Take the helmet of salvation…Ephesians 6:17a
Ephesians 6 isn’t the first time we read about a helmet of salvation in Scripture, and it won’t be the last time. The prophet Isaiah delivered a prophecy about how the Lord couldn’t find anyone to bring about salvation and justice in Israel, so He had to do it Himself.
He saw that there was no one,Isaiah 59:16-17
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head
Jesus was the arm of the Lord that achieved salvation for the people of God. In other words, Jesus was the original wearer of the breastplate of righteousness and helmet of salvation. When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, He left behind His armor for the Body of Christ to put on.
The helmet of salvation protects the head, the mind, the thought-life of the believer. But we shouldn’t just think that “being saved” is enough. Paul clarified the purpose of this helmet in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 when he said, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
The helmet of salvation is chiefly about the hope of salvation. It is this hope that keeps our thoughts protected from despair, self-condemnation, and defeat. Romans 8:24 says, “For in this hope we were saved.” 1 Corinthians 15:19 says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” And Paul prays this prayer for the Romans in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The hope of our salvation–of our eternal future with the Lord–is what protects our mind today. It gives us a clear head about the present moments that can be difficult. It gives us perspective on the “light and momentary troubles” that are “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”(2 Corinthians 4:17).