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The Believer's Armor, Part 6: The Helmet of Salvation, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2021 4:00 am

The Believer's Armor, Part 6: The Helmet of Salvation, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 22, 2021 4:00 am

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The helmet of salvation is not something dealing with the past is not something even dealing with the present. In a sense is something dealing with the future and this is what he is saying you can be sure of your salvation in the future and that becomes a protection against the broadsword see you know that same principle applies to your growth as a Christian. If you know Christ you have an amazing source of power. Power to understand and obey God's word power to say no to sin and power to face hardship with joy that includes even the fiercest trials caused by your supreme enemy, Satan himself.

So the question is how you tap into that power source. What does it take to live a victorious Christian life. Find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues is look at Ephesians chapter 6 and the believers armor we're looking at Ephesians 6 verses 13 through 17 and were examining the warfare of the believer and the resources that he has for victory we've been discussing quietly the subject of commitment.

We've been discussing the dedication. The commitment the sort of selling out of ourselves to obedience to fulfill God's will in our lives. We talked about the matter of disciplining ourselves, controlling our desires and coming into conformity and in line with the standards of Christ.

We talked about really being a soldier, a warrior and giving our best effort for his sake on this immediately introduces to us another perspective that is often held regarding this area of Christian living.

There are some people who believe that all of this exercise in all of this discipline in all of the struggle and all of this effort is really not what God is after it all is a statement in the Old Testament made in reference to Ginger Heister that it says the battle is not yours.

It is the Lord of that statement has become a byword for a group of people who have been called the quietest is the movement that basically say is the way to live the Christian life is not, through self-discipline and through effort, and through commitment, but rather through surrender and you may have been exposed in your youth, or in some other time. Worth reading or whatever. To this concept of let go and let God.

There is a song called let go and let God have his wonderful way.

We hear a lot about the subject of yielding of resting of abiding in Christ other handing all over the Lord and you hear people say stop struggling and stop striving and you and surrender totally surrender completely surrender and I remember as a young person hearing this quite a lot. I remember going to camps and conferences and in the particular college I attended there were constant calls to come to the alderman and students were like yo-yos going up and down, up and down trying to get surrender. In fact, we found that there were a lot of us were willing to be willing to be willing to surrender.

We just weren't sure how and it would seem like you just get to the point where the tears begin to flow you hit your knees at the alternate surrender. Three days later, you'd sin and then you say why surrender Lord, whose fault is that Saul became very difficult people to take John 15. The concept of abiding in Christ not to refer to that act of being saved. But the idea of surrendering the idea of yielding. Maybe you are like some people I know who went up and down aisles all their childhood years and in their youth, trying to get surrender that's not uncommon, not uncommon at all. In fact, it used to be an old hymn that went something like this holiness by faith in Jesus, not by effort of my own, but don't let God be just kind of cool.

Whatever you're doing sort of flake out do nothing CHA Trumbull used to defend the system, said that when you are fully surrendered, get this, you'll never even experience temptation because it will be defeated by Christ before it has time to draw you into a fight that's true, then how do you ever when you sin and whose fault is it must be graceful and scary to think because that would not be true surrender is perhaps aptly illustrated in a book called the Christians secret of a happy life written by Hannah Smith. In that book he says this what can be said about man's part in this great work, but that he must continually surrender himself and continually trust. But when we come to God's side of the question, what is there that may not be said as to the manifold wonderful ways in which he accomplishes the work entrusted to him is here that the growing comes in. In other words, what she saying is if you want to grow spiritually do nothing but surrender let him do it all just racing the lump of clay could never grow to a beautiful vessel if it stayed in the clay pit for thousands of years. But when it's put into the hands of a skillful pottery grows rapidly under his fashioning into the vessel. He intends it to be in the same way the soul abandoned to the working of the heavenly pottery is made into a vessel underwater, sanctified, and meet for the Masters you now all sounds good but if you're nothing but a piece of clay to Potter's hand. He's making you a new what he wants you to be on the road you get out of there to sin is the clay all of a sudden say like I'm finished with this deal hopped out of the potters and form itself, and what it all it wants to be in and do its own thing so hard on the illustration Frank. One moment Hannah Smith has the Christian a piece of soft clay in the next moment player jumped out of the potters and doing whatever work some clay.

