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Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

The Armor of God:  #6 - The Helmet of Salvation

Signed Version
Ephesians 6:10...
Finally, let the Lord make you strong.  Depend on His great power. Wear all of God's armor.  Then you can stand strong against the devil's terrible plans.

Our fight is not against people.  
We are fighting against
    many spiritual rulers,
    authorities,
    and many dark powers in this world.  
We are fighting against
    the evil forces in the spirit world.

So put on all of God's armor.  Evil days will come.
And after you did everything you can [finish], you will still stay standing.

So stand strong.  
[1] Wear the belt of truth around your waist.  
[2] Wear the chest protector of holy living.
[3] Wear on your feet shoes that will prepare you to tell the good news about peace.
[4] Also, pick up the shield of faith.  With that you can stop all of the flaming arrows of the devil.
[5] Put on the helmet of salvation.  
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Sometimes when we watch a football game on TV, we see the players from both teams jump on the ball in one big pile.  And sometimes we see one helmet roll out from the bottom of that pile.  When we see that helmet, we feel surprised.  We feel worried.  Why?  That empty helmet means one player has no protection for his head.  That can be very dangerous!   

In sports as football, head protection with a helmet is really important.  The same is true for soldiers.

Soldiers today dress different than soldiers long-ago.
In this Ephesians chapter 6 list about the Armor of God, the Helmet of Salvation is-really the most important.  Why?  If we don't have salvation, we are lost! If we don't have Christ, we are dead!  If we don't have a real relationship with the holy, living God -- if we don't know Jesus -- everything else is worthless.  
 
Really, if we don't first have the Helmet of Salvation, we can't have any other protection this lesson talks about --
     no Belt of Truth,
     no Chest Protector for holy living,
     no Shoes to announce Good news,
     no Shield of Faith.
 Nothing!   All those other things don't matter without the Helmet of Salvation.
 
 The Bible has a story that is clearly shows how important is the Helmet of Salvation:
 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
 
[Story]
This story happened in the city named Ephesus -- yes, that is same city where Paul sent this Ephesian letter.  
    Some Jews traveled around and commanded evil spirits go out of people. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to force the evil spirits out. They said, "By the name Jesus that Paul preaches, I order you to come out!"  Seven sons of Sceva, a leading Jewish priest, they did that.
    But one time an evil spirit told them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you??"
    Then the man having the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them. He was much stronger than all of them.  They ran out from the house naked and hurt.  
    All the people in Ephesus -- Jews and Greeks -- they heard what happened.  The people were afraid and gave great honor to the Lord Jesus.  Many of Christians believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things they had done. Some of them who had used occult threw-away their magic books(scrolls) and they burned the books in front of everyone. Those books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins.
    In a powerful way the word of the Lord continued spreading and growing. (Acts 19:13-20)
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
 
The seven brothers were professional "exorcists."  The knew a lot about the occult, but they knew nothing about Christ.  They tried using the power of the devil to "help" people who were already slaves to the devil.  That will never work, but they didn't know what else they could do... until they saw Paul and other Christians give real to freedom to people.
 
The seven brothers studied and listen.  They heard the name, "Jesus."  And finally they understood:  Paul did not give people freedom and peace.  Paul did not give people joy and purpose for their lives.  The seven brothers understood the real Savior is Jesus.  They saw real power when Christians used Jesus' name.
 
The seven brothers decided: if they used Jesus name in their occult, they could improve their success in their profession.  
 
     They didn't want to surrender their lives to Jesus.
     They didn't want to confess their sins to God and receive forgiveness.
 
     They wanted to stay in control themselves.
     They wanted to only use Jesus' name.
 
That didn't work.
 
The evil spirit told them,
     "Jesus I know,
     and I know about Paul,
     but who are you??"
 
The evil spirit was smart enough and could see that those seven brothers had no authority, no approval, to use Jesus' name that way.  The seven brothers had no armor.  They had no protection.
 
What was missing?
They didn't have the Helmet of Salvation!   
They needed salvation themselves, before they could offer salvation to other people.
 
They could think only about ritual.  They could only think about showing religion.   But inside their hearts, they were still not yet saved.  And the evil enemy knew that.
 
The seven brothers didn't have the Helmet of Salvation, and they also didn't have the Chest Protector of holy living.   They didn't have Christ's holy life covering their sin.  They and all the community were deeply involved in the occult.  
 
Many Ephesian Christians didn't understand the conflict between their old occult activities and their new trust in Christ.  They thought they could both.   They didn't see danger in continuing their occult activities.
 
 What about Christians today?  Many, who use Jesus' name on Sunday morning, they use the occult for their real meaning and power for life Monday to Saturday.   
But they still name themselves "Christian."

After that experience of those seven brothers, those Christians in Ephesus woke up.  The people understood that we can't both love God and flirt with the devil.  So they threw away -- no, they burned -- their occult things.

Those seven brothers:  
    They didn't have the Helmet of Salvation in Christ.
    They didn't have the Chest Protector of Christ's holy living.
    And they didn't have the Shield of Faith.

They only trusted Jesus' name for magic power.  
    They didn't trust in Christ's death on the cross for their sins.
    They didn't trust in His resurrection from death for their eternal life.
They trusted only themselves, and their clever ideas.
They didn't understand their need for their relationship with Christ.

Many people in Christian churches today are the same as those seven brothers.  They(people) show religion and ritual, and they hope religion and "good works" will save them.  But their hearts are not yet awake to see the need for living in relationship with Christ.

[The Bible has other examples of people who tried to use God's power for good luck, without attention to their relationship with Him (see 1 Samuel 4).  The Bible also reports the sad end of those who find more meaing and power in the occult than they find in God and His Word (see 2 Kings 1 and Isaiah 47:13-15)
.  The seven brothers in Ephesus were lucky -- they were still alive after their experience.]


"Put on the helmet of salvation."

A helmet covers a soldier's head.  Inside our head is our mind.  That is where we struggle against our evil enemy.  

Yes, Satan feeds a bad thought in a back of our mind.  Then he comes-around to the front door and says, "You name yourself a Christian!?  With that awful thought!?   You have no hope.  God can't forgive a sinner as you!  God said He will help you change, but you can't change.  Give up!  You have no hope."

Put on the Helmet of Salvation, and say:  "I belong to Jesus now!  I am His.  Christ proved His love for me.  Jesus went to the cross for me.  Jesus helps me remember His great love for me every time He offers me His body and His blood in the Lord's Supper.  Jesus tells me how much He loves me every time the preacher tells me that God forgives all my sins.   When Christ from death rose(rise) again to life, He proved His promise is true.  I belong to Jesus, not because of anything I do, but everything He did for me.   And Jesus promised that when He comes again, He will come for me!"

Amen



Click here to learn how you can receive the Helmet of Salvation.



Notes:  
In the story from Acts 19, the occult scrolls that the new Christians had from their old religious beliefs were all written by hand, and were very expensive.   Dr. Luke said that the total value was "50,000 Drachmas."  Each drachma was worth one day's minimum wage.  So the total value in today's money would be about two million dollars!

Notice that the Christians didn't try to sell the scrolls to keep the money.  They didn't even sell them to donate money to the church.  They understood how dangerous the occult is, so they made the right decision to destroy their occult scrolls.


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