What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.17

“Take the Helmet of Salvation” Deepen Your Commitment to Attaining Assurance of Salvation

Ephesians 6:17

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.17

Ephesians 6. World War 2. Imagine leaving your home to fight the Nazi’s in Europe. You’ve left it all … your father and mother, your wife or fiance, kids, your business, or your job… you’ve left it all to make the world a better place.

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Is it really worth it?

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The Nazi’s tried to convince the Allies that it wasn’t. They dropped leaflets by airplane on Allied soldiers. They appealed to the soldier’s most basic instincts to demoralize them.

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One leaflet that they dropped has on the front of it a picture of the last embrace of a soldier and his wife with the words, “Remember her last kiss?” … Imagine the Nazi’s telling our soldiers this…. “You were happy then, together you spent marvelous times together, lounging on the beaches, dancing, enjoying parties, and listening to the tunes of your favorite band…”

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And then you flip it over on the back and it has no picture and it says …

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“It’s all over now! She expects you back home someday, she is waiting for you, day by day … she is longing for you night by night. But in vain! You are gone, perhaps forever … you had to leave her to fight for Europe. But why? Most of your [fellow soldiers] are no more… plain wooden crosses mark their graves on foreign soil… And what are you going to do about it?”

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This is clearly meant to demoralize the soldiers with doubt about their cause.

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Another leaflet looks like this…

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On the front it has a split screen the soldier on the top and a factory worker at the bottom.

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For the soldier it reads this way “he earns $15 a week and risks his neck” and for the factory worker at the bottom… “he makes $45 a week and is safe at home.”

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On the back it asks the question “who wants the war in Europe to last? You or he?”

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It’s insinuating that the factory worker back home is happy there is a war and that there are men dieing so that he can earn more money. This makes the soldier feel used, like a pawn in the hands of his own country. This was designed to attack the heart of the men… to shoot arrows of doubt about the goodness of Allied governments, doubts about the strength of the good guys he was fighting for, doubts he would ever win and ever go home again.

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Similarly for the Christian, the enemy is in the business of attacking with fire arrows of doubt; specifically, doubts about your salvation.

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  • “Are you really saved; if you were a Christian, you wouldn’t have sinned like that.”
  • “Are you sure you’re saved? Why would God save you?”
  • “Is God good enough to save you? Is this salvation really real?”
  • “Are you confident you’ll win the battle with Jesus? Will you really go to heaven?”

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Satan fires doubting arrows. And as a Christian, you have left it all. You turned your back on this world, and some of us have had to distance ourselves from fathers and mothers and even homelands to follow the will of God.

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But along the way, as you serve the Lord, you serve a conquering Savior who is gracious and kind. His promises are certain and they are certain for you.

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But you can have doubts. And believers can be content often for years struggling with this. This is not the will of God! God’s desire is that eventually you get beyond doubts about your salvation.

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We ask then, as perhaps you have, what is the solution to doubting your salvation? What is the solution to doubting the certainty of God’s salvation? There are many passages, but if you were to ask Paul in Ephesians… the solution is found in our text this morning in Ephesians 6:17.

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But once again for the context let’s read…

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Ephesians 6:10–17 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, …

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Just like Allied forces could be demoralized with doubts about their mission by Nazi propaganda, believers can easily be demoralized with doubts about salvation by satanic propaganda.

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And the solution to doubts about your salvation is taking the helmet of salvation. So I’d like to preach to us this morning that we “Take the helmet of salvation.”

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And what we’re going to discover is that to take the helmet of salvation means to deepen your commitment to attaining assurance. Deepen your commitment to attaining assurance of salvation. Don’t be content with doubts. Be prepared to take action from this message and refuse to wallow in this muck anymore.

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3 major points this morning…First, what is the helmet of salvation?

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Second, our salvation is certain. And third, we’ll discover how to have confidence in this certain salvation.

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So … First, what is the helmet of salvation?

What we’ll discover here is that the helmet of salvation is your assurance that God has saved you. The helmet of salvation is your assurance that God has saved you.

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ILL: What is the soldier’s helmet that Paul has in mind here? This is the Roman soldier’s helmet and it is made of iron or a kind of brass alloy. It is designed to offer maximum protection of the soldiers head, with a neck plate in the back, ear guards, cheek pieces and a brow band. These all help to defer or cushion the blow of an enemy weapon. The helmet is tightened with a leather strap under the chin. The soldier’s head is fully protected.

