This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Neighboring Well”.
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This series is called Neighboring Well and in it we are talking about hospitality. I said that there are some spiritual applications and some practical applications that I want us to look at. We are talking about the importance of taking a stand for our neighbors by taking some time to look at the armor of God in Ephesians 6. We have discussed the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, having our feet shod with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace and the shield of faith. Today we are going to look at the helmet of salvation.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Ephesians 6:17a (NIV)
17 Take the helmet of salvation …
The purpose of the helmet is to protect the head. An injury to the head can be life threatening. Our brain is the center of our thinking. Our mind is one of the most important things in our lives and needs to be protected.
1. The hope of salvation
The helmet of salvation is further defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:8:
1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NIV)
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
This verse talks about the hope of salvation. Our salvation is not only about when we were saved, or that we are now saved, but also that we are being saved.
Because of the hope of salvation we have in Christ, our perspective changes. We are no longer consumed by our own small selfish viewpoint of life but we can begin to see the bigger picture. We will live with Him forever and that life begins now.
2.) Being transformed
Rather than be consumed by the fear being spewed by our culture, we need to focus our thoughts on the Kingdom of God and the things of the Lord.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
If we conform to the world around us, we will not be effective in taking a stand for our neighbors. We need to be transformed. This is not about living by a bunch of rules about what “Christians” are supposed to do and not do. This transformation is about yielding to the spirit and living for God. Being transformed is not about not having any fun, when you are transformed in Christ you love to live by doing the next right thing.
3. Renewing our minds
What’s wrong with my mind that makes it need to be renewed? Your mind has an attitude.
Ephesians 4:23 (NIV)
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23 (NASB77)
23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
The spirit of your mind or attitude of the mind is a “mindset”. Your mind or brain is not just a computer that processes information, it has a viewpoint, it has an attitude.
Our minds are fallen and broken like everything else in this world. That is why they need to be renewed. The filters all need to be evaluated and adjusted.
4. Softening our hearts
Ephesians 4:17-18 (NIV)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Our fallen mindset and viewpoint has caused a hardening of our hearts. As we yield to the Spirit, one of the results should be that our hearts are made softer. We should become less hard lined. Our edges should begin to soften. Our compassion levels should begin to rise. Our hearts should be breaking over the things that break God’s heart.