“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah…
“Now may the God of shalom himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9, 23-24 NJV
We are to be sober, that is to be calm, temperate, and circumspect. This is a word used to indicate that we are to watch as we wait for the full realization of our hope in Christ, being mindful and aware in our walk with God through afflictions and against the adversary. This indicates the sort of mindset we are to retain as we “run the race.” We are to be of a calm mind, exercising self-control, and ever mindful of the coming of Christ and our desire that we “be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.” [vs.23 NJV]
Further, we are admonished to adopt some of that “whole armor of God” described more fully in Ephesians.
What is it that the breastplate is meant to protect? The major organs, that is the heart, the lungs, the stomach, etc. When we consider the heart: “Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences.” [Prov. 4:23 CJB] And breath is our spirit. When we walk in the Spirit of God, we have life and peace, but when we walk in the spirit of the flesh, the end is death. [Rom. 8]
To guard our heart and our spirit, we are admonished to put on faith and love, for these are the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit which keep us moving and living in God with our will and our feelings. Elsewhere in the Scriptures [Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:14], this is called the breastplate of righteousness, for faith and love are the inward parts, just as righteousness is faith and love’s outward expression. [Jam. 2:18]
What is the helmet meant to protect? The head, which is the house of the brain. We are frequently admonished in Scripture to guard our thoughts and our mind, and here what keeps our minds stayed on God is the hope of salvation. There are two facets to this salvation, that of God sanctifying us completely and that of Christ’s coming and taking us into His kingdom. [1 Thess. 5:23] It is not the goal of sanctification that guards our minds, but the hope of sanctification. It is the completion of Christ’s work in us that will grant us the end of our faith and the purpose of His grace.
“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
— Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Or as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 NJV:
“He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.”
Hope in Christ with faith and with love. Amen.
“New Jerusalem Version (NJV). Copyright © 2019 by Hineni Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.0