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Just like a Roman soldier puts on his helmet, a Christian is to put on a helmet, the helmet of salvation, the helmet which is salvation. We are to take put on salvation like a helmet.

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But what is salvation? Salvation is simply the common word for God’s saving you from the power and penalty of sin. Salvation restores you to fellowship with God. So, salvation is God saving you and restoring you to fellowship with him. And when he does that, you are saved. To be saved means to be rescued from the power of sin … You are saved from sin. But not just saved from sin. Salvation also means to be rescued from the penalty of sin …which is eternal hellfire … to be saved from that means you are safe.

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When you trust Christ and desire to rid yourself from everything he hates, and call on Him to save you and God saves you, you are saved…saved from the power and penalty of sin. This is salvation. Has God saved you in this way?

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Now, let’s draw the comparison between the helmet and salvation. We are to take the helmet of salvation. The helmet is salvation. This is a salvation helmet. Believers put on salvation like Roman soldiers put on a helmet. This means that salvation somehow acts like a helmet in the Christian life. Salvation acts like a helmet for the believer.

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Well, how does salvation act like a helmet? In this way…the helmet protects the soldier in the battle…just like that, your assurance that God has saved you protects you in times of temptation.

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The salvation helmet is your assurance that God has saved you. And that assurance protects you in times of temptation.

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If you know God is true and His promises are sure and if you know that you are saved, this will help protect you in the battle. And so you must deepen your commitment to attaining assurance of salvation.

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But if you are unsure of your salvation, you will be less protected in times of temptation. If you are struggling in this way, be careful this morning to take action on this. You don’t want to be weak in the battle.

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ILL: The hymn writer puts it this way …

“My heart has no desire to stay

Where doubts arise and fears dismay;

Though some may dwell where those abound,

My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.”

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Believers who are already saved are to take the salvation helmet. You are to deepen your commitment to attaining assurance of salvation. If you don’t, you are opening yourself up to attack.

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ARG: 1 Thess. 5:8 is a simple cross reference to help you understand this. You can make a note of that here and turn over to 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

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This is a similar context. Paul is exhorting the Thessalonians to fight temptation in the same way he commands the Ephesians. And Paul here commands at the end of 1 Thess. 5:8 that we put on “a helmet, [which is] the hope of salvation.”

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The helmet is the hope, the confident expectation of future salvation. What is hope? Hope means a confident expectation. The helmet is the confident expectation of future salvation. It is the assurance of salvation.

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You are to have confidence that you will be saved in the end. Even in the heat of battle … the battle is fierce and temptations are flying and the fire arrows are being shot, even in the heat of this battle, you are to have confidence that in the end you are saved and safe and that you will be ultimately victorious. Satan and those who tempt you will be defeated.

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And so we must grow in this confidence. Your assurance that God has saved you protects you in times of temptation. This is the helmet of salvation.

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TRANS: Now, you can turn back to Eph. 6:17. Anyone struggling with assurance of salvation is either struggling with 1 of 2 things.

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[on the one hand] Either he is struggling with the certainty of the salvation itself…that God would actually keep his promises, that the Bible is true.

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OR

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[on the other] he is struggling with the personal assurance of salvation.

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He’s either saying “Is the Bible really true? Has God saved anyone?” Or he is saying “Has God saved me?”

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The first is doubting whether God saves at all…or whether the Bible is true…. the second knows the Scripture is true, but he’s doubting whether God has actually saved him.

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So, in our second point this morning … we need to show that salvation is certain. God certainly saves. And then we need to show how we can have confidence in this certain salvation; how we can have assurance of salvation.

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So, our second point this morning is that our salvation is certain.

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Are you doubting that salvation is certain?

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Second, our salvation is certain

If you look at Ephesians 6:17 at the end, you can see once again that Paul is referencing the Old Testament. You can see the letters are all capitals … Where it says “helmet of salvation.”

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And you may have a letter or number next to that phrase and in the margin of your Bible for verse 17 you might see the cross reference there … and it’s Isaiah chapter 59:17.

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And Paul is referencing this passage in Isaiah. So, I’d like for you to turn back to Isaiah 59:17 and like we saw with the belt of truth, here again we have the picture of the divine warrior when he returns. Let’s turn back there and the point the Lord wants us to see here is that salvation is certain … and we know this because the very helmet we are to put on is Jesus’ helmet of salvation when He returns again. Because Jesus wears salvation like a helmet and we’re to put that on, that means that this is a certain salvation. This is Jesus’ certain salvation.