The point is that there must be more to the Christian life adjuster do nothing approach the Bible never teaches this approach the Bible doesn't simply teach that all you have to do at some point in your life is surrender. The Bible doesn't teach that all and I agree that we must depend upon the resource of God.

I agree that we must depend upon God's energy and God's power and God's strength, but it is biblical to think that all we do is just sit there and so assembly will maybe it had a problem with the emphasis I've been making on commitment on self-discipline in the Christian life on subjecting your flesh, the strength of God, but you shouldn't because that's what the Bible teaches you're in a battle with the enemy.

The Christian life is a war and if you regarding the restrict chapter 12 you find the Christian life is a race.

If you were to go to first grade is nine you find the Christian life is a fight we must be says Titus three.

A careful to apply ourselves to good deeds, James Foran, first Peter five.

We must resist the devil first Corinthians chapter 9 we must be our body to bring it into subjection.

Ephesians chapter 5. We must look carefully how we walk. Philippians chapter 3, we must press on to the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Second Corinthians 71. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the fear of Godů It is way too simplistic to say that all that is needed in the Christian life is some kind of bellyflop just kind of fall over dead things that are God, you do that is way too simplistic.

On the one hand that's with the quietest were saying they were countered by a group called the Pietists who were the legalists saying you gotta do the flesh and the balances in the middle. Yes, we depend on the strength of God. Yes, we rest in his power. Yes, we abide in the vine. Yes, we can on a divine resource. Yes, it is not. I would Christ but on the other hand, there must be brought to bear in the Christian life. A tremendous level of commitment. A tremendous level of self-control and self discipline. There must be in the Christian life. A dedication of our lives on a day-to-day basis to fight Satan with all the energy we had its way to simple to just say surrender that's the mystery the balance by having you look with me at second Peter chapter 1 in second Peter chapter 1 in verse three we read this, according as his divine power had given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us to glory and virtue. Nellis God has called us to glory and virtue in order to equip us for that. His divine power has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness listed as a Christian, you do not lack any needed resource. You have all things that pertain to life and godliness. Where did you get it through the knowledge of him when you came to know him and salvation God gave you everything you need so divine resource is there because it divine power. In verse three we have divine power. We have that available now through that divine power. Verse four says we are given exceedingly great and precious promises tremendous promise tremendous power and then we become partakers.

We have power, promise, and a partaking of the very divine nature itself. This is God's. God says here's my power. Here's my promises partake of my very nature tremendous magnanimous resource for living the Christian we just say amen and I'm just going to surrender that I'm in a let go and let God turn all over the do not know because you come to verse five immediately in verse five says. And besides a Vince beside Vince you give all diligence yet at a man get with it. Be diligent, be disciplined to add to your God-given faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and the knowledge, self-control and of self-control. Patients and patients, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. In other words you get on the job and beloved.

It is not as simple as walking it out and making an active surrender that as part of it in your life. There must be a a commitment to the Lordship of Christ. There must be an acknowledging of his power and resource in your life, but it doesn't end there. It begins there in Romans six there is a yielding of yourselves. Yes, there is a yielding of yourselves in Romans six, but there is also a mortifying or a killing of the deeds of the flesh. So it is all as simple as that of that's why we make no hesitation for proclaiming the truth of Ephesians 6 there is balance. Go back if you will for a moment to Philippians chapter 2 and you'll see the balance again in Philippians chapter 2 verse 12. Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling in the word obey is the key word in the verse you work out your salvation and a life of obedience for verse 13 says is God who works in you to will and with his good pleasure. You have God working in you his will and you will work it out in your obedience. That's the idea God works in you is will you work it out by obedience.

There is the balance God is at work in your network.

Look at Colossians chapter 1 verse 29 maybe the most definitive verse of all. Colossians 129 beautifully shows this perfect balance for this. I also labor bosses. I work hard are striving according to his working, which works in me mightily. You see, I work in God works is why say it's far too simplistic to just be banging the drum for the concept of surrender.

There must be a commitment in my life to self-discipline, diligent, obedient, in fact, you see, if you take the view that it's all just let go and let God what are you going to do with all of the New Testament exhortation one of the main. If it's all the law are, and they should have been directed at him not meet no no.

