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.Ephesians 6:16-17 (ESV)“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”OUR CURRENT STATUS
We are living at a moment in history when it can be very difficult to find contentment in the present day. Each one of us can easily remember when social distancing, face coverings and quarantines were not part of our daily vocabulary. Likewise, we are all looking forward to the days when vaccines will be readily available, sports fans will pour onto bleachers without covering their faces, and hand-shakes or hugs will become common-place again. Yes, it’s the present reality which can be so dreadfully difficult.
But perhaps God’s Word can assist us as we seek to find joy during this Thanksgiving season.
In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul provides a helpful analogy for how to be both offensively strong and defensively poised against the schemes of our spiritual adversary. When we actively adorn our life with truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation and Scripture, we become even more prepared to endure seasons of severe affliction. But what exactly does the ‘helmet of salvation’ mean and how can it help us now, during a pandemic?
Often when we think of salvation, we may think of either a past or future event.
For example, when we think of salvation as a past event, we may think of some testimonies which include: “I was saved as a teenager” or “I was set free from addiction.” When we define salvation in this sense, we are referring to a specific moment which has already come and gone. It’s an experience worth celebrating and sharing, but it will not happen in the same way again. In this sense, salvation is a past event.
We may also tend to think of salvation as a future event. For example, God’s people look ahead to the final consummation of the Kingdom of God. At that time, we will saved from the curse of sin, sickness, conflict and death. All of these current challenges will be swallowed up in victory as Jesus reigns as King forever and ever. In this sense, salvation is a future event and something to eagerly anticipate!
Yet, salvation is also a present reality. It is this current status which I believe is being referred to with the ‘helmet of salvation’.
Consider some of the realities recorded in Ephesians. Those who are in Christ are: redeemed through Jesus’ blood, forgiven of trespasses, adopted as God’s children and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Right now, we have access to hope, to the greatness of His power, to strength for our inner being and to the incomprehensible love of Christ which is deeper and wider than anything we can fathom.
Yes, we have been and will be saved, but we are also saved right here in this moment. That present status remains unchanged regardless of Satan’s schemes or our external afflictions.
As you make your adjusted Thanksgiving plans, please consider wearing the ‘helmet of salvation.’ You are saved through faith in Jesus. That, above all things and despite all circumstances, is worth celebrating and giving thanks for. Lord, help us to praise You for our identity as saved people throughout every season. Through Jesus, Amen!