“Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand firm… and take the helmet of salvation” – Ephesians 6:13; 17 (ESV)
Salvation. A word that pretty much every Christian has in their vocabulary. We mostly know that it means we no longer have to face the punishment of sin and we can go to heaven. If you think about it, not many people besides Christians actually use the word Salvation, and we use it so much we almost forget what it really means.
So what is salvation. The dictionary defines it thus: “deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss”. Salvation for a Christian means pretty much the same thing. The context is simply that the harm, ruin and loss is a result of sin.
Once I was teaching a Sunday School class of 6 year old boys. I was presenting the gospel to them when I explained that Jesus Christ, by dying on the cross, saved us from our sins. “Does anyone know what it means to be saved?” I will never forget the look on their faces as they were all thinking very hard about what the right answer was. Suddenly, the quietest boy in my class got a look of satisfaction on his face and he told me “I know!”. His explanation was as follows:
“Saved is when you decide to jump out of an airplane, then you realise that you forgot your parachute and so a helicopter appears and he catches you. That means that you have been saved.”
To this day I remember how proud he was of himself that he had answered a question and that he got to talk about airplanes at the same time. Knowing that this is the kind of thing you sign up for when teaching kids, trying not to giggle or pass his idea off as a stupid one, I did my best to use his idea as an explanation for being saved and then move onto the topic of salvation.
Although the story might be just a cute one, I think there may be some truth to his idea. That is, if we ignore the fact that a helicopter has spinning blades on top of it and we think like a six year old boy. All of us have sinned and thus cannot be in the presence of God which is a safe place (we have jumped out of the airplane without a parachute). Because of our sin we deserve death as a punishment (just as jumping out of an airplane without a parachute will result in our death). But Jesus came to earth as a man and died on the cross to save us from our sinful selves (ok, the analogy is not perfect, but hey the helicopter can save you). By trusting in Christ we can be saved.
So what does all this have to do with a helmet? Sometimes I think we become all too comfortable with the fact that we have been saved. We forget how much God has actually done for us. The helmet of salvation protects our thoughts. By reminding ourselves of what it means to be saved, we can fix our minds on the things of above and live the way we ought to.
We should never forget that Christ is the one who saved us. We should be thinking about our salvation regularly and then consider what we should be doing as a result of our being saved. We need to put on the helmet of salvation and remember that we have been given the greatest gift ever.