The Armour of God (Part 1): Helmet of Salvation
I am convinced that when Jesus commissioned Peter in John 21:15-17 He clearly taught that there are two very important aspects to Discipleship.
POIMANO in verse 16, translated take care or tend my sheep. This is what I call General Discipleship, which particularly includes the essential teachings a new Christian requires, which are expressed through New Christians Class, Cell Group, and Sunday Services. A group of people gather together with some physical and experiential distance between them and the Leader.
BOSKO (verse 15 & 17) translated feed my lambs/sheep. The etymology of the word means … the Shepherd going through the wool of the sheep looking for cuts, scratches, and the rubbish caught up in the wool ….. and the Shepherd is so close to the sheep, that the smell of the sheep is on the Shepherd!
This clearly indicates to me, the ‘one on one’ component of Discipleship – and practically speaking the Shepherd walking with the new believer until a particular truth is “caught” and it really affects the Christian Lifestyle of the new believer for the better.
This has been the missing link in Discipleship, because it is time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but without it we will not have quality disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe Prayer cannot just be taught in a class, but requires an older Christian to walk with the new believer for a few weeks until prayer becomes a lifestyle. That is why we have spent the last few weeks looking at the Eight Essential Ingredients to Daily Prayer. I trust you did ask someone to walk with you, and you are encouraging each other in this matter. Please tell me if you feel you are moving to a new level of relationship with the Lord, I want to be able to rejoice with you in this.
Another area that needs to be “caught” and thus requires “Bosko” ministry is the important area of:
PROTECTING THE MIND
In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul tells us that when we are born again, we inherit a complete set of armour. Sadly, so many Christians are completely ignorant of this armour, or if they have heard about it, they do not realise which piece of armour they need, or how to put it on, or how to wear (use it).
Starting from the top of the human body, Paul tells us we have:
The Helmet of Salvation
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The Belt (or skirt) of Truth
The Sword of the Spirit
The Shield of Truth
The Shoes of Peace
In future studies we will look at all these pieces of armour, but today we will commence with the Helmet of Salvation.
The mind is the battlefield of the soul (our mind, our will and our emotions).
Before we became Christians we filled our minds with a lot of sinful stuff. We would harbour anger, hate, and unforgiveness there, and we would fantasize about evil things. Many Christians create what Paul calls “Strongholds” in their minds. These can even become demonic strongholds if we continue to feed them! In 2 Cor. 10:4-5 Paul says we have weapons to deal with them. Sadly, again, many Christians do not have victory over their thought life, so even when you start to move forward in the area of prayer – if you don’t have victory over your mind, it is like 2 steps forward, and then 2 steps back.
THE DEVIL HAS NO NEW TRICKS
The way the devil tempted Eve is the same way the devil tempts us, and because of our ignorance or gullability, we fall for the same reason.
Turn with me to Genesis 3:1-6
Adam and Eve were given authority over the animal kingdom, so Eve was not surprised when the Serpent (the devil) approached her; she wasn’t even surprised when he spoke to her, what did the serpent do?
1. He attacked her MIND, and filled her mind with doubts. The mind is always the first area of attack, and that is why we need to protect our mind
2. He affected her EMOTIONS, Eve “saw” the fruit was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes.
3. He affected her WILL and she took the fruit and ate it, and gave it to Adam, in direct disobedience to God’s command.
An example: You hear someone is talking about you, you go home and start THINKING (mind) about what you have heard. You start to get angry EMOTIONS, and you make a decision WILL to confront that person.
Another example: You start to THINK (mind) about sexual things, your body is aroused EMOTIONS and that usually leads to a decision to do something about it. In both these illustrations we must catch the thought in our mind, BEFORE it touches our emotions, as the battle is so much harder to win if it gets to our emotions.
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PUT ON THE HELMET OF SALVATION?
Sadly, some preachers suggest you go through some little ceremony every morning, as you sit on your bed, and say – “I put on ……. “ And when you have gone through the list you have your armour on! I’m afraid it means so much more than that! I want to begin to share with you what I have discovered in the scriptures.
THE EIGHT KEYS TO PROTECT THE MIND
You need to have someone you trust, and have them walk with you, until you always recognise the attacks of the evil one, and automatically (because it has become a lifestyle) you immediately take some of these keys and deal with the sinful thoughts. We will start looking at these 8 keys in our next blog.