guard what we think and believe. One keeps us on the path to eternal life. The other takes us off the path of eternal life, and all paths from there lead to some form of eternal death. Eternal death is some form of peaceless, tormenting, joyless sorrow. Who needs it?! Choose life! Obeying the Word of God is the path to eternal life. Eat, sleep, drink, memorize, wash, saturate . . . your mind with the Word of God. You'll never regret it as you seek for eternal life.
To learn about the other weapons of our warfare, click on the ones below you are interested in knowing more about:
1) Helmet of salvation
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Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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