Ephesians 6:17, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
The first, and most important part of the armor of God, is the helmet of salvation, because that is what entitles and enables you to take up the rest of it. Just what is salvation and why do we need it? What do people mean when they say 'Jesus saves'?
Simply put, to be 'saved' is to be set free from being a slave to sin and gain the right to become a child of God Himself and be spiritually reborn. You accomplish this by first realizing that you have sinned, against God, against others, and even against yourself. That YOUR righteousness can never stand up to the standard of the righteousness of God. Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." The only thing that can enable anyone to stand before God in the day of judgement is perfect righteousness, anything less is no better than showing up at a state dinner fresh from spending hours crawling in garbage and raw sewage.
If you've ever done something that you knew was wrong, then you have sinned. It doesn't matter if your sin was one little 'white lie' or killing someone. James 2:10, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
This situation of sin is something that we have inherited. When Adam sinned in the garden, the tendency toward sin became a part of him. When any living thing reproduces, it does so after it's own kind, thus Adam passed on his willingness to sin to his children. They in turn passed it on to theirs, and so on until today. There is a common belief that people are 'basically good'. However while it is true that many people want to be good, and many even try, everyone falls short. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" to deny this is to lie to yourself and to God.
Sin has a price. Sin is contrary to God's will. And therefore cannot coexist with righteousness. Sin ends in death. And not only physical death; Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.". But death is NOT what God desires for ANY of us: 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." God isn't sitting off somewhere on His throne saying 'ah HA! That one just sinned, time to zap em!' in fact, the whole point of why Jesus came to earth was to grant us the ability to escape sin and death. John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
If God were not merciful, as soon as Adam committed that first sin, then God would have vaporized him right then and there. Why didn't He do that? Because He loved Adam. 1 John 4:8, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Instead of instantly handing out a deserved punishment for deliberately sinning, God set in motion His plan to redeem us from that sin nature that Adam allowed in and passed on to us by doing what satan wanted instead of what God wanted.
Matthew 9:13, "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
People like to say things like "We're all God's children.", But little do they realize that this simply is not true. We are all God's creation, and if we choose to believe in, accept, and follow Jesus, we are given the right and ability to become children of God. John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
Once a person repents of (turns away from) the life of sin and accepts Jesus, they receive His spirit, and if they follow the leadings of His spirit, then they become His children: Romans 8:14-15, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
The next verse holds something special, when you become a child of God, you also become His heir! Romans 8:16-17, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." This means that you inherit equal right to everything that Jesus has, and that anything God would do for Jesus, He would do for you. It also means that you have not only a right, but instructions to take up the full armor of God, because that spiritual armor is essential equipment in the day to day battle against satan's attacks.
If you haven't made the choice to recieve Jesus, I urge you to do so now. Making this choice is more important now than ever before because we are living in the final age and Jesus could return any time. You can simply talk to God, much as you would a person standing right there with you or on the phone. Tell Him that you admit that you are a sinner, that you know you have done things that you knew were wrong. Tell Him that you know that your own righteousness will never be enough to justify you at the judgement and that you cannot earn the right to heaven. Tell Him that you accept the free gift of salvation from sin and ask Him to give you His Holy Spirit to lead you. Then thank Him! rejoice! you are now born again into the family of God! Congratulations! You have just put on the first part of the Armor of God and have begun to be ready for war!
Click here for "This means War!"