One of the most crippling mindsets for many believers is a lack of assurance of salvation. Satan’s attacks on Christians in this area is repeated. The saint who has no assurance of his salvation will lose joy in the Christian life and will lose confidence in God’s faithfulness to finish what He began (Phil. 1:6).
In my family, we used to fly from Jordan to the States on standby because my dad used to work for Royal Jordanian Airlines, and we would get discounted tickets. As a kid, I would ask my mom why we were so stressed-out waiting to get on the plane. She would tell me it was because we were not sure if we would have room to fly. People who bought their tickets would sit down, read their newspaper, and sleep–but not us. We would always hang out over at the ticket counter to ensure that we would get the first seats available.
In some sense, it is the same way in the lives of Christians. Those who are confident they are going to heaven live their faith out to the fullest. But those who are not sure of their salvation will always be crippled, not enjoying the fullness of their salvation. They can succumb to Satan’s most destructive mind game.
Paul, in Ephesians 6:17a, gives us the reason why we should have confidence in our salvation. The helmet, rightly worn and used, would present significant protection. This was especially true at the time of Roman battles where the sky was filled with arrows. In the same way, Christians’ possession of salvation gives them the confidence of safety during the attacks and of the evil one.
How can we then, practically speaking, wear the helmet to be ready in our spiritual battle? Here are two admonitions we need to remember as we battle the enemy.
1. Our salvation reminds us that we are sinners in need of constant grace.
One of the ways Satan attacks believers is causing us to doubt our salvation when we sin. Satan wants us to keep thinking that we are guilty and under God’s judgment.
The Bible tells us we are sinners (Romans 3:10-12). In fact, John, in his epistle, says if we deny that we sin, we are liars and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8, 10). In between these two verses is the great verse which talks about God’s available forgiveness to every believer (1 John 1:9). We know, although we are sinners and guilty before God, we are forgiven in Christ. Christ was the ultimate and final sacrifice–the propitiation for our sins. Thus, when we sin, we are to (1) confess our sin to God and express our commitment to change (1 John 1:9), (2) express joy in our forgiveness in Christ (Psalm 32), (3) pray to God for His transforming grace to enable us to change (Philippians 2:12-13), (4) renew our mind with righteous thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
We need to remind ourselves always, especially when we sin, that we can be forgiven and cleansed by God’s grace.
2. Our salvation reminds us of our son-ship to the Father.
Another aspect of our Christian lives that Satan attacks is our son-ship to the Father. Paul, in Romans 8:12-17, argues that the evidence that we are God’s children is the Holy Spirit indwelling us, leading our lives. For we did not take the spirit of slavery to be fearful (v. 15); rather, the Spirit testifies, Himself, to our spirits that we are the children of God (v. 16-17). As believers, we need to be confident that nothing can change this status, namely, that we are the children of God (v. 31-39). Thus, we need to enter our battle with this mindset that we are the children of God, and nothing will ever change that.
Paul wants us to take the helmet of salvation alongside the other armor to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. We need to be confident that our salvation is sure. We have been forgiven once and for all. We are justified before God and stand before Him based solely on Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The chords of this classic song sum it up perfectly:
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”