Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:13-17, NIV)
The Helmet (Galea). The Roman soldier’s helmet was made by tanning leather and strengthening it with metals. Iron was used initially but was replaced by bronze in later years. Various decorations and plumage were, occasionally, added for visual artistry or rank designation. This decoration had no combat value. Helmets protected the head from a fatal blow, defensively. Later variations were topped with spearheads to add an offensive element.
Our Instruction. Paul links the helmet’s value to the believer’s mind and salvation. In the same way that the breastplate of righteousness guards our heart (e.g., thoughts, will, emotions and values), the helmet of salvation shields our mind. The heart is about power for Christlike living. The mind is about our hope for living. With Paul’s armor, the breastplate of righteousness is about power for victorious living, here and now, from Christlike character. The Helmet of Salvation is about eternal confidence for victorious living, here and now, from Christlike perspective. We live, today, with certainty in the knowledge of our ultimate victory in eternity.
In his letter to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul elaborates on the believer’s mindset. He writes, “Let us then never fall into the sleep that stupefies the rest of the world: let us keep awake, with our wits about us. Night is the time for sleep and the time when men get drunk, but we men of the daylight should be alert, with faith and love as our breastplate and the hope of our salvation as our helmet. For God did not choose us to condemn us, but that we might secure his salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Thes 5:5-10, JB Phillips, emphasis added).
Do not let your heart envy sinners [who live godless lives
and have no hope of salvation],
But [continue to] live in the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord day by day.
Surely there is a future [and a reward],
And your hope and expectation will not be cut off. (Prov 23:17-18, AMP)
Holy Spirit, help me to live-out, daily, the hopeful confidence that I have in my future salvation.