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Tag Archives: The Armor of God

The Helmet of Salvation

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:17)

Today we’ll talk about(/I’ll write about) the helmet of salvation, tomorrow we’ll talk about the sword of the Spirit:

The helmet of salvation

A helmet, pretty obviously, protects the mind. Another one of those parts of the body which if so much as gently poked, when cause serious damage. Here’s a hint though: the enemy won’t want to gently poke. Thus the helmet, bone, and skin protecting it.

A helmet was pretty much standard back in the day for any army who wanted to get anything done. But there’s more to a helmet than simply protecting the head. The Roman galea, which was their helmet, was also meant to mark the one wearing it as a fellow Roman. Have you ever seen some movie where someone was wearing a helmet with a red or blue “horse-ploom”? That’s a sort of helmet that a Roman centurion would wear. Yes, it was meant to protect. But it also told fellow Roman’s not to attack that guy; he’s a partner.

For the Christian, a helmet does give protection, yes; but it also distinguished us. It’s like a modern-day circumcision. But instead of being the “circumcision group” which gave Paul so many problems, we’re the salvation group. Distinguished from everyone else by… The fact that we, um, where our salvation on top of our head? What, should we all go buy toy Roman helmets and where them to church? It’s called the armor of God for a reason; that reason being that it is in fact, His armor. Which means its Spiritual and not physical. The difference between the two I believe is self-evident.

Our Salvation is Christ. He is our savior; the one without whom we would all be Spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses now. He is our helmet of salvation, because He is our salvation. Therefore it could be said Christ Himself is, in fact, our distinguishing mark. He is the one who protects our mind from harm as well as distinguishes us all others. But now a question comes, “How does Christ distinguish us?”

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

He makes us a new creation. That’s how He “distinguishes” (or, “sanctifies” us, if you want to get technical) us. You see, the helmet of salvation serves one more purpose that no regular, human-made helmet could do: it changes us our mind. It changes us from longing for the Devil to longing for God. Thus the, “salvation” bit. — Christ, who is our helmet of salvation, does this by shedding His blood. By that sacrifice, the gap between us and God is closed and we become new creations; part of the salvation group.

Like ever other piece of armor we’ve talked about, we don’t put this helmet on. Rather, when Christ died for us and we accepted Him as savior, He Himself put it on our head.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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The Shield of Faith

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:16)

The shield of faith

What was the job of the shield? Obviously, to protect the wearer. In the case of the Romans – who, by the way, may be who Paul is basing this armor on. Seeing as he was most likely in Rome while writing this letter. Albeit under house arrest. But still… –, as well as blocking swords, it was also used to block arrows and spears. All the Romans in the army would lock their shields together, hold them up, and hardly anything could get past to harm them. Just like that, they had an old fashioned force-field, able to blunt all attacks…. At least, so long as they were all standing together, with their shields locked into place.

Likewise, so longer as believers stand together and have the shield of faith, we’ll be able to blunt all the Devil’s arrows… But, faith in what? What is it that we have faith in that gives us this shield of faith? Some all-powerful genie? A mighty warlock? None of the above, rather, a man on a tree. That’s where our faith originates from.

Jesus protects us:

A mighty man and son of God? Yes. A man whose given up His spirit on a cross to save all humanity? Yes again. He, Jesus Christ, is who we believe in; is who we have faith in. Thus when we hold up our shields to defend against the Devil, we are holding Jesus, our faith, up to defend us. When the devil throws His arrows, we hold Jesus up on the cross to defend ourselves. But more than that:

Jesus unifies us:

In order for all to be safe, all must lift their shields up together, and lock them into place together. The only way to have a unified shield without any gaps is for everyone to take part. The only way a church or any other gathering of believers can be safe from the Devil is by exalting Christ Jesus on the cross and their faith in Him. Everyone becomes at risk when one person lets their shield down, because a single person letting down their guard can cause a domino effect: the enemy will target the weak one, and when his/her shield is down, they can attack those next to the fallen one from the side, which creates a bigger gap, which leads to everyone’s death, if someone does step in remind the weak soldier to keep His shield high.

Our Spiritual lives rest wholly upon Christ. He must be our very life, or our shield lowers. And the moment that happens… Picture one of those practice dummies with a couple dozen arrows sticking out of it.

The Roman army is actually a surprisingly good example of what Christians should look like:

  • Organized.
  • Always on alert.
  • Armored against attack.

You are Loved

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15)

Still moving down the list; today I’ll write about the shoes of the gospel of peace. As may be indicated by the above verse… And the title too, for that matter.

The shoes of the Gospel of peace

What good could shoes (or sandals for back then) be good for? Sure without them it would be hard to travel, but frankly speaking, do we really need them in our spiritual armory? I can just imagine that conversation, “Ah, here we are. I’ve got my deadly mace, my incredibly sharpened sword, oh, and my shoes of fury…” Shoes aren’t exactly the most of intimating things. So why does Paul bother mentioning them?

Armies back then had a completely different sort of mine (the bomb sort). It didn’t blow off legs like ours sadly do today, but it was almost as effective at preventing soldiers from continuing to move. – When a one group knew that an enemy army was approaching, they would almost completely bury a sharp stake into the ground with only the tip remaining barely in sight. This may not seem to you and me like the best way to stop a foe, but it worked surprisingly well. Barbarian tribes who didn’t have any shoes, or armies who only had ‘weak’ sandals would step on the stake and suddenly, lo and below, they were no longer in any sort of condition to be fighting. That’s why shoes (or sandals back then) which were strong and reliable were required. You can’t focus on fighting some enemy in front of you, when the enemy below you (who happens to be an inanimate wooden stake) stabs you.

Strong sandals are what allowed the armies back in the day to keep moving despite the enemies attempts to the contrary. Spiritual shoes are what let us keep moving despite the Devil’s schemes… And what, might I ask, are these shoes made of? The Gospel of peace. Or, in other words, the Gospel of Jesus. Which is that he died and, three days later, rose again to save all humanity. Something which begs the question, “How does that protects our tootsies again?

The fact that Jesus died and rose again to save us, means a couple of things. First, it means that man no longer must go the Hell. It also means we can have a personal relationship with God. But what we’re getting at now, is that in addition to the rest, is that it also means we can break free of habitual (continual) sin. It allows us to, after we’ve fallen, to get back up again and keep going. Or even to simply avoid falling all together. It let’s us stand firm when the Devil turns His fury onto us. Or in other words, Christ’s death for us let’s us put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace.

But, sure we may be able now to put on these shoes, but how do we? After all, we know that simply staring at armor won’t protect us. So how do we put it on? When we accept Christ as our savior, the shoes are automatically added to our inventory. So to speak. What is the only good news of peace? The good news of Jesus. Thus, because of that, when we believe in Him he gives us His peace; His, erm, shoes. So to speak.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
 

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