Presented at Trinity Fellowhip on 3/19/00

Ephesians 6:17a

The Helmet Of Salvation

The Helmet of Salvation is not just another piece of armor; it is the crowning piece of protection, the capstone of the equipment, and the last piece put on. It is therefore in one sense a summation of all. But to see this, we must recapture the biblical concept of what Salvation is.

The definition of salvation implicit in the practice of too many modern Evangelicals is too negative, narrow, and limited. Its focus is on escaping Hell, on what one is saved from to the neglect of what one is saved for. This pragmatic evangelistic focus is right as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough to capture the biblical concept. It reduces Salvation to Justification, and misses the process of Discipleship in its emphasis on the moment of Decision. But the Great Commission does not command us to collect Decisions, but to make Disciples. The "Decision" is necessary and important, but unless it issues in Discipleship it is of no value and does not save; for we are saved by the Grace of God working in our lives, not by some nebulous "decision" alledgedly made at some point in our past, especially if it has no impact on our present lives.

The biblical concept of Salvation by contrast is not less but more than the Evangelical caricature. It is positive, broad, and all-encompassing. Think of some typical NT usages of the word.

Elements of Salvation

If I were to try to define Salvation in its fullness, I could not do better than to appeal to the verse from which this whole epistle of Ephesians unfolds as a flower from a bud, Eph. 1:3. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Salvation is not just avoiding Hell; it is the restoration of all that we lost when we fell. It is the full-orbed work of the whole Trinity in our lives to bring this about. It is the establishment of Shalom: Peace, understood not just as negative (the absence of strife) but as positive: the complete fulfillment of our natures as they were originally made in the image of God. All this--nothing less--is what we put on when we put on the Helmet of Salvation.

The elements of this Salvation then include,

Salvation is not just missing Hell; it is ALL of this, as one indivisible package which God gives to his children through faith. This--nothing less--is what we put on when we put on the Helmet of Salvation.

Implications of Salvation

What are the implications of this view of Salvation? How, in other words, do we put on this Helmet and use it as equipment for spiritual warfare?

So let us indeed walk worthily of our calling, worthily of so great a Salvation--by putting on the whole armor of God, including the Helmet of Salvation.

Here endeth the lesson.