The Armor of God
Well this is it, the final installment in this study on the Armor of God. I want to thank you for reading each day; I hope that you have had some new insights into the Armor and how to properly wear it. Blessings, Cindy
V. 17 “And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
• Salvation (4992) (Lexicon) Soterion: meaning the hope of salvation, saving, bringing salvation, and describing God’s grace.
• Spirit (4151) (Lexicon) Pneuma: Holy Spirit, the part of a man that gives him the ability to think of God
• Word (4487) (Lexicon) Rhema: to speak
I think the first thing that grabs my attention in this verse is the way Paul changes the words he uses in regards to how we are to claim this part of the armor. He tells us to “take” the helmet of salvation. The dictionary’s, meaning of the word take is: possession by voluntary action. Salvation is the free gift to us from God, but not everyone will be saved. Why? Because not everyone will volunteer his life to follow Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness. True repentance leads to salvation, not all will be capable of this.
This is the breakdown of salvation according to the Exegetical notes of the New American Standard Bible. “We misinterpret our decision to follow Jesus as salvation. The first step is God’s offer of salvation through the convicting powers of the Holy Spirit. Our acceptance of that offer is not salvation. Our salvation comes when God sees that we are truly repentant of our sins. That our repentance is genuine. Then He accepts us and makes us part of His body. Therefore we should never speak of salvation as a decision of ours only, but rather as God’s acceptance of a truly repentant sinner. If God were to accept someone whom He could not keep to the end then Christ has failed.”(pg. 1623-1624 of the NAS Greek – Hebrew study Bible)
So what does all of that have to do with the “taking” of the helmet of salvation? Paul is trying to tell us to be sure that we are taking the free gift that God gives us. He told us in the verses leading up to this one that we are to be mindful of how we live for God every single day, every moment. That we are living lives that are above reproach. This is the acts of a repentant heart. One that God will choose to save for Himself.
Let’s go a little deeper here, what is a helmet used for, to protect the head of course. How do you think we can save our minds from being drawn away from the things of God? By focusing on the salvation that God offers us. And how to obtain that salvation; God has taken the first step by offering salvation through Jesus, with the convicting powers of the Holy Spirit. The 2nd step is our decision to follow Jesus. The 3rd step is to truly have a repentant heart; it is when God sees that we have truly repented of our sins that He will save us. If we follow these steps then our minds will be protected.
All too often we take the power away from God by giving it to ourselves. Take salvation as an example; I always thought of salvation as a choice on my part. I would say I have to choose to follow Jesus. I know that salvation comes from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but I left God’s power there. Hanging on the cross. Until today I always thanked Jesus for His gift of salvation, but I think that I gave the power to myself for choosing to follow Jesus. It is not my power, it is God’s power, I may have chosen to follow Jesus, but it is God who chooses to save me! If I say that I am a follower of Jesus, but the actions in my life do not show it than how can I truly say that I am a changed person? How can I say that I have repented of my sins, but still do them? Forgiveness is not a free pass to continue living the way I want. Forgiveness means that I am willing to live my life the way God wants me to.
“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Remember that we struggle not with flesh and blood but that our battle is a spiritual one. We cannot build a house without tools right? Well we cannot fight a spiritual battle with human tools. We must be armed with the sword of the spirit. This is the Holy Spirit; it is also the part of man that allows him to think of God. Our first instinct when we are under attack is to fight or flight. God tells us that our first line of defense is the Holy Spirit. He is the revealer of truth; he is our conscience (if you will allow such a trivial comparison).
Why do you think that Paul put the helmet and the sword together in one verse? I think that it is because we need to understand that the Holy Spirit can help to guard our minds by giving Him the free reign within us to speak to us. We need to be sensitive to His tugging on us. Sometimes He is a small voice nudging us in the right direction. Other times He screams and tells us to run. It is our free will to listen or to turn aside from His convictions. With all that said, the sword can protect us IF we are willing wield it properly. That is, as long as we are willing to be sensitive to the urgings of the Holy Spirit.
This is also the word of God. Get to know it; we cannot defend our faith if we don’t know what it is that we are defending. Remember that Paul told us that we are to be prepared to bring the message of salvation wherever we go. Well likewise, we need to be prepared with the word of God. This is our first line of defense. When we are under attack it is easy to forget why we are standing up for God’s truth; if we keep it always within us to know it in our innermost parts than we will be successful with wielding the sword in truth and justice.
Let us keep in mind 2nd Timothy 4. We need to be ready in season and out. We need to be ready to commit our lives at all times. Whether we are living with plenty, or whether we are living with none. We need to be ready at a moment’s notice to do the will of God. We can only do all of this if we are fully armored and ready for the battle. Each of the pieces of the armor of God has a function, it is our duty to be fully armored and ready for battle with the evil spirits that are sent from Satan himself to deceive, kill and destroy. We are called to be ministers to a hurt and dying world. Let us therefore, take up this armor, wear it properly and be diligent to live the lives that are worthy to be called followers of Jesus Christ!
May God bless you all and keep you till we meet again!