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And to set the context here, the beginning part of the chapter is a confession of sin. For example in Isaiah 59:12, our transgressions are multiplied before you and our sins testify against us.” Verse 13, transgressing and denying the Lord and turning away from our God speaking oppression and revolt conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words… justice is turned back and righteousness stands far away, truth has stumbled in the street and uprightness can’t enter.”

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Isaiah is praying … You can see then that this is confession of sin.

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And how is the Lord going to respond to this injustice? Middle of verse 15 now the Lord saw and it was displeasing in his sight that there was no justice. And he saw that there was no man and was astonished that there was no one to intercede … then his own arm brought salvation to Him and His righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate …which we’ve seen before…. Now here’s our phrase … The Lord puts on…a helmet of salvation

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And this is all going somewhere. Verse 18 according to their deeds so he will repay wrath to his adversaries recompense to his enemies … to the coastlands he will make recompense.

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And now note these next two verses {RAISE IT UP!!}

Isaiah 59:19–20 19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory [from the east]…from the rising of the sun, {!!} for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

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He will come to those who repent, who turn from transgression.

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Salvation is certain … and we know salvation is certain because the very helmet we are to put on is Jesus’ helmet of salvation when He returns again.

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So you can see where this is headed. It’s all headed until the time that the name of the Lord from the west and from the east will be feared and when the Redeemer will come to Zion, to Jerusalem.

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And so the setting is what then? It’s the second coming of Jesus Christ when the whole world …from east to west…is fearing the name of the Lord. This is when Christ comes back to set up His earthly kingdom. When He does, He will have annihilated his enemies and the righteous alone will survive.

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Here again then we have the Divine Warrior who comes back… and right there on His head … is a helmet of salvation!

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In other words, when he comes back He will save! He Himself will save when He returns. He most certainly saves. He saves people today and when He comes back, He will complete that salvation. He will wear the same helmet that we ourselves are to put on. We put on Jesus’ helmet of salvation.

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[!!!Connect!!!!] Soldier, Christ is in His battle array and he is looking straight at you. He looks at you and says “Here, put this on… you’re gonna need this.” You ask, “What is this, my Lord?” The reply from the King over all the kings comes “It is my helmet of salvation.” And He extends it out for you to take … “Huah…(!) really? Wow…!”

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So, we’re to put on this same salvation that Jesus will have when he comes … we’re to put it on like a helmet. Jesus‘ salvation, this is His helmet … we’re to put on …. we’re to be assured of His salvation.

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Jesus saves, this is certain! That’ll get you through a rough week, right! He knows he will bring salvation to his people at the end of days. That is certain to occur as He predicts right here. He saves.

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APP: He knows he will do this; do you know he will bring salvation? He brings it, you receive it, it is certain. You are not commanded to take up an uncertain helmet. You are commanded to take up Jesus’ helmet of salvation. Jesus saves. Salvation is certain for anyone who believes.

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You wouldn’t put on a questionable helmet; it’s your head! This is a solid helmet: whosoever believes will not perish. “God so loved the world that he gave his unique son that whoever trusts him will not perish, but have eternal life.” If you are trusting Christ, you will be saved.

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Salvation is certain … and we know salvation is certain because the very helmet we are to put on is Jesus’ helmet of salvation when He returns again.

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TRANS: Now, let’s go back to Ephesians chapter 1, the first chapter. I want us now to see from Ephesians this same point, the certainty of this salvation. Like Isaiah, Ephesians chapter 1 tells us of the certainty of the salvation. Paul, through Isaiah, told us salvation is certain because he will come with salvation. Now, Paul in Ephesians 1 will tell us it’s certain because salvation is rooted in God’s actions.

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Ephesians makes clear that this salvation is certain!

Ephesians chapter 1. And verse three you may recall begins the text of a hymn. And the focus of the hymn is all the spiritual blessings that we have in the heavenly places in Christ.

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Verses 3-6 describe what God the Father did in eternity past to save us. God the father planned salvation in eternity past; salvation is certain. Scripture is true.

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Verses 7-12 describe what God the Son did in the present day to save us. God the Son accomplished salvation in the present. Salvation is certain.

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Verses 13-14 describe what God the Holy Spirit did for us today with a view to the future. The Holy Spirit assures salvation; salvation certain.

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Just to sample some of this…. One of the spiritual blessings we have is verse four that “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” In eternity past, God the Father chose us. Is salvation questionable?

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Verse 5, God the Father predestined us to adoption as sons. God the Father predetermined the destiny of believers. And that destiny was adoption into God’s family for those who believe. If God the Father predetermines the destiny of believers, is salvation questionable?