There's a balance between a yielding this to the Lordship of Christ and a total discipline and commitment in my own follow-through in obedience now in second Corinthians, just one other word to show you.

Chapter 6 verse four. But in all things, commending ourselves as the ministers of God we all all we want to do is to commend ourselves or demonstrate that we are God's ministers want the world to know in much patience and affliction necessities stresses imprisonments stripes tumults laborers watching's fastings by pureness by knowledge, by long-suffering by kindness by the Holy Spirit by love unfeigned by the word of truth, by the power of God by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. You notice something wonderful about this is a phenomenal blending of things patients that's personal attitude, affliction, necessity, distress, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labor hard work watching fasting pureness knowledge, long-suffering, kindness was wrong things and I must produce in my life that I must see those things and what's the source by the Holy Spirit by divine love unfeigned by the word of the truth which is the Bible and by the power of God and by the armor of righteousness. Those are all things God gives us the perfect blending of the two, so we depend on God and give our all, that's the now.

Let's come back to Ephesians 6 without a what I'm trying to say. Beloved is that Ephesians 6 doesn't contradict the Bible anywhere else in the people who have perhaps taught you and your background. All you need to do is surrender Miss the point.

There's far more to this Christian life and that you know they used to actually say that the only way to grow in your Christian life is through this total surrender. We just flat back and do nothing. Where the Bible says that you grow by acting in an obedient fashion in a self-discipline commitment to Jesus Christ.

That is a matter of every day efforts. You don't grow by no effort. You grow by maximum effort.

Now let's look at the armor get and so were not hesitant now to put it on. I hope that's clarified that issue. We are in a battle in the battle to be one demands our greatest output in our greatest effort and so we must first have the bill of truthfulness and then the breastplate of righteousness in the shoes of the gospel of peace and then the shield of faith, and then in verse 17 we must take the helmet of salvation and naturally stop last what is it me, what is the helmet of salvation, we told you last time. It doesn't mean getting say, listen, you wouldn't have the. The belt of truth and you are now the breastplate of righteousness, and you wouldn't have the shoes of the gospel of peace and you will never seal the fate of you and say what is I told you that salvation is three dimensions past, present, listen, that is the only definition of salvation that the Bible understand there is no other kind of salvation than a three dimensional salvation, past, present, future. The Bible knows nothing of a salvation only valid in the past.

The Bible knows nothing of a salvation only valid in the present.

The Bible knows nothing of a salvation for which you have to wait to find out if you get it in the future. The Bible only knows a three dimensional salvation past present future. We have been saved are being saved and will be the past. Justification, which results in sanctification and promises glorification salvation is only seen biblically in those three terms all gathered in the work the past were saved from the penalty of sin. The present were saved from the power of sin in the future we will be saved from the presence of sin. So you must see salvation in those three dimensions of the dimension of it, to which Paul specifically alludes here is the future. The helmet of salvation is not something dealing with the past. It's not something even dealing with the present. In a sense is something dealing with the future and this is what he is saying you can be sure of your salvation in the future and that becomes a protection against the broadsword that Satan wheeled I told you last time that he has a big broadsword around fire. The Greek and has two edges one, edges, discouragement, and the other edges, doubt, and Satan wants to clobber you with discouragement and doubt and the protection you have is the helmet of salvation. When you get discouraged. Remember there's coming a great glorious day when you get discouraged. Remember there's coming a victory celebration when you get discouraged and you want to be weary in well doing. Remember, you reap if you faint not. Remember that someday it is going to be a reward, something is going to be a crowning day. Someday Jesus is going to face you and say well done good and faithful servant. Remember that day is coming when Satan wants the belt with discouragement because the battle gets wearying because you get tired because the struggle is endless. Remember there's coming a victory day there is a finish line. There is a final John. The clock will run out and will stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ in that glorious moment, so it is then that the helmet of salvation confidence in the future. As Paul calls it in first Thessalonians 5, the helmet of the hope of salvation, but the helmet in the future, gives us strength to go on in the present. It gives us strength to go on in the present. Even when things get tough. So you're saying when Satan wants to hit you with discouragement in the battle realize there's coming a victory. Don't bail out.

