Does Jesus Live Here?

Ephesians 6:17

Some years ago, I read a story of two people who lived a simple life in a fisherman's cottage
in a little village by the sea.
When the man came home at the end of the day, his wife said to him,
"The new minister came here today, and he asked a questions I couldn't answer."

"What did he ask?"
"He asked me," she said, "Does Jesus Christ live here?"

"And what did you say?" The husband demanded.
"I didn't know what to say," she answered.

"Well, could you tell him that we are respectable people?" He asked.
"But he didn't ask me that."

"Well, why didn't you tell him we go to church when we feel like it?" He responded.
"But he didn't ask me that either," was her reply.

"Then you could have told him we read the Bible – sometimes," he added.
"But he didn't asked me that.
What he asked me was, 'Does Jesus Christ live here
?'"

The question asked by that minister is a good one, isn't it?
Does Jesus Christ live here?
Does He live in your life?
Does He live in your home?
Does Jesus live in your… heart… mind?

Matthew 22:37 says, "Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind
."

We take the helmet of salvation as a part of the spiritual armor God has given us.
Paul talks about this piece of armor as being the helmet.
He is referring to the power of salvation, but he calls it the helmet of salvation.

Salvation is meant to protect a very important part of our personality which is our mind.
It is vitally important that we devote our intellect to the Lord at whatever capacity we may have.
We must give our best to the Lord.

But the helmet is designed for the head – for the intelligence – for the mind.
If we follow through consistently in our application of these pieces, we will discover
that this is something Christ is doing in us, and through us, in the world.
This helmet can keep our thinking straight and preserve us from mental confusion and darkness.

Stop and think!

I would like to ask you this: "As you look at the world in which we are living,
is there anything more desperately needed than this?
Is there anything which could possibly be more relevant to the situation in which we find ourselves
than this factor which will keep us thinking straight
"?

When God controls the mind, Satan cannot lead the believer astray.
Paul said in Romans 12:1-2: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies
as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and prove what God's will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will
."

Had you been transformed by the renewing of your mind?
Are your thoughts devoted to Christ?
The helmet of salvation is to protect your mind from which you live life.
We must pray daily to surrender our thoughts to Christ.
We should have a firm assurance of our salvation.
The helmet protected the head.

The biblical commentator Charles Hodge wrote, "The helmet adorns and protects the Christian,
and enables him to hold up his head with confidence and joy
."
This helmet signifies the fact that we are saved now and forever.

1 John 5:13 says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life
."

Many people today base their assurance on the feeling that they seek to attain
rather than the facts of what God has done through Christ.
Let us trust the facts, not seek for feelings.
Feelings change with the weather, but facts remain facts.

Paul mentions this helmet in connection with salvation again in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 which says,
"But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the brassplate, of faith and love
and the hope of salvation as a helmet
."

The hope of this glorification is the helmet we are to take up.
This hope, always held before us, motivates us, helps us see the final outcome
when all the world around us appears to be going to hell.

Think about an individual soldier in World War II of the 101st Airborne Division surrounded in Bastogue.
All around them is confusion.
In the heavy fog they are unaware of the position of their battle lines.
They didn't know when they might stumble upon the enemy, or when explosions might start all around them.
They had supplies, but they were low, and they didn't know how long it may last.

The Germans had marshaled all their available resources to attack them.
So what was their logical conclusion in those circumstances?
The logical conclusion to reach was, "We're dead!"
And the result was panic, hopelessness, and surrender.

But although that attitude would have been logical for an individual soldier,
it would have been wrong and incorrect.

The individual soldier could not see the big picture.
He could not know that the cloud cover would break and supplies would be dropped to them from the air.
He did not know that even at that moment, General Patton and his third Army was on his way,
and they were determined to relieve the division.
Furthermore, they did not know that within six months, Hitler would be dead, and the war would end.

The situation is different for you and me.
As bad as our individual circumstances may appear, we know the end of the war –
we know that God will be triumphant.

It is so easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the problems we face,
and to be overcome with our helplessness.
Life is indeed difficult.
This world is full of real tragedies.

We can stand before God and wonder:
"How could God allow me to be unemployed?"
"How could God allow me to be trapped in this stressful marriage?"
"How can God allow my child to become sick and die?"
"How can God allow my country to fall apart at the seams, to degenerate into chaos?"

But when we asked these questions, we are allowing the details overwhelm the big picture
that God has given us in His Word.