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But God the Son makes certain this salvation as well. Verse seven, we have redemption through Jesus’ blood. His blood was shed for this! Did He die for some doubtful thing? No, salvation is certain.

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Also verse 11, the Son has an inheritance. It says “we have obtained an inheritance.” Literally it says we have been made to be a heritage. In other words, the church is the Son’s inheritance. Would the Son die for something that was doubtful and for He himself to receive a doubtful inheritance? What a raw deal that would be! To die and not to receive what was promised. No, salvation is certain!

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And then the Holy Spirit. Verse 13, He seals believers. After listening to the message of the gospel…and when you believed, you were sealed.

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Now, did you believe? Have you trusted Christ? You say “I don’t know if I’ve trusted Christ.” Ok, did you ask Christ to save you; have you prayed to him at any length about this? Is God a scary judge to you or your heavenly Father? Jesus wants you to pray to the Father as “Our Heavenly Father.” Do you know Him as your Father? When you trusted Christ, you were sealed.

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This means that the Holy Spirit marks you as His own. He owns you. …[pause]…Questionable? …

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Verse 14 says that he is a pledge, a down payment of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit himself is in believers … He Himself is the promise of your future inheritance.

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ILL: If your rich uncle put you in his will and he passed away, you would be promised an inheritance. After assets are determined, bills and taxes paid, you fully expect a check!

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Is Christ any different? Would He fail on His promise to give you His inheritance?

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My friend, Christ’s assets have been determined … and He owns it all! … the price of your sin has been paid, and you will get a full inheritance.

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This salvation is certain. And it is certain for the one who truly believes. A down payment guarantees, it promises. The Holy Spirit is the down payment, the promise of our future inheritance.

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ILL: When you make a down payment on a house, you pay a little bit of money upfront. That first payment is a promise to pay the rest of it in full. That’s what God has done when He saved you. He saved you and gave you the Holy Spirit as a down payment. And God never defaults on his payment. He will make good on His promises. A believer’s eternity is secure.

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Because of passages like this is why we teach here the eternal security of the believer. We have no indication that the sealing would ever be broken or the future promised payment would ever go into default. God is not like that.

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Salvation must certainly will happen; God will save….

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TRANS: Now, the problem is we read it that it is certain, and you may know that’s it’s certain, but you question whether it’s certain for you!

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You may not have assurance that you are included in this great salvation. You’ve prayed or haven’t and yet you don’t know if you are saved. That’s very common.

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ILL: Many pastors would say they counsel more on assurance of salvation than any other issue, other than marriage issues. Very common.

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You may lack assurance that these truths are actually true for you. If you do lack that assurance, let’s be honest … your helmet is weak and you are vulnerable to attack.

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So you must deepen your commitment to gaining assurance of these most certain truths. You must take some action.

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How are you gonna do that?

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Thirdly [this morning], how to have confidence in this certain salvation.

If you were to ask Paul from Ephesians about how to get assurance of your salvation, the answer is in chapter 1 verse 15-19; it’s simple. Pray. Pray that you would have assurance of salvation. Ephesians 1:16… Paul says that he does not cease giving thanks for the Ephesians while making mention of them in his prayers. He is praying for them.

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And he is praying verse 18 that we would come to know something….Paul says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling… the confident expectation of his calling.”

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That phrase the hope of His calling … is Paul praying that you would know the assurance of salvation. Paul just described the great salvation that we have earlier in the chapter. Now, God wants you to come to know the assurance, the hope of …

this calling=this salvation. Pray that you come to know the assurance of this great salvation!

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If your hope or your assurance grows in what will most certainly take place in the future, you will be empowered to fight temptations, to stand firm in the evil day, to resist the onslaughts of Satan and his demons. Pray that you come to know the assurance of this great salvation! And then study this salvation in Ephesians 1. If your assurance in salvation grows, you will be empowered to resist temptations.

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Your victory in Christ is secure, if you have trusted Him. If you really know the ending of the story, that will empower you today to resist temptation and to battle.

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ILL: Have you ever read a fiction book or a novel and decided to read the ending first? Come on … give it up, you know you have! … Or have your friends told you about how a movie ends and you haven’t seen it yet and you were disappointed? “Ah…don’t give it away!”

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[1]Well, a recent study shows that people actually enjoy movies and books more when they know the ending ahead of time. You enjoy the story more when you know the ending ahead of time, the study says.

