Our text from Ephesians 6 reminds us that our salvation is already complete in Messiah Yeshua. It is 'past' in the sense that, at the moment, when you and I trusted in Messiah, we were saved. Once we gave our hearts to Him, once we committed our lives totally to Him, we were freely justified. But then, salvation is an on-going process. Day by day GOD is working in us, making us more like His Son. That's GOD's supreme ambition for us, to make us like Messiah. That means we've got to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This isn't an instant process. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes tears. It takes pain; because we are fighting the world; the flesh; the devil. We have a lot of formidable opposition against us, that's why the Bible says:
'Be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.'
Moses said it also:
'Your shoes,'says Moses, (Deuteronomy 31),
'Your shoes shall be iron and brass; and as your days, so shall your strength be.' If the day is long, He'll give you more strength. If the road is rough; He'll give you iron and brass shoes to wear to tread that rough road.
So it is an on-going process.
'He that has this hope in him, purifies himself, even as Messiah is pure.' We are seeking to be holy more and more. But there is also a future aspect, and that is, when at last we reach Heaven and we are finally beyond the reach of sin; when, at last, we do attain sinless perfection. And that happens when, at last, we leave this life; we leave all our sins behind; we leave all our drawbacks and all our failures behind; all our defects. We leave them all behind.
So it is past, present and future. Here is one verse that will sum it all for us. If we go back to the First Letter of the Corinthians, Chapter 1; 1st Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses 30 and 31:
'But of Him, you are in Messiah YESHUA, who became for us wisdom from GOD, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that as it is written, He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.' He became for us wisdom from GOD; He made us wise unto salvation; He also became for us righteousness. The moment you trust in Messiah, He bestows His righteousness on you; and the devil might as well accuse Him, as accuse you. And then, not only that, He is our sanctification, that is, He's making us more like Himself. We're not going to be identical, but we are going to be like Him in nature and in character. And 'redemption' is the word for glorification - the liberty of the glory of the sons of GOD. We are waiting for that glorious day, and all creation is waiting for that day when, at last, Messiah has returned and we enter into His glory, because the blessing will come on creation as well. Creation will be blessed as a result!
So we see what the
'helmet of salvation'means. It is the hope that sustains us when we are tempted. 'When all things seem against me to drive me to despair, I know one gate is open; one ear will hear my prayer.' That's what a famous poet wrote; William Cooper, who was subject to depression. He was very sensitive, and that's what he wrote. 'I know what door is open; one ear will hear my prayer.'
The second half of this verse is about the
'sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD.' There's a question here. We see already in verse 14, (Ephesians 6);
'Stand, therefore, having girded your waist with truth,'and at the time we saw that the truth is of all GOD's Word; all GOD's truth, from Genesis to Revelation. That is the Word of GOD. We have girded our waist with It. Why then do we have the
'sword of the Spirit,' which is the Word of GOD? Is it a duplication? Is it unnecessary repetition? The answer is, 'No, it isn't.' Because in verse 14, we have the whole truth, but here we have specific application of the truth, as the need requires.
YESHUA used the
'sword of the Spirit.' He said,
'It is written.' When the devil came to Him to tempt Him,
'I will give you all the kingdoms of the world if you fall down and worship me;' YESHUA said,
'It is written, thou shalt worship the LORD thy GOD, and Him only shalt thou serve.' This is how He used the sword of the Spirit; He took part of that whole truth of GOD that was applicable at that moment, and used it. And that's what is meant here, -
'to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD.' 'The sword of the Spirit,'means the GOD-breathed Word of GOD. It is the word that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that men spoke in time past. We read in GOD's Word that all Scripture is GOD-breathed. 2 Timothy, Chapter 3, verse 16:
'All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD.' Literally, all Scripture is GOD-breathed.
Have you ever wondered why you have all these genealogies? All these name lists? Have you ever read Ezra, or Nehemiah or Chronicles? You found all those names? GOD has put them there for a purpose, and we will be mistaken to skip over them. All Scripture is GOD-breathed;
'and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.'