When I was a child, I was terrified of holes. Yes, holes. All holes. From the large gaping hole exposed when the water supply of a residential area was left uncovered to the holes that form in the batter when pancakes were being prepared for a Saturday morning breakfast feast. I was convinced that all holes were dangerous and served to draw me into them against my will where I’d spend eternity away from my family and friends. As a result, I never wanted to eat pancakes and my mother would always have to pick me up and carry me across any hole or opening along any walkway as I would become paralyzed with fear and would not proceed on my own!
From where did these beliefs come?
At some point in my life, my underdeveloped brain gathered some information, processed it, and filed it away. When the time was right, this information was applied. It did not matter that the information was erroneous. My body responded based on what my brain processed. My brain said “be afraid” and my body tremored. My brain said “that hole may be small, but it will suck you in.” My body ran.
The brain is a vital organ! When it does not function properly, our bodies do not function properly. If information is processed incorrectly, we will respond accordingly until something changes in our thinking and understanding.
Paul understood this concept very well and wanted to make it clear to the Ephesians. He again draws on their understanding of what being a Roman soldier in battle involved. Of all the gear these soldiers had to put on, the helmet was the last piece to be taken up. This piece of armor protected their heads, which housed their brains. They knew that if there was damage to their heads, all of the other armor would be of little to no value. Once their brains could no longer function properly, they would be vulnerable to the attacks of their enemy.
Well, the brain is to the body what the mind is to the soul. What Paul was teaching the Ephesians and what we are to understand today is that just as our physical brains need to be protected with helmets supplied in battle, our minds need to be protected with a helmet called salvation.
To “take the helmet of salvation” is to think about, to be reminded of, to rehearse the fact that you, when and if you profess Christ as Lord, were delivered and are daily being delivered from sin and its consequences.
Some of us believe that salvation is only about escaping hell in the future. That logic is as erroneous as the logic that fueled my childhood fear of holes. But, hey, if we think it in our minds, we will act it out in our lives. As a result, we accept Christ as Lord and settle for hell here on Earth all in the name of “some glad morning . . . when this life is over.”
That is not what salvation is about. Paul encourages these believers, these Saints, to put on the helmet of salvation because it provides the constant assurance of our deliverance and the protection from our enemy’s schemes right here in this present time. We don’t have to wait until we “fly away . . .” to Heaven to experience peace and joy and victory. What we need to do is cover our minds with the blessed daily assurance that we are presently saved by grace, delivered from sin, and protected from its consequences.
It is interesting that Paul is talking to Christians. This proves that it is possible to be saved but not think saved. It is possible to believe in Christ as Lord but not live like it. It’s possible to be a soldier in the Lord’s army and to have not yet taken your helmet of salvation—your daily assurance of deliverance and protection.
How many of us are walking around scared that we are about to be sucked into some hole? How many of us are missing out on some delicious fixings and remaining dependent on the hands of others to propel us forward all based on an underdeveloped mind? Paul is saying renew your mind! Protect it from misguided erroneous information! Protect it from damage caused by the impact of the devil’s schemes. Allow the truth of God’s Word to absorb the shock of life’s blows!
Yes, life will throw some blows! But our Heavenly Father threw the ultimate blow at Calvary! Take the helmet of salvation and protect your mind from beliefs that are real yet wrong and from damage that is painful yet forgiven. You are saved. You’ve been delivered. Now think like it and act like it.