Spiritual Warfare engages us in battle against the enemy and against our own sin. In this warfare, the evil one seeks to dispirit or discourage us. He tries to intimidate and undermine our confidence and courage. He wants us to fear what might happen, to convince us that resistance is futile so we might just as well give up. We fight against discouragement by clinging to our hope, firm and steadfast. We must know our salvation and rest in that final certainty. Victory comes with the confidence that in Christ, we cannot lose.
A Roman soldier’s helmet protected his head. Translating this to our Spiritual Warfare, the Helmet of Salvation protects our minds, which is where most of our battle takes place. You need to “keep your head” in the midst of the battle. They say that ninety percent of golf is mental. It’s like that with battle, too. A lot depends on our mindset and our courage going into it. We need to put on the Helmet of Salvation so that what we think and believe is anchored in the Word of God.
There are three tenses to your salvation. Past Salvation is what God has already done for you. You have been saved. Present Salvation is what God is doing in you now. You still struggle with sin as you “work out your salvation,” but you are being sanctified. Future Salvation is what God is preparing for you. You will be perfected and glorified. Glory is coming! Heaven is close! You can bank on it! This assurance of your full salvation yields confidence in battle.
We take the Helmet of Salvation to ourselves by “unpacking” our salvation and entering into its present benefits. This means being confident of who we are in Christ and knowing where we are going. We are no longer slaves to Satan and to sin. We can enter into spiritual warfare knowing that we will not lose. Victory is already guaranteed! We will not be destroyed! We belong to Christ and He has secured our salvation.
One of the greatest blessings you can have in the Christian life is honest, mature brothers and sisters, true friends in Christ. They help to fit you with the helmet of salvation. They can give you godly counsel that you can receive. Not everyone can speak to you in this way. Not everyone knows you well enough or has earned the right. Do you have a friend that you will allow to confront you? In this raging battle with sin and Satan, we are bonded with our battle buddies. In the heat of battle, there is no time or leisure for pretensions. We are in this together and we must be focused on the battle. It is essential that we be honest with our struggles and call for help when we need it. Do you have a true battle buddy looking out for you?
Satan often attacks our assurance. He wants to plant daisy-like doubts in our minds—“He loves me, He loves me not…” Does God really love me? Am I really saved? Am I good enough? (No, but Christ is good enough!) The soldier who knows his salvation and who is assured of his security past, present and future is strong-minded and has peace, even in the midst of battle. He can conquer his fears and push them back behind God’s mighty salvation.
So how can you be assured of your salvation? First, you must believe the gospel invitation and embrace it for yourself. Then you must rest in gospel transformation. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. It is life-transforming; God’s truth changes everything! You must stand on gospel promises. What God has said is true. Take Him at His word and trust in the armor that He has provided. Finally, you must hope in gospel glory. This will change your perspective: Think of your life from Heaven backwards. Assurance of your future salvation makes the journey there a lot easier.
One reason looking backwards from Heaven is helpful is that it makes you want to give it all you’ve got now, so that one day you can sit down in the Heavenly VFW and have good stories to tell with your battle buddies! You want to have great stories of fierce battles you faced and fought together, how you overcame temptations and strongholds and helped your fellow soldiers. Being certain of Christ’s ability to get you safely to Heaven, you can devote yourself now to the battle without fear.
Having Christ, you have all that you will ever need, so put on the Helmet of Salvation and fight the good fight!