But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”1 Thessalonians 5:8
Let us put on the helmet of salvation, stated the apostle Paul, along with the breastplate of faith and love. What does it mean to put on the helmet of salvation. The apostle Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, and he knew all about the importance of citizenship and protection. Did you know that the Roman helmet has two purposes? I have read that the Roman Centurion Soldier who put on their helmet was distinct in that it not only protected the head, but that the helmet identified who the soldier belonged to. The crests of plumes made from horsehair, was dyed red. This gave the Roman soldier their identity and during battle they were recognized by the color of their plumes. When we put on the helmet of salvation, we are not only identified with Christ, but we are citizens also with the saints, and of the household of God, [see Ephesians 2:19]. Everyone has a lineal descent from a single ancestor, but for some their citizenship has been taken away by a specific law. Those who struggle with some kind of an identity crisis will understand how the truth of their identity is linked to their parents as far as nationality. Inherited traits come from our parents and the desire of knowing where they came from is the link to the past to their ancestry. The apostle Paul knew who he was in that he stated that he was a Roman citizen and a Jew. Besides being a Roman citizen and a Jew, Paul was now also a Christian. Do you know who you are? Are you a citizen of the household of God?
Let us take note how Paul identifies himself in chapter 3, verse one of Ephesians, “I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.” A prisoner of Jesus Christ! Paul was captured by Christ. Paul’s conversion was such a reality of truth that Paul himself was astonished. Let us remember that Paul was persecuting Christians and the voice he heard from heaven said, “I am Jesus, whom thou persecuted,” [Acts 9:5]. Persecution takes on all kinds of shapes for it is linked to physical, social, mental, and spiritual hostility and the ill-treatment of others. It is the constant badgering and poking holes into someone’s identity. Yet, God had a purpose for Paul. Paul was God’s chosen vessel to teach who Christ is to the Gentiles and to the Children of Israel. Jesus Christ is the son of God, thus maintaining the Deity of Jesus [Acts 9:20]. They did not know that they had crucified the Lord of glory. Paul who had the scales fall from his eyes was filled with the Holy Spirit, received his sight and was baptized. Paul began to preach Christ in the synagogues. This was God’s plan and not Paul’s plan and it gave us the message of the gospel of Christ.
We may wonder what plan we are following. Is it God’s or our own plan?
Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established.“Proverbs 4:26
As we look straight before us, we should ponder the path we are on. We should be removing the foot of evil as is stated in Proverbs 4:27. Our path is one of truth and righteousness as children of God. No matter what our environment may be, there are those who are being harassed into doing something that they rather not do. Be careful you do not lose your soul by what you are being forced to do. We must have our eyes open to see the truth of any situation and not fall prey to the situation we find ourselves in. God’s love is deep, and he really does care for each of us. He sent his son to prove his love toward us in that we can be freed from the bondage of sin. Salvation means death to and freedom from sin. This is restoration. Can you believe that he has predestine us to adoption as children through Jesus Christ himself? God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.”Ephesians 1:4-5
Christ was made sin for us in that he took our sins to the cross in order that we might be reconciled to God. Have you seen the salvation of God? Do you have the knowledge of salvation for the remission of your sins?
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all of them that obey him.”Hebrews 5:9
Christ being made perfect became the author of eternal salvation because he obeyed God. Eternal salvation means deliverance, preservation and healing for all those who believe in Christ as the son of God. Eternal salvation through the death of Christ gives us the power of God to have our own guilt from sin removed. We also are being saved from the habit of sin and its dominion. This I find extortionary and yet many Christians have not seen the reality of this in their own life. However, Paul had this reality of truth in his own life in that he was changed by the power of God and become an apostle and no longer persecuted Christians. Listen to what he states to the Roman Christians.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”Romans 1:16
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for he himself experienced the power of God unto salvation. Have you experienced the power of God unto salvation? This is an experience and is not to be taken lightly. When I was lost in the city of Perth in Western Australia, I did not know how to get back home. I truly was lost. At one point I had stopped walking and heard his voice telling me that I had to go back home. I told God that I was lost and could not find my way back home. I was standing on a sidewalk not knowing where I was and praying to God with my eyes closed. I was a teenager who was running away from home. The power of God translated me to another place, or at least I thought this is what happened. Only God knows for sure. When I opened my eyes, I knew where I was and made my way home. This was the power of God unto salvation. This was the purpose of God that I would someday find salvation. It took two years after this incident that I found Christ, the son of God who was crucified for my sins. The power of God came upon me again when I asked him for forgiveness of my own sins. The burden of guilt was removed from my heart. A Christian is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin. It is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that hath set me free from the law of sin and death [see Romans 8:2]. Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed stated James 1:14. We are being tempted almost every day and Paul tell us the following:
There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”1 Corinthians 10:13
God is faithful when we put on the helmet of salvation, for Jesus is the author of eternal salvation. Our identity is in Christ Jesus and God is faithful to those who believe. God knows our heart and is even faithful to those who have not heard who Jesus is. This is the grace of God that He will help us through in our time of need. As children of light, let us watch and be sober-minded and put on the helmet of salvation every day for the power of God to keep us from the evil one and from being drawn away by our own lust.