December 9, 2015

Exploding head


The helmet of salvation. The Roman soldier’s helmet was made of leather and metal and was designed to protect his head against arrows and swords. What protects the Christian is his salvation. However, Paul is not saying that the person needs to get saved because he already is saved; otherwise, he wouldn’t be wearing the other pieces of the armor.



In earlier chapters, we mentioned the three phases of our salvation that the New Testament describes. The first phase is called justification, which takes place when a person puts his trust in Christ for his salvation. This is salvation from the penalty of sin. The second phase is sanctification, which is the phase known as the Christian life, when we learn God’s Word and apply it to be delivered from the power of sin. The third phase is glorification, which occurs when a Christian goes to heaven and is freed from the very presence of sin.

The helmet of salvation speaks of the application of God’s Word to our present life on earth. This is phase two of our salvation. Paul speaks of it in Philippians 2:12, where he instructs us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We put on the helmet of salvation by letting the principles of God’s Word renew and transform our minds.



I’m always amazed at how many Christians do not mind their heads. They swim in the currents of worldly ideas and entertainment without developing a Christian mind. They’re oblivious to the godless philosophic assumptions that underlie worldly thinking. They buy into the postmodern idea that there is no such thing as knowable, absolute truth in the spiritual or moral realms. These careless Christians ignore, or sometimes even ridicule, the need for sound doctrine. They want experience, not doctrine. They want good feelings, not careful thinking.

Because they do not mind their heads, they are not transformed by the renewing of their minds. Rather, they are conformed to this evil world (Rom. 12:1-2). God gives us the helmet of salvation so that we will mind our heads.



About 30 years ago a book was written called; “the battle for your mind” it was one of the first Christian books dealing with the truth about mental illness. Christians have always shied away from dealing with mental health, they will pop pills, get analyzed, read all kinds of self help books; but never deal with the root of their problems. Conform your mind to the world, get your brains sucked out, spiritual zombies, totally numb to the things of God.

Yes, there are real mental health issues, but there is also the fact that the old adage; “garbage in = garbage out”.


To stand firm against the enemy, take the helmet of salvation.


Just before going into battle, the Roman soldier would put on a helmet, either made of bronze or of leather with pieces of metal covering it. It also had cheek pieces to protect part of his face. Paul here draws on Isaiah 59:17, where it says of the Lord as the righteous Judge and Warrior, “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.” Isaiah was picturing God going forth into battle to bring deliverance to His people by judging their enemies. But in Ephesians, Paul pictures believers putting on the helmet of salvation to protect themselves in the conflict with the enemy. The genitive is one of apposition, meaning, “the helmet, which is salvation.”


1. The helmet protects your head from the enemy’s attacks.


Your head is a very important part of your body, because it contains your brain, which controls everything.

A. Your head determines how you think about all of life.


How you think in large part determines how you feel and how you act. As Jonathan Edwards said, “The ideas and images in men’s minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them” (source unknown). For example, if you’re an angry person, it is (to put it bluntly) because you are thinking selfishly. You think, “I have my rights! I’m not going to let that person treat me that way! I want my way!” Angry people think that the world owes them something. How they think determines how they feel about life and how they act. In the worst cases, they injure or kill others to get what they want. But it all stems from their thinking (Mark 7:21).


How you think determines your worldview, which also affects how you feel and act. A person with a postmodern worldview does not believe in moral absolutes. They do not think anything is absolutely evil. They do not believe in judging the behavior of others as wrong.

Your head determines how you function in all of life.


If your brain is not working properly, it affects how other parts of your body work. A brain injury can affect motor skills or the ability to speak or think clearly. If a soldier got knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, he was probably doomed. He had to guard his head by having his helmet securely in place.


Spiritually, salvation determines how we live in this sinful world. We live as pilgrims who have been rescued from this present evil kingdom of Satan. We live in subjection to Jesus Christ as Lord and King. We view everything—values, money, entertainment, the arts, or politics—from the perspective of being saved people. Understanding the doctrine of salvation equips us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Salvation is the foundational doctrine to understand cognitively and to know experientially. Putting on the helmet of salvation protects everything in your life.

Once you put on the helmet of salvation, you realize that all people are in one of two (and only two) camps: either they are saved and going to heaven; or, they are lost and going to hell. If a person is not saved, then he cannot understand the things of God. They are foolishness to him (1 Cor. 1:18; 2:14). He is blind to much of his own sin. He is living for himself and his own futile goals. He has false views about death and eternity, thinking that if there is a heaven, he’s probably good enough to go there. But even if he is a relatively good person by worldly standards, in God’s sight he has a depraved mind (Rom. 1:28).


But because you have put on the helmet of salvation, you relate to people differently than you did before. You now love the people of God, whom you avoided before. You now view lost people with compassion and understanding, yearning that they would come to know God through Jesus Christ. You do not view lost people as the enemy, but as victims of the enemy. While you can no longer join with them in their course of sinful behavior (1 Pet. 4:3-4), you pray for their salvation and look for opportunities to talk with them about the Savior. Putting on the helmet of salvation means that you relate differently to the world.


So when Paul tells us to take the helmet of salvation, he is saying, “Don’t go into the world with your head unprotected. Mind thy head!” It determines how you think, how you function in all of life, and how you relate to people. As someone said, “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny” (Frank Outlaw, in Readers’ Digest [date unknown]). The helmet protects your head. But, we need to think more about why it is called “the helmet of salvation.”

So Mind your head

God bless from

Pray for Frank, doing well health wise, dementia is not advancing to fast, seems to be in a holding pattern, still not dealing with the grief of his wife’s death, 9 years ago.




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