Having done all stand if there was no future element to salvation. The other two parts to be meaningless if I was Satan and being saved. But there's no future. Why should I keep doing this.

Why should I fight so hard. If there's no future. If there is no hope of the fullness in the final element of salvation. While this effort may illustrate that to you in first Corinthians 1532 and this is very apt from the experience of Paul.

Paul says in this verse. First Corinthians 1532. If, after the manner of men, or any strictly human way. I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.

What does it profit me if the dead rise not let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Listen folks, if there's no future in this forget it. If I have to go to Ephesus and he gets so bad there and the persecution is so severe that I have to find with wild beasts. What is it that a profit me if there is no resurrection, what kind of a salvation is it that goes nowhere. You think I'm in a lay my life on the line for a bunch of wild animals you think I meant to confront a bunch of hostile pagans with Christ gospel. If there is no resurrection.

If there's no future element of salvation I would give up right now throwing the towel, throw down the gauntlet walk away and say it's over, that's the idea is saying what kind of a salvation, would there be didn't have a future. It would have absolutely no power to cause me to fight the battle today.

This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is the Bible teacher here on grace to you is also chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and today he continued his study, the believers armor that John still thinking about how the helmet of salvation defends against doubts and bolsters the assurance of our salvation.

We received a question on our Q&A line that relates to this issue of assurance and so let's hear the question now and then you respond MacArthur partner from Atlanta, Georgia currently has a question about related to assurance affiliation. I'm wondering if you can explain the meaning of Romans 816 when it talked about the spirit testifying with our spirit that we are God's children and 80 how that relates to assurance that salvation is not that testifying of the spirit is that a feeling or what. What exactly does a much very good question Heather and I would say the answer to that is is really not a ceiling but fruit if you possess the Holy Spirit and you walk in the spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.

So that's what the Spirit produces in a believer, you could simply put it this way, your assurance is predicated on the fact that you love the Lord your love imperfectly, but you love him that you love his word that you love his people that you love his church that you love the things that are right and good. Also the Holy Spirit's presence in your life, produces joy so that there is even in the times of doubt and worry struggle for assurance.

There is a settled joy in your heart because of what the Lord Jesus Christ is done for you. Another thing to think about two is there is obedience in your life as an evidence of the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit which basically our attitudes produce actions and the actions they produce are righteous actions so look at your life and you say wow I love I love the Lord and I love those who love him and I love his word and and I love righteousness, and I find my joy in him and in honoring him and in obeying him. My heart desires to obey him and you could add another element to that is humility in in true salvation. The Spirit produces humility so that you don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. And sometimes that humility may kind of drift off into a lack of assurance or doubt. But when you see the desire in your heart to honor the Lord that's what kind of humility were talking about.

So is the fruit of the spirit.

Or you could sum it up and say when there's love toward Christ and not all things that belong to him when there's joy in your life because of what he's done when there is a desire to be obedient to his word.

Even though you're not obedient all the time that your heart's desire and when there is a humility that says IAI want to serve you. I want to honor you. I want to submit you as my Lord. Those are the evidences of the Holy Spirit. And that's how the Holy Spirit testifies to you that you belong to Christ, thanks for that answer, John, and friend. If you have a question about a current movement in the church or the correct meaning of the verse, or how to thrive in a culture hostile to the gospel. I encourage you to call our Q&A line and leave your question you may hear John answer it on a future broadcast get in touch with us today. The Q&A line number is 661-295-6288 that's just for your questions. Again, you could simply call and leave your question, then John may answer it on the future broadcast the Q&A line number one more time. 661-295-6288. You also find the Q&A line number at our website TTY.and if you want to hear more of John's answers to tough theological questions. I would encourage you to visit TTY.org website. There you will find dozens of Q&A's that John is had with his home church.

You can download all of them for free along with those Q&A's, you can access all of John's sermons including series you recently heard on radio, such as the parables of the kingdom of God's plan for giving and faith through the fire, all of those verse by verse lessons and all of the Q&A's are free of charge. Start downloading@tty.org now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson.

Keep in mind you can watch grace to you. Television Sundays on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channeling times then tune in again on Monday when John looks at the lies of Satan, how you guard your mind against them.

It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth will set a time on grace to you


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