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Nicholas Christenfeld, a University of California professor of social psychology, along with Jonathan Leavitt, a PhD candidate at the same school, organized an experiment where volunteers were given three stories of different genres, written by well-known authors. One of those stories gave away an ending in a separate paragraph, another gave away an ending in the opening paragraph and a last one did not have any hint of the ending. Participants typically enjoyed the stories the most when the ending of the story was at the very beginning.

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The researchers concluded that you would actually enjoy the movie more if you knew the ending before you watched it. So go ahead, give it away next time!

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It’s the same way with us. If you really know the ending of the story of this world as given in Scripture… btw, if you want in on a well known secret the end of history for believers is ‘salvation!’ … I hope I didn’t ruin it for you! … , you’ll be victorious at the end, no matter what’s going on now …

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You see, this empowers you today to resist temptation and to battle, to fight, to pray … and really… to enjoy life more!

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If you are doubting your salvation, get committed to attaining assurance of salvation. Really come to know, to really know this salvation and to gain assurance.

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So, pray over Ephesians 1. Study the passage; memorize it or portions of it. Give your heart over to His calling of you.

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There’s a lot more that could be said about attaining assurance of your salvation.

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We’ve taught on having assurance of salvation before. I’ve placed that halfsheet on the back table. Please pick one up. Every family could have 2 sheets, whether you are struggling or not. I want all those half sheets gone.

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We were going to go to Romans 8 and John 10, but I thought that it would be best to leave that for next week, I’d like to do a follow up message to this message entitled “Can I lose my salvation?]

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.17

In a dream, Martin Luther found himself being attacked by Satan. The devil unrolled a long scroll containing a list of Luther’s sins, and held it before him. On reaching the end of the scroll Luther confidently asks the devil, “Is that all?” “No,” said Satan, and Satan shoved a second scroll of Luther’s sins to his face. Then, after a second came a third scroll of his sins Satan thrust in his face.

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But now the devil had no more. “You’ve forgotten something,” Luther exclaimed triumphantly. “Quickly write on each of them, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ God’s son cleanses us from all sins.’“

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If I’ve trusted Christ and turned from my sin, is my salvation shaky? Never! For I’m kept by the power of God. Could the divine decision that my sins have been forgiven be revoked? Not at all!

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The blood of Christ cleanses me from all of my sins. He covers my sins, he blots out my sin, he removes them beyond all divine remembrance, he hides them beyond all discovery, he casts them into the depth of the sea, he casts my sin behind his back, and he cleanses me whiter than snow, and he will not credit to me even my own sin, but credits to me the very righteousness of Christ since I have trusted in Him…. By his grace I’ve asked Him and I am forgiven.

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Have you asked Jesus to save you? Call on Him to save you, trust in His holy and righteous name, and you shall not be disappointed.

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And the reason why he can treat me so well is because he sent his precious Son and he laid on him the iniquity of us all and raised Him from the dead.

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Friends, we have a glorious salvation. Deepen your commitment to attaining assurance of this glorious salvation. If you need help with this or you have doubts about the Scripture or doubts about whether you’ve come to Christ, pray through Eph. 1. Take that half sheet in the back and pray over it. And come talk to me or to your parents if you need help. Let’s get this settled.

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ILL/Hymn intro: The year had been filled with tragedy when Horatio Spafford, a 43-year-old Chicago businessman. He and his wife were still grieving over the death of their son when the great Chicago fire struck and cause them financial disaster. He realized that his family needed to get away so that Fall he decided to take his wife and four daughters to England.

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His wife and daughters went ahead on a ship; he planned follow in few days. But on the Atlantic the ship was struck by another ship and sank within 12 minutes. More than 200 lives were lost, including Spafford’s 4 daughters. When the survivors were brought to shore at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs. Spafford wired her husband with the words, “Saved alone.”

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He booked passage on the next ship. It was while crossing the Atlantic that Spafford penned the words to hymn number 371.

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Spafford had assurance and when deep trial hit, his confidence and trust and assurance in Christ and in his salvation sustained him. Let’s deepen our commitment to attaining assurance of salvation.

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Let’s sing with confidence this morning 371, It is Well With My Soul. When times are tough, temptations strong, you need a rock, you’ll need assurance then. Be committed to finding that assurance today.

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Number 371.

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Go to BibleTrove.com Home Page from What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.17

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Go to Ephesians Main Page

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  1. http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/08/11/spoiler-alert-knowing-the-end-of-a-story-makes-it-better-study-finds/

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