In my last post, we saw that the Helmet of Salvation speaks of the authority we’re given in Christ. If you remember, all of the armor is put on by my choice. This piece is received once I’m trained in its use.
Think about when Jesus entered the Temple courts and overturned the tables of the money-changers. At that point, the priests asked Him, “Who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
That’s because authority is like a chain. Each link is connected. Authority must be given and received.
So how does salvation enter into all of this?
Salvation means that we’re safe and defended. When I say that I’m saved, I mean that I’m safe in Christ. However, there are three distinct works that the word, salvation, refers to.
The first took place when I bowed my knee to Christ and prayed for Him to save me. I was saved. I was taken out of the world’s trash heap and placed in God’s house for His use.
Now, in God’s kingdom, I’m experiencing an ongoing cleaning process. All that “stuff” from the world that stuck to me is being removed – sin, sickness, poverty, anxiety, depression, bitterness, etc. I’m in the process of renewal. I am being saved.
Then, someday Christ will return to take physical possession of the earth. At that point, I’ll receive my new resurrected body. I will be saved from decay and death.
The question is; which of these works does the helmet speak of?
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
1 Thessalonians 5:8
If you read this verse in the original, you’ll see that it’s not saying that we’re hoping for salvation. Instead, it’s the hope, literally the expectation, that comes from our salvation. So it speaks of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
If I submit to the process of salvation, I am being saved. It’s this ongoing work that protects my authority in Christ.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
This verse makes it clear that salvation requires power. That’s important because, like I said in my last post, authority is the permission to use power. Submitting to this cleaning process allows God’s power to flow through me.
Please understand what I’m saying. You don’t have to be absolutely clean and perfect to walk in God’s power. But you do have to be submitted to the process.
How then do I receive and put on this helmet?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
It’s obedience to God that works out this salvation in us. The reason Paul tells us to use such respect – fear and trembling – is because it’s the God of the universe who’s working in us. Simply put, obedience is the acceptance of His process at work within us.
I put on the Helmet of Salvation as I submit myself to God’s ongoing work in me. That brings an expectation of the good things to come as a result of this.
Question: How well do you see yourself submitting to God’s process of renewal in your life?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi