Message Notes1). Eph 6:10 ? Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-
2). We will remember throughout our study of the spiritual warfare that we witness a continual conflict between those who presently occupy the heavenly places - but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places ? and those who have been called to occupy these heavenly places in their stead, who are to receive the heavenly land which the incumbent rulers currently posses, as an inheritance. The battle is territorial and about who will rule from the heavens over the earth.
a). As such we realize that this is a present conflict that looks to a future conclusion.
b). The battle for us takes place now, but will not be finally resolved until the conclusion of the six days of man, the establishment of the Millennial kingdom, under the headship of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
c). Our adversaries are spiritual beings who are of greater power and authority than us in whose realm we presently reside as strangers and aliens, looking to another land and another day - Heb 2:6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
d). That God?s purpose for creating Man ? ?let them have dominion?-as stated in Genesis 1:26 and repeated in 1:28 will be accomplished is without doubt. We would note in our scripture, quoting from Psalm 8, that God has ?crowned him (Man ? us) with glory and honor, And set him over the works of? God?s hand. Speaking in the past tense. This is something that from God?s eternal perspective has already taken place. Just as the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. And just as Christ?s death was not manifest in human history until some 4000 years after the creation of Adam, so does the manifestation of Man crowned with glory and honor remain yet future, at the revealing of Christ?s coheirs at His Judgment Seat, but absolutely certain.
e). However, our individual participation as a coheir is neither automatic or guaranteed - Ro 8:17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
f). And because our adversaries are at present stronger than us we need to have protection from their systematic plots and schemes so that we would not be overthrown from the goal of our calling. And we will remember that our enemy?s primary weapon for bringing about our downfall is deception. Enticing us to believe something other than that which God has said. ?Has God indeed said??
g). Hence the need for ?the whole armor of God?
h). An armor as we will remember that is interrelated and interdependent ? we either have it all or we have none.
2). Now we have laid this foundation today that we may properly understand the helmet of salvation.
a). We must realize that our goal and our focus remains yet future. And we must in the present be preparing ourselves for that future. A future that involves a meeting with the Bridegroom, followed by judgment, leading either to reward or loss.
b). And that our enemy?s deception involves us believing and acting in a way contrary to that which God has said about this ? participating in and looking to the things of this world in the present instead of organizing our lives with a view to the world to come, yet future.
3). It is this very thing that Christ references with His admonition in ?
Lu 17:32 "Remember Lot's wife.
4). Lot and his family you will recall were to be delivered from the destruction coming on the cities of the plain and were given the instructions that we find in - Ge 19:17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed."
a). We will note that they were to escape from the city, a type of the world, in order to save their life, a type of the salvation of the soul. And they were to do this by escaping to the mountains, a type the coming Kingdom. And this escape to the mountains is set against the destruction that would ensue by remaining embroiled in the affairs of the city.
b). Lot?s wife however, although knowing the direction in which she should go, could not avert her attention from the affairs of the city, the things of this world, and continued to look back, even though moving forward after a fashion, being turned into a pillar of salt as a result.
(Possible demonstration ? leading Ann by the hand)
5). One of the things we can say about Lot?s wife in relation to our subject today is that she did not have on the helmet of salvation.
6). Now the salvation spoken of in relation to the helmet is not a reference to the salvation we presently possess, the salvation of our spirit, the free gift of eternal life.
a). We should realize this firstly from our context. We have already seen that the whole armor of God is something that can only be worn by those coming into a place of spiritual maturity. Which of course can only happen subsequent to be being born again. As a result of us subsequently being continually filled with the Spirit.
b). Secondly, we have seen that the armor is something we are to put on, bringing its wearing into the area of works. Something that is never seen in connection with the free gift.
c). And thirdly we would know by doing what we always need to do, comparing scripture with scripture.
d). 1Th 5:6 ? Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
e). Notice that we are to put on ?as a helmet the hope of salvation?.
f). And the key word here is ?hope?.
g). And we will note from our scripture that this hope of salvation is connected to the day, having to do with light and is contrasted with the sleep and drunkenness of the night, having to do with darkness, the domain of the present rulers of the darkness of this world.
h). In other words in order to have the hope of salvation we must separate ourselves from the darkness, walking in the light, given by the light of the word.
7). We are to hope in respect of this salvation because we do not yet possess it. It is - 1Pe 1:5b? salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
i/ It is a salvation that has to do with the second part of our being, our soul. A salvation that - Php 2:12 ? Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
ii/ A salvation connected with works of righteousness.
a). Again in - Ga 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
b). And this is not the imputed righteousness of Christ as it involves hope. It is - Php 3:9 ? and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
The righteous acts of the saints. That which we saw in the breastplate of righteousness. That which is accounted to us through faithful obedience.
c). And again - Heb 6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
d). And again - Col 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
i/ The gospel of the glories of Christ
e). Where is this hope? ?Laid up for you in heaven?
f). Let?s connect all the dots - 1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
g). We see then that the hope laid up in heaven, yet future, the inheritance in heaven, yet future, and the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, yet future, are all references to the same thing. And are inseparable from a Christian?s present preparation in readiness for that future. A future that is preceeded by accountability and judgment.
8). Now let?s look at what scripture says about hope - Ro 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
a). Remember our scripture in Hebrews Chapter 2 - But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus,
9). The essence of hope then is that it may or may not be realized.
a). Let us look at three examples from scripture that show this.
b). Lu 23:8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
c). Ac 16:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
d). Ac 27:20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
10). The possibility of hope being realized or not being realized is exactly what scripture teaches us with regards to the ?hope of salvation.?
a). Heb 3:6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
b). Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,
c). Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
d). In each of these examples we can see that the realization of the hope is based on proper preparation.
11). So the obvious question would be, with regards to the helmet of salvation, is how would we understand it in relation to being properly prepared so that we can hold fast, not be moved away, not waver?
a). As always scripture provides our answer. Let us revisit 1 Peter verse 9 and then continue reading.
b). 1Pe 1:9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
10 ? Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel (The gospel of the glories of Christ) to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into. 13 ? Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
c). Note here - ? Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
d). And according to verse 14 we are to do this 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
12). Let us look at these things a little more closely.
a). What part of our anatomy would a helmet protect?
b). What would we understand to be inside our head?
i/ And we are to gird up the loins of this mind.
c). ?Gird? = Greek word ? anazonnumi = to bind about with intensity
This word has its origins in the Greek word ? zugos = to be joined, especially by a yoke
d). In other words our thoughts, our attitudes and consequently our actions are to be inseparably yoked to the hope that is to be realized through the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ ? When we stand before Christ at His Judgment Seat, when we would receive the salvation of our souls.
e). We must be sober ? serious and watchful ? to this end.
f). There is a stark contrast made in the juxtaposition of girding our minds with respect to the hope and conforming to our former lusts.
i/ In the former we see a life disciplined to the teaching of scripture and in the latter a life doing what is right in its own eyes.
ii/ There is a parallel here with the parable of the 10 virgins. Those with the loins of the minds girded would be the same as the 5 wise virgins, who were properly preparing themselves to meet the Bridegroom by having an extra supply of oil, so as to have light to properly navigate through the darkness of the night ? these would be of the day. They set over against the 5 moronic virgins, whose lamps were going out, causing them to be unable to see in the darkness ? these would be of the night ? associated with the things of this world and its rulers.
g). As with the example of Lot?s wife, we will either escape to the mountains, being properly prepared for going to the mountain or we will look back to the cities of the plain, being of the night. Not being properly prepared still blinded by the darkness.
h). According to our scripture our former lusts were done in ignorance. But we are no longer in ignorance. We have the Word of God, specifically the word of the kingdom, and the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth in respect of this ? it is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path.
i). 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
i/ Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
ii/ Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
13). We would clearly see then that to have on the helmet of salvation would mean that what we understand and consequently the organization of our life would be focused on that which remains yet future, the salvation of our soul, our inheritance, the coming Kingdom of Christ, resulting in proper preparation in view of the certainty of these events.
i/ A preparation instructed by the word ? Ruth ? Wash/anoint/put on
a). It is only by doing this - Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
b). That we will be protected from the enemy?s snares that would seek to draw us away to the things of this world, diverting our attention form the goal of our calling turning us into Lot?s wife. Looking unto Jesus necessitates a mature knowledge of His current location and ministry, which cannot be separated from looking unto Jesus who is the word who was with God, and the word who is God, in whom there is no darkness.
i/ 1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
ii/ It is only through renewing our mind by the word of God, heeding the words of - Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
iii/ That we can find safety and protection.
iv/ It really is a question of whether we believe God or not concerning what He has said about the coming kingdom and how we should live now to have a part in it ? and if we do, governing ourselves by the word to keep our focus, then -
c). Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
d). It is only through vigilance in maintaining our focus that our soul will remain anchored to the hope of salvation. And we will only remain focused if we take what God has said seriously. And this will only come through prayerful study and proper engagement with the word.
e). Our mind must be bound up to this end with intensity. Being surely and tightly fitted with the helmet of salvation, this is our protection from the wiles of the devil. (Tennis example)
f). If we do not maintain that focus we will inevitably drift away with the inevitable consequence of being shipwrecked, being overthrown, being disqualified at the Judgment Seat - Lu 9:62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
i/ No one who has begun to work in His field, who knows where he should be going and is supposed to be looking out ahead to his destination, but is instead continually looking back to the world will be found worthy of the kingdom
g). The question is, where are we looking this morning? Or better still, where will we be looking tomorrow morning?
i/ If we have on the helmet of salvation we will only be looking in one direction. Satan could offer us all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, but nothing will move us from our course ? we will remain steadfast, resolute and immovable.
h). Let?s close out by remembering the warning in ?
Heb 2:1 ? Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5 ? For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.