We must commit our minds – our thoughts to Christ!
The assurance of our salvation gives us confidence in God.
We will need this confidence in the midst of the satanic attacks.
And these attacks come primarily to our minds.
Because of that, we see the significance of having a helmet of salvation.

Our enemy seems to strike us with the double-edged sword of discouragement and doubt.
He points out all our failures and faults, and anything else which seems negative.
He wants us to doubt our salvation – to doubt God's goodness – to doubt God's Word,
and to be just generally, depressed.
Throughout history almost all of God's choice servants have suffered times
of discouragement and depression.

Often this discouragement will come after great success.
Remember Elijah winning the battle against Baal on Mount Carmel, and immediately thereafter
running for his life from Queen Jezebel.
He wanted to die, but God would not let him die.

There may be a time in your life when you feel like that.
It is then that you need the helmet of salvation.

Satan will try by every means at his disposal to discourage us and defeat us,
but it will be the helmet of salvation which will give us our assurance in Christ.

It was that assurance which caused Job, after he'd been ravaged by every conceivable calamity,
to say of God, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." (Job 13:15)
The helmet which Job wore deflected every blow.
It is a fact that the spiritual battle will either be won in the mind or lost in the mind.

Sin doesn't start in your hands, or in your feet, or in your eyes – it starts in your head.
It starts when you conceive a thought or conceive an action and that conceiving stems in an action,
and is brought forth in the fruit of a deed that is done, and a transgression is committed.

That is the way that Eve was defeated in the garden in Genesis 3, and Paul uses it as an example
of our temptation in 2 Corinthians 11:3, when he says,
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve to his subtlety,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ
."

There are channels through which the devil pumps all his rubbish, thoughts.
There are ways in which the devil communicates thoughts, and at times, as believers we are shaken
by the thoughts that come into our minds.

That is why Paul says, "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, pure, lovely, good report – if there be any virtue,
if there be any praise, think on these things
."

Ultimate reality never changes.
Truth never needs updating, and never needs to be modernized.
If something was true 10,000 years ago, it is still true today.
If it is true today, it was just as true 100 years ago today.
Truth does not need updating.

I appreciate the story of the man who came to his old friend – a music teacher, and said to him
in that flippant way we moderns use, "What's the good news today?"

The old man never said a word, he walked across the room, picked up a hammer,
and struck a tuning fork.
"That is 'A.'"
It is 'A' today,
it was 'A' five thousand years ago, and it will be 'A' ten thousand years from now
."

"The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall flats his high notes,
and the piano downstairs is out of tune
."

He struck the note again and said, "That is 'A,' my friend, and that is the good news for today!"

That is what Jesus is – He is unchanging.
He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

That is how you know you have truth.
Remember that when you feel defeated.
Remember that when you are under attack.
Remember that when doubts come flooding into your mind.
Remember that you have girded up your loins with truth; and you have found Him who is the solid rock.

"On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand."

If you imagine this – as the soldier faces the fight.
Imagine the effectiveness of facing the fight knowing that God is on your side.
No matter how hot the battle gets, you can never be daunted if God is on your side.
If God is for you, the word of God says nothing can be against you – why?

Why can you not be daunted if you are wearing the helmet of salvation?
And I will repeat it again – it is because the ultimate victory has already been secured.
We will have the victory as we have this helmet of salvation which preserves us from surrender and retreat.

"If God be for us who can stand against us"?

Let the enemy attack.
Let the forces of hell rage against us.
Let them shoot their "fiery darts."
We may be wounded.
We may suffer momentary defeats.
When may falter and stumble.
However, because of the cross of Jesus – victory will only be ours!

"Christian, gird the armor on,
There's a vict'ry to be won
For the Lord, for the Lord;
Take the helmet, sword, and shield,
Forth unto the battlefield
At His Word, at His Word.

On we'll march to victory;
Jesus will our leader be,
Jesus will our leader be;
On we'll march to victory,
To a final and a glorious victory."

"From over hill and plain there comes the signal strain,
'Tis loyalty, loyalty, loyalty to Christ;
Its music rolls along, the hills take up the song,
Of loyalty, loyalty, yes, loyalty to Christ.

Come, join our loyal throng, we'll rout the giant wrong,
'Tis loyalty, loyalty, loyalty to Christ;
Where Satan's banners float we'll send the bugle note,
Of loyalty, loyalty, yes, loyalty to Christ.

"On to victory! On to victory!"
Cries our great Commander, "On!"
We'll move at His command,
We'll soon possess the land,
Through loyalty, loyalty,
Yes, loyalty to Christ.

Sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White