Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:14-17 NIV
Next in the list of armor is the helmet. While the breastplate protects the bulk of our vital organs, the helmet protects the most important. Damage to the brain will take the soldier out of the fight. The helmet is critical.
Paul equates this helmet to salvation. For many, salvation is thought of only in terms of the entry point into relationship with God. But I do not think that is what Paul is referring to here. Why take up something that we already have?
There are two other aspects of salvation that Paul could have been referring to. And it may be that he was thinking of both. The first is our on-going salvation, often identified as sanctification. This involves growing in maturity and godliness. A believer who is actively pursuing sanctification will be much less likely to fall victim to the wiles of the enemy. He will have his eyes fixed on Christ and not be distracted by whatever the devil throws his way.
The Helmet of Salvation
Salvation also has a forward looking view, sometimes called glorification. And I suspect this is what Paul had most in mind when he instructs us to put on the helmet of salvation. Our hope as believers is not in this life. Rather it is in the life to come. Scripture talks about the hope of salvation or the hope of eternal life. And we are to fix our eyes on that.
If we have a vision of what awaits us, then there is nothing here that should be able to move us. In Romans 8:18 Paul expresses that our present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that awaits us. Put on the helmet and focus on what lies ahead. Not what lies behind.