13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The helmet of salvation comes once again from Isaiah 59:17, talking about Christ’s armor that He wears as he delivers us, our Hero. But what exactly does salvation mean and why are we wearing it on our heads? Immediately I think about the Salvation Army, so does it mean that we put on a helmet that was donated and resold at a good price? You even get more of a discount if you buy it on Wednesdays…
No, salvation is the end state of being saved from something. We can think of a salvage yard, where items have been “saved” from destruction and instead are being reused. Let’s shift that thinking to our own lives and how Christ saved us. We’ve been salvaged from being destroyed in and by this world to be reused for good, for a purpose. Ironically, in this spiritual sense we are being saved to be used the way the Creator intended us to be used!
The helmet is used to protect the head from attack. It isn’t meant, necessarily, to absorb all the devastating blows, but rather to help us keep our “head about us.” I say this because in our walk as Christians, we tend to think everything will be easy breezy lemon squeezy. In contrast, however, the reality is we are going to take some pretty hefty blows. Thinking about a broadsword to the head, it’s gonna rattle us a bit, maybe even give us a concussion so we see pretty colors for a while, but thanks to our helmet, we will still have our head.
Our salvation is what saves us. That may seem like an awkward or ironic statement, but we must realize that our salvation isn’t just a once and done event. It isn’t something that just happens and we go on our merry way, rather it is something we carry with us, we adorn, and use daily in our struggles to protect us. In looking at Isaiah 59:16, we see that Christ supplied His own righteousness:
16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
I find this important because His helmet is made of His own salvation, which we wear as our own helmets. He put in the work to forge the helmet, we get to wear it as a result of His work.
How do you wear your salvation? Do you wear it boldly, proudly, and confidently or do you tuck it away in the trunk of your car so nobody sees it, embarrassed of looking awkward and out of place? Our hero has saved us and once He did, He said, “here, put this on, you’re gonna need it.”