“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16a).
There are many different types of helmets. Today we see football helmets, motorcycle helmets, and baseball helmets. You may even think of a goalie’s mask in hockey as a type of helmet. When I think of a helmet, the first thing that comes to mind is a helmet worn by a soldier. This helmet protects the soldier in his time of greatest need, in battle.
What does a helmet protect? We could answer it protects the head and that would be correct, but not precise. The head is protected but it is not totally covered. The face is exposed. The brain is what is being protected when wearing a helmet. That is the primary purpose of the helmet whether it is worn in baseball or in battle. When we think of the “helmet of salvation” in terms of the armor of God, we need to think about what is being protected.
The brain controls our body. It does so without us even thinking about it. But that is not why we are concerned about the brain at this point. What we are really concerned about is our mind. Our mind is where we make our decisions, have our thoughts, and where we comprehend what we read and listen to. It gives us the ability to do our homework. The mind in many ways makes us who we are.
The mind is also part of something much bigger than just how or what we think. It is part of our heart. When the Bible uses the word “heart”, it is not talking about that organ which is pumping blood inside your chest. The heart is what you live out of (it is where the issues of life flow from), the Bible says it is “the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). In other words the heart directs how you are going to act, live, talk, and think. Your whole being is controlled by your heart.
Another part of your “heart” is your desires and affections; the things that you long after or that you are pursuing. If you deeply desire something you pursue it until you attain it. This could be power, fame or fortune but it could also be humility, gentleness or self-control. Our affection should be for the glory of God and the benefit of others and not as the world would say, “what can we get out of it.”
This part of our heart also has close connections to our mind. Often we see or hear of things which are processed in the mind and we come to desire them. This is what happened to Adam & Eve. They saw the fruit as good for food and also as desirable for wisdom. The desire of their heart at that time was to be like God and they acted on it.
The final part of your heart is your soul. Your soul, along with the rest of your heart, is what makes you in the image of God. It is not your exterior physical form but what is on the inside of you. Animals have physical form but this does not make them in the image of God. The soul in man means that we are going to exist forever. Animals will not continue to exist after they die; all dogs do not go to heaven. When a person dies his soul goes to a specific place, heaven or hell. Everyone at that point will understand their relationship with God; either for their benefit and salvation or for their sorrow and damnation.
So when it comes to the full armor of God why is the helmet described as salvation? Because it is in the mind as part of the true heart that we have salvation. It is in the mind that we understand salvation and yet not fully understand it. It is in the heart and mind that the Holy Spirit moves in us to drive us to Christ for our salvation. It is in the mind and heart that we desire God and His way. The mind and heart drives us to Christ in our need of a Savior and also acts as a defense against the attacks that would come from the outside to push us away from Christ.
Our mind and hearts must be protected for there is where we know Christ. Protect your mind and heart by being in God’s Word and this will set up the defenses that you need in battle. Satan and his minions would attack your mind to drive you away from Christ. Satan would lay temptations before you so your mind would desire those things instead of God. God is always with you and you must rely on Him for your strength to fight this battle. Keep firm in your mind the salvation that you have now and the hope of that salvation for eternity with God.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT & STUDY: • Do people like to admit to sinning? What do they do instead of admitting their sin? • Name some sins that take place within the mind. How do these sins affect people? • When people desire something what should be their motive? What is yours?
Read Genesis 3:1–7 How did Adam & Eve’s mind react when tempted? What were the consequences?
Read Genesis 39:7–10 How did Joseph’s mind react when faced with this temptation? What did he risk?
Read James 1:13–15 What can you learn about temptation in this passage?
Mr. Dave Vander Meer is the Youth Director of Cornerstone United Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan.