and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (ESV)
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (NIV)
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (NLT)
Don’t Forget Your Helmet
We now arrive at the last and final sections of the armor of God. We have explored the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet planted in the gospel of peace, and the shield of faith. This brings us to our final protective piece of armor–the helmet of salvation.
The entire motive of the armor of God is to stand firm against the evil one. Paul knew that if we were to stand firm against the enemy, we would have to rely on the hope of our salvation continually. This is because the enemy mainly battles us through lies spoken to us, lies that tend to fill our minds and cripple us under the weight of intrusive thoughts, but the helmet defends against these lies as it is placed over our minds. For this reason, we are to continually put on this helmet and guard our minds by recognizing the hope we have been called to–the hope of our salvation that is found and secure in Christ alone. Our hope is in His blood shed on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, and our future hope is to be with Him again.
This future hope gives us the ambition to fight. We can stand firm because we will know where we will stand in the end! Jesus says, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13). So, for now, our call is to stand firm, putting on the helmet of salvation.
The enemy desires our encounter with God’s mercy to be something of the past. Still, as we continually remind ourselves of our sin and His grace, we recognize our salvation in Him, which remains alive and fresh. When we stand firm, we remain entirely reliant on the grace of God every day, and we continually work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). It is in this follower of Jesus that the enemy has no ground to fight against. When he speaks lies accusing us, they fall on deaf ears because of the confidence that is found in our God.
Be On The Attack
Now, with confidence and protection of our mind, we can go to battle with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Although all other pieces of armor are defensive, our final piece, the sword, is used to attack the enemy. As seen in scripture, the enemy himself tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Here, we see Jesus use the sword to attack the enemy. Jesus defeats the enemy by simply quoting the Word. Isn’t that surprising to you? When I think of the Devil and all that he could do, the last things I think would make him are simple words, but the Scriptures aren’t just simple words. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The word of God has great power. It holds the weight and the ultimate power in the spiritual realm against evil forces.
We could try and debate the enemy with philosophy and reasoning, and he could manipulate and twist it. He even tries to manipulate scripture itself. That’s right! The enemy knows Scripture (probably better than you and I). But when we, as Jesus did, quote the Scriptures to fight back, the enemy is powerless because the Bible is God-breathed, sharper than any two-edged sword, coming directly from Him. This is why we are so passionate about the planting and growth of Scriptures in our hearts. It is paramount for us to be victorious against the evil one, to know the Word of God, and to take our minds captive, keeping them free from lies. So, as you continue this journey with us memorizing Scripture, remember why you are doing this. Remember the stakes, remember the power of the truth, and take up your sword!
As we have now placed on the whole armor of God, let us remember that every piece is vital for our victory. Placing it on again and again, day after day, we also must remember where it comes from. It is not of us but instead of God. Stand firm, pray in all circumstances, stay alert, and be generous (Eph. 6:18).
Written by Ben Hesch
Now that we have placed on the Armor of God, Paul challenges us to pray in all circumstances, stay alert, and be generous. (Eph. 6:18) This week, as you reflect on the whole Armor, make it your aim to pray with those around you, guarding your heart against the enemy, and being generous–relinquishing control of what you have.