The Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation

The Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation

Opening Illustration:
On 20th July it's exactly one year since James Cracknell was seriously injured in a cycling accident in America. His helmet saved him. James has made a short film to encourage others to wear cycle helmets. 



According to Cracknell, the trauma and damage his mind sustained changed him.  His mind was so damaged that it changed his personality.  It affected his friendships.  His family.  Because of the damage that was done to his mind, he was not able to do the things that he loved.

Friends our mind is very important.  That is an obvious statement for sure.  Saying this, I want you to know that there is a battle being waged for the control of your mind.  If Satan can control your mind, then he can have access to every area of your life.  

Satan Wants To Mess With Your Mind!

Background:
Over the past several weeks, we have been reading through Ephesians 6. 

1. We learned in verses 10-13 that there is a battle waging.  

2. We learn in verse 14 that we have a belt of truth.  This belt is symbolic of the Word of God.  God’s Word is the foundation for our armor and holds us together in battle.  It also provides for us access to our weaponry.  

3. In the same verse, we have a breastplate of righteousness.  This breastplate protects our hearts.  It prevents our hearts from growing hard, jaded and cynical.  It also lets the enemy know whose kingdom we belong. 

4. In verse 15 we discover that we have boots.  These boots are fitted just for us and it is these boots that empower us to deploy our spiritual gifts to grow God’s Kingdom.  Our boots are not meant for stomping but sharing the Gospel of peace around the world. 

5. Last week we talked about our barrier. Our shield.  We have been given a shield.  Not just any shield but a shield of faith.  This shield has a very specific purpose against a very specific enemy.  It protects us from the tricks of the devil.  It puts out his flaming arrows of doubt, discouragement, and depression.  

6. Today, we will read verse 17 which reminds us about our helmet.  It is not just any helmet, but it is the helmet of salvation.  This helmet is crucial to the success of a Christian.  It serves as a buffer between our mind and the corruption of the world.  Think about how important the mind is.  

The mind controls our decisions.  Our thoughts.  

The mind controls our directions.  Our mind determines where will go in life.  

The mind controls our devotions.  Our mind chooses who or whom we will love and devote our lives to. 

The mind is so important it.  So, let’s read briefly about the helmet of salvation.  

Ephesians 6:10-17 ESV
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation…”

Consider 3 Applications For The Helmet of Salvation

I. The Power of the Mind

Illustration:
Do you remember the old T.V. commercial that ended with “the mind is a terrible thing to waste”?  There is really truth in that statement.  That commercial focused on drugs and the power they have to destroy the mind. Because the mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste. Drugs weaken the mind! 

That’s why the devil has multitudes of people wasted by drugs today. He loves it when people’s minds are weak and wasted. 

There is a spiritual power in a saved mind.

A. There Is Power In A Disciplined Mind
    Hebrews 12:11 ESV
    For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Illustration:
Christians need to be disciplined in their studies.  Spiritual studying will add muscle to the mind and prevent the mind from being easily taken over by the enemy.  That’s why its important to read Scripture daily.  We should read it, memorize it and meditate on it.  We should attach scripture to our refrigerators, the interior of our cars, the mirrors in our bathrooms.  Everywhere we look, we should allow ourselves to be confronted by Scripture.  Reading, memorizing and meditating on Scripture means that we will have to be disciplined.  We will have to schedule our time with God.  It will have to be calendared.  


B. There Is Power In A Determined Mind
    Proverbs 13:4 ESV
    The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly  supplied.

Illustration: 
So, how many of you have been in a battle?  Not many and and that’s good.  How many of you would think that a battle would be easy?  Of course, no one would think that a battle would be easy.  To compete and battle, it will take determination.  Will things get in the way of reading, memorizing and meditating on Scripture?  Of course.  Keeping your mind protected will mean that you make protecting it a priority.  Just like no one would enter an NFL football game without a helmet, you must choose to wear the helmet of salvation each and everyday.  Life is way more dangerous than an NFL football game.  

