Picture yourself treading water in the middle of the ocean. No land in sight—no life raft. You’re out of options. Hopeless. Helpless. Doomed.
Then out of nowhere, the sound of an approaching helicopter. It comes and hovers overhead, and a rescuer endangers his life, lowering himself into the raging sea to lift you up…up…up to safety. Suddenly, you are rescued. Delivered. SAVED.
Now, picture yourself drowning in the guilt of your sin. You’re out of options. Hopeless. Helpless. Doomed.
But then, JESUS. He comes to where you are, takes upon him the debt of sin that you cannot pay to lift you up…up…up out of the muck of sin. Suddenly, you are rescued. Delivered. SAVED.
There is nothing you could do to earn this gift of grace, this salvation. And yet in His mercy, God clothes you in righteousness because of CHRIST’S goodness, and despite your sin.
“but God shows His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The Greek word for “saved” is sozo meaning “to deliver out of danger and into safety.” The very idea of this gift of salvation implies not only escaping peril but being brought into a place of safety and protection. No wonder in Ephesians 6:17 when speaking of the armor of God, the Lord uses the helmet to represent salvation. It represents eternal protection from the penalty of our sins.
But look more closely at Ephesians 6:17—
“and take the helmet of salvation…”
Why does God instruct us to “take” the helmet of salvation? Of course, each of us needs to make that initial decision to turn from sin and follow Christ, however, we each have a decision to make daily—are we going to live our lives today as if we have been saved? Not only are we saved from an eternity separated from God, but we are saved to a life set apart for Christ and His kingdom.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Genuine salvation is not a “been there, done that” kind of thing. It’s a transformation to a new life in Christ. It is the resurrection power of Christ in us that changes us from the inside out. With this salvation comes spiritual blessings, adoption into God’s family, a purpose for living, redemption and forgiveness of sins, eternal hope, and an inheritance in Heaven, just to name a few of the benefits entrusted to a child of God (Ephesians 1). When I find myself struggling with self-esteem, Ephesians 1 is a great reality check to help me remember WHOSE I am, and my identity in Christ!
But…why a helmet? Here are some thoughts…the helmet goes on the head. My mind goes immediately to several scriptures:
“…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by therenewal of your mind…” Romans 12:1-2
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” 2 Tim. 1:7 (Amplified Version)
True salvation affects the way we think and react to the world around us. Peace when we’re frazzled. Forgiveness when we’re wronged. Strength to face our fears. Salvation is the bedrock that helps us be grateful instead of focusing on our problems. Making peace with God brings peace to our hearts and minds.
Salvation also opens our eyes to spiritual things and the spiritual needs of others.
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened…” Ephesians 1:18
This brings us to another vital part of the armor of God…the shoes of the readiness of the gospel.
“…and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace…”
I’m going to take a guess that most of you did not leave the house today without shoes on your feet! My hair can be fixed, my make-up on, and my outfit matching, but without my shoes, I’m just not ready to go out into the world. When reading Ephesians 6:15, I see it from two possible angles:
First, I need to remember my position in Christ and the work he has done in my life as I head out into the world to meet the demands of my day—Letting the gospel affect every part of my life, my decisions, and my reactions…Keeping in mind that the “gospel of peace” is what will keep me grounded against the attacks of Satan…Radiating the love of Christ to those around me.
Secondly, I need to be prepared spiritually to share the gospel at any time, in any place.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you…” I Peter 3:15
This means I have made myself ready by being in a right relationship with God (sin confessed, submitted to his will, ready to share the gospel). God has really been speaking to me personally in this area because I’m not always great at seeking out or recognizing opportunities to share Jesus. I also find that the closer I am to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, the harder it is to share the gospel with them.
It seems there is an enormous amount of pressure sometimes in hoping we “say the right thing” or “use the right method.” The book Bringing the Gospel Home by Randy Newman has been a great encouragement for me, and I would highly recommend it as a resource. Through this book, God has taught me that being “ready” to share is not just memorizing a series of verses (although that doesn’t hurt!)…it’s not about my methods and my skills, but it is about me being submitted to God and letting the Holy Spirit and the Word do the work. We must decrease, and Christ must increase. The gospel is not about our abilities—it’s about HIM.
I would encourage you today to take some time to think back to when Christ first saved you. Let the reality of the gospel permeate your thoughts and take some time to really express your gratitude to God for this most gracious gift. Then, as you go into your world today, take the gospel with you as a helmet—keeping your thoughts centered on Christ and your mind resting in the truth of the Word. Wear it as shoes on your feet—helping you stand against Satan’s schemes, carrying the good news to those who you will meet who so desperately need it, and leaving the footprints of the love of Christ everywhere you go.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” Romans 10:14-15
Sheri serves in ministry with her husband, Pastor Kevin Weaver, at New Valley Fellowship in Narrows, VA. The Weavers followed the Lord in a call to full-time ministry about 15 years ago, and they have never regretted it! (If you want to hear this whole, amazing story of God’s grace and provision, contact her!) They have three incredible grownup children—Hannah, a third-grade teacher; Justin and his new wife Hannah who work and study in Lynchburg; and Trent, a senior at Liberty University. Sheri also serves as secretary at Dayspring Christian Academy. For fun, she enjoys teaching, writing, and finding bargains at thrift shops. Making people laugh is also on the list of “daily goals!”
You can reach Sheri on Instagram at @sheriweaver8, or on Facebook at Sheri Weaver.