Put on salvation as your helmet . . . (Eph 6:17)
Just as the head needs to be protected in a fight, the head needs also to be protected in a spiritual battle against false doctrine and deceit. The helmet was a cap made of thick leather, or brass, fitted to the head, and was usually crowned with a plume, or crest, as an ornament. Its used to guard the head from a blow by sword, war-club, or battle-axe. The helmet to protect the head would be one of the last items of armour to be put on.
Literally the words are "take the helmet". Paul says "take" and uses a different Greek word from that found in verse 13 and 16. The sense is “receive” or “accept,” namely, the helmet offered by the Lord. In other words we need to appropriate our salvation. It is joined to the shield of faith, as being inseparable. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure Gospel “hope” of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine, or give way to Satan’s temptations to despair. The idea is, that the hope of salvation will preserve us in the day of spiritual conflict, and will guard us from the blows which an enemy would strike. The helmet defended the head, a vital part; and so the hope of salvation will defend the soul, and keep it from the blows of the enemy. A soldier would not fight well without a hope of victory. By keeping the concept of our salvation ever before us we ensure our motivation to keep pressing on to gain that which we want to appropriate in the end.
All of these ideas are linked just as the armour is also linked. There is a logical link between truth, righteousness, faith and salvation. In fact there is a progression involved in these four concepts. Each are crucial to gain salvation in the long run. There may well be a connection between between the receiving or accepting of the helmet (I.e. Salvation) and accepting Christ. That is who it at the centre of salvation. It is our being found "in Christ" which opens the way to our salvation. A salvation which comes with the ultimate end of the battle of our lives. We need to guard the promise of our salvation received when we accept Christ with the outworking of our salvation at the end of lives. [Work out your salvation in fear and trembling – Phil 2:12] Stay focused on being faithful to Christ to the end to gain the goal of your salvation – the salvation of your soul.
The focus on the spiritual side of the battle is all to do with our minds. Our mind is what is the focus of satan's attack. The knowledge that our righteousness depends on Him, we appropriate His righteousness, is a strong weapon against the wiles of the devil. As I have told you before it is not our outworking of practical righteousness, or our being righteous and pure before God that is in focus here. It is the imputed (given or granted) righteousness of Christ that enables you to stand firm. It is God's truth that opposes lies. We must be so careful to take our stand on the basis of truth. Standing on the truth of Christ's righteousness enables our faith and trust in Him to be that which ultimate wins us salvation. As we discuss in Romans it is faith from beginning to end. Guard your hearts and your minds in the truth of Christ.
The ultimate goal of the enemy of your soul is to deceive you into losing your salvation. He does it by lies and untruths. Who is the one immune from the lies? The simple answer is NO ONE. We must always be contending for the truth against the lie. It will always be that way. Anyone can fall prey to the lies of satan. Yes even the mostly godly, most learned saint of God is susceptible and can become involved in false doctrine. How can we be protected against false doctrine? By knowing the truth and comparing that to the lie. Be like the Bereans who checked out all that Paul said in the light of the Scriptures they had (OT) to see if what he was saying measured up to truth. Acts 17:11. It is possible for a Bible teacher of many years to be deceived and to go off into error at the end of his or her life. The responsibility of us all is to maintain and battle for the truth.
I had a conversation with someone last night about these things. They asked me how can we know what is true when this big named Bible teacher says that and that one says this. The answer is to know the Word of God. Be students of the Word of God. Know what the Word says and hold that up to be the standard by which all else is measured. I think there is a fundamental error of judgement that we are all prone to commit. That is to attribute to a human being the sense of being the oracle of God. Let me repeat again the anecdotal story I told in Gem 371. I will include it again here so you don't have to go and look for it. I will place it right here under your nose. The principle is important to grasp.
When we were back in our home town after a stint in Indonesia I was asked by a home group leader about the symbolism of a certain term in the Old Testament. I told the man I didn’t know but if I had time I would check it out, but I didn’t think the symbolism extended that far. On checking there was no way that symbolism could have been included in the intent of the passage. There were only four references in the Old Testament. No not possible. I read him all the references and asked him if he thought this could be construed to mean that. He agree and said no. Then he said “well it must in the meaning of the word itself then." I told him "No it was not in the etymology or in the lexicon anywhere. That symbolism could not be applied to this word." Then he said an interesting thing. “Well it must be!” I responded by saying “Why must it be?” He said because X (a world re-known teacher) said it. I said oh, that is where you are coming from. Well I don’t care who said it, I stand by what I said about that symbolism not being in the word or the context. He then made an even more startling statement. “Oh no, that means I have to throw out all of X’s tapes.”
Hang on a minute: what is going on here? We have now committed two serious errors. One we accept everything someone says as the oracle of God. Then when one aspect of teaching has been proved to be wrong we throw out everything. We have moved from one extreme position to another, one extremity of the swing of the pendulum to the other. Think through what it is that you believe. Take at face value what someone says and check Scripture to see if it is true. Have the wisdom of the Bereans (Acts 17) who examined all that Paul said against the Scriptures to see if it were true. They investigate, they examined, they searched the Scriptures, they checked it out. If they did that with Paul, how much more should we do it? The anti-Paulites would say yes indeed. Check it out. That is why we are starting a new focus in our ministry with Wycliffe in Indonesia and calling it “Berean Insights”. Read Acts 17:11.
It could be fatal to us and our salvation to accept everything that some big name preacher says – I don't care who they are – without checking out what they are saying against the Scripture. The problem of course arises when we don't know our Scripture well and in fact we don't open our Bibles and check out what the preacher is saying against the Word of God. The Word of God is the measuring stick, the plumb line. I have told you before they don't teach experts in counterfeiting to know the false. They are not taught all the ways that counterfeiters can duplicate money. They are simply taught to know the real thing. It is to our detriment of we accept everything at face value and don't check it out. Not human being is immune from false doctrine. Likewise is folly to think that everything that comes out of the mouth of a great preacher is absolute and utter truth. Every human preacher has strengths and weaknesses. No preacher knows it all. That is not possible. The Word of God is too deep for that. So don't buy into the thought that everything X says is gospel truth. See what Scripture says about it.
Likewise if you catch X teaching something that is not right according to the Word of God, that doesn't mean you have to burn all their CD's along with their effigy. Realise that they may well have great teaching on A and B but have a weak understanding of X and Y. You have to be the one who is discerning and check out all they say against the Word of God. Yes I know that puts the onus (burden) on you. So study to show yourself approved, a person who rightly discerns the Word of God. It scares me when I go to churches where the congregation don't have their Bibles out and using them but sit there Bibleless and simple take in what the preacher is saying. Be discerning and wise and check out "truth" against THE TRUTH. There much more to say but I think I have said enough.
Be aware that you are in a battle. A Spiritual battle for your mind. Protect yourself and don't let the devil rob you of God's Truth. Check out Bible truth in the same way the Bereans did. If it was good enough to check out what Paul had to say it is right to check out what ANYONE has to say. Know your Bible and use that as the measuring stick for Truth with a capital T.
B I B L E = Be informed Before Leaving Earth.
If you STAND for nothing, you will FALL for anything! Brian Houston
If we are not seeking the Lord, the Devil is seeking us. Charles Spurgeon
When we seek the Lord with all our heart, the devil's spotlight is on us even more. Ian