Illustration:
The other day I sat before my doctoral review board at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  This is my dissertation.  312 pages long.  Whew.  It was a five year journey from beginning to end.  The last 6 months were the worst because that was the writing stage.  There were several times over the years that my discipline warned and there were days I just wanted to quit.  But I didn’t.  I keep pressing on until eventually the goal was achieved.  

Some of you know what that feels like.  Perhaps you are in the midst of a trial or difficulty and you think that you will not make it.  Well you won’t.  You need the Lord. You need to gear up for battle.  You need to stay discipline and determined.  If you do, you will add power to your mind and your spiritual connectivity to God will be outrageously strong.  

Philippians 4:8 AMP
8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Consider 3 Applications For The Helmet of Salvation

I. The Power of the Mind
II. The Pollution of the Mind 

Point:
How many of you know about the woes of Dog River?  You have probably seen the stories about the river on the news.  Dog River is one of the most polluted rivers in the state of Alabama.  At any given time you can find all sort of trash floating down Dog River.  Just like us.  Right?  At any given time you can find all sorts of trash floating down the streams of our minds.  



Here is what’s really interesting.  Do you know when Dog River experiences the greatest amount of pollution?  The greatest amount of pollution floats down the river when it rains.  When a storm comes, it seems that the river is flooded with trash.  

Friends, that’s the way it is with you and me too.  When the storm comes and when it rains hard in our lives, that is when we are susceptible to the most pollution.  What is rain for us?

Stress
Fatigue
The loss of a loved one
Problems at work
Marital issues

All of this opens us up for pollution.  

There is not much we can do about rain.  It is going to rain. But there is something we can do about pollution.  

Point:
Let’s go back to Dog River. Knowing that it was one of the most polluted rivers in Alabama, a system to filter the trash was developed.  Friends, thats what we need as well.  We need a filter.  That filter is the helmet of salvation.  Think about all the scriptures that talk about filtering your mind’s pollution.  

Colossians 3:2-5 ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Point:
So what is our filter?  Well it is two fold.  First, it is the Bible.  If our feelings or thoughts don’t match up with the Bible, then our feelings and thoughts are incorrect.  

Next, it is each other.  I am so thankful for men in this church that I can confide in and ask advice of.  These men are trusted.  Men like:

My Dad
David Kirchharr
Sid Scarborough
Adam Gober
John Phillippi
James Counselman 
Jim Walley
Ron Padgett
Kevin O’Hara
Steve Stewart
Paul Brinsfield 
Kenny Hoven
Milke Moity 

There are so many more that I believe act as filters for my life.  With the help of God’s Word and God’s people we can maximize our potential and limit our pollution.  

Consider 3 Applications For The Helmet of Salvation

I. The Power of the Mind
II. The Pollution of the Mind 
III. The Potential of the Mind

Illustration:
George Green (14 July 1793 – 31 May 1841) was a Births mathematical physicist who wrote “An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism” in 1828.  Green was the first person to create a mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism and his theory formed the foundation for the work of other important scientists. Green's life story is remarkable in that he was almost entirely self-taught. He received only about one year of formal schooling as a child, between the ages of 8 and 9.



Point:
There is great potential for the saved mind of the Christian.  If our mind is focused and pointing in the right direction, it can be a powerful weapon against the attacks of the Devil.

1. The Mind Has The Potential To Love
    Matthew 22:37 ESV
    And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

2. The Mind Has The Possibility To Transform
    Romans 12:2 ESV
    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

Illustration: Russell Moore On Transformation
Speaking about the power of Christ to transform sinners and build his church, Russell Moore recently (2015) wrote:

The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now. The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might currently be a misogynistic, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist. The next Charles Spurgeon might be managing an abortion clinic today. The next Mother Teresa might be a heroin-addicted porn star this week. The next Augustine of Hippo might be a sexually promiscuous cult member right now, just like, come to think of it, the first Augustine of Hippo was.

But the Spirit of God can turn all that around. And seems to delight to do so. The new birth doesn't just transform lives, creating repentance and faith; it also provides new leadership to the church, and fulfills Jesus' promise to gift his church with everything needed for her onward march through space and time. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


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