A Roman soldier's helmet, known as the cassis
, protected a soldier's skull and neck from enemy blows and falling debris. Fashioned from bronze or iron, the helmet included two hinged side pieces to protect the cheekbones and jaw. Helmets were often lined inside with sponge or felt for the sake of comfort.
Horsehair plumes frequently adorned the tops of soldiers' helmets. Although not used in battle, these plumes were dyed a variety of colors to distinguish the rank of military officers and were primarily used for ceremonial purposes.
Just as the breastplate of righteousness guards the heart, the helmet of salvation
guards the mind. This helmet can also be called the "hope of salvation," as Paul said: "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation"
(I Thessalonians 5:8).
How does the helmet of salvation guard a Christian's mind? By providing hope
, which is a joyful and confident expectation that God will keep His promises. "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it"
A person without hope is vulnerable to the enemy's lie that life is not worth living.
All of us were without hope before we knew the Lord (see Ephesians 2:12); however, even men of God can experience attacks against their hope. In I Kings 18-19, the prophet Elijah
succumbed to depression after a great victory against the false god Baal on Mount Carmel. He had to run for his life and go into hiding from Queen Jezebel. It was then that Elijah asked God to let him die, but God wouldn't let him die. There may be times in our lives when we feel like Elijah did. Satan will bombard our minds with discouragement, doubt, and defeat. He will point out our failures, try to get us to focus on the negative, and attack our hope in God. It is then that we need the helmet of salvation. We also see in the book of Job
that even in Job's lowest point of suffering, he was
able to say of the Lord, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him"
(Job 13:15). Job's hope in the unchanging goodness of God was able to sustain him through the barrage of enemy attacks.
is in the salvation of the Lord — not only in His initial salvation
from the penalty of sin, but also in His continuing salvation from the power of sin and the attacks of the devil. Romans 15:13 says, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
It is critical that we continue
in hope for the salvation of the Lord, for ultimately, we have "hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began"
(Titus 1:2; also see I Corinthians 15:19).
The enemy of our souls seeks to dissuade us from the "lively hope"
(I Peter 1:3) we have in Jesus Christ. However, as we yield to the Holy Spirit, God works His salvation in us. We are justified
(made righteous) in God's sight by faith in the finished work of Christ. We are sanctified
(set apart unto God) by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. We will be glorified
when Jesus returns to receive us unto Himself, which is the culmination of our salvation. Thus, our hope and confidence is in God's ability to complete the good work which He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6). Galatians 5:5 says, "we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."
No matter what trials we face in life, our blessed hope
is the appearing of Jesus Christ (see Titus 2:13; I John 3:3). Peter exhorts us to "gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"
(I Peter 1:13). Furthermore, Paul encourages us by saying, "hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us"
(Romans 5:5; also see Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 1:13; I Timothy 1:1).
These verses and many others in the Bible give us hope that the salvation of the Lord
will surely come — not only when Jesus returns, but also in our present moment of need. Lamentations 3:26 says, "It is good that a man should both
hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
Like a helmet, the "hope of salvation" protects our minds and gives us the confidence we need to face the enemy. "O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle"
Many of Satan's battles against us happen in the mind. The devil can flash evil and lewd thoughts
in our minds, hoping that we will entertain his thoughts and commit sin (see James 1:13-15). He can also bombard our thoughts with lies and doubts
, hoping to whittle away at our trust in the Lord and get us discouraged. But perhaps the devil's most subtle strategy is mind manipulation through subliminal messaging
. Make no mistake, Satan is the god of this world, and he aims to keep people focused on the things of this world. He influences news media, advertisements, and popular music (even background music in stores) to condition people to accept the "values" of his anti-God, man-centered world system. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from
the simplicity that is in Christ"
(II Corinthians 11:3; also see 4:4).
How easy it is to let our guard down when going about our daily lives. But let us not be ignorant of the enemy's attempts to get our thoughts preoccupied with the lusts and cares of this world.
Romans 12:2 says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye
may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
To counteract the battle going on against our minds, we need to receive God's Word
with all "readiness of mind" and search the Scriptures daily (see Acts 17:11). David said in Psalm 119, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word"
(Psalm 119:11, 50, 81).
As pilgrims and strangers in this world, we are to seek first the Kingdom of God
and set our affection on things above (see Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1-4; I Peter 2:11). Although we are in
the world, we are not of
the world (see John 17:14-15). "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"
(II Corinthians 10:4-5). Isaiah 26:3 says of the Lord, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Because God has provided us with the helmet of salvation
, we need not be taken by the devil's evil schemes against our minds.