Christians are like Soldiers


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: II Timothy 2:1-4 = "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

    2. IN BOTH SCRIPTURE AND SONG THE IMAGE OF A SOLDIER HAS BEEN IMPLIED:
      1. Paul in his writing to:
        1. Timothy as we have just read [II Timothy 2:1-4].
        2. Ephesus {Ephesians 6:11-17].
      2. Song: "ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS", by Sabine Baring-Gould and Arthur Sullivan.

      COMMENT: The dedication of a faithful servant should be like that of a soldier that is ready to do all that is asked of him, even to giving his life if that be required. Jesus, our great example of an obedient Son, said it well in Matthew 26:39 = "…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." It is this kind of faithful dedication that enables us to have the freedom of today. Just a few days ago we remembered the many thousands that gave their lives in the 6th of June, 1944, D-day landings on the Normandy beaches. It was dedication then in the physical war against evil that an ultimate victory was achieved; and it will take the same dedication today, in a spiritual battle, to bring forth an ultimate victory over the evil Satanic forces that seek to destroy the Lord’s Church today.

    3. CONSIDER WITH ME FOR A FEW MINUTES THAT IS NECESSARY FOR THOSE IN THE SERVICE OF THE LORD TO MARK FORTH TO VICTORY:

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THEY MUST HAVE A KNOWLEDGEABLE CAPTAIN TO LEAD THEM:
      1. We have this in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:10 = "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." [Read Hebrews 2:11-18Hebrews 4:15-16].
      2. We have a captain in whom we can have confidence. II Timothy 1:12 ="For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
      3. We have a captain that not issues commands, but is out front leading and setting the example for us to follow. I Peter 2:21 = "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."

    2. THOSE IN THE LORD’S SERVICE MUST BE DEDICATED, AND FAITHFUL:
      1. Paul exhorted Timothy to be "…a good soldier of Jesus Christ" [II Timothy 2:3].
      2. What makes "a good soldier":
        1. One that is disciplined well to carry out the captain’s order as given. Matthew 7:21-23 = "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
        2. One that will take orders and follow them. Matthew 6:10 = "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."   Matthew 28:18 = "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
        3. One that will be obedient to carry out the orders exactly as given. Hebrews 5:8-9 = "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."
        4. One that is willing to make sacrifices. Note what Paul said:
          1. "…Neither count I my life dear unto myself …" [Acts 20:24].
          2. "…That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" [Romans 12:1].
        5. One that is steadfast and faithful to carry out his responsibilities:
          1. "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" [Acts 2:42].
          2. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, …" [I Corinthians 15:58].
          3. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" [I Corintians16:13].
        6. One that is trust worthy and will not fraternize with the enemy.
          1. Make no agreements with the enemy. II Corinthians 6:14-17
            1. "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness" [II Corinthians 6:14].
            2. "What concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" [II Corinthians 6:15].
            3. "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" [II Corinthians 6:16].
            4. NOTE: Those that do fraternize are to be marked and avoided. 
              Romans 16:17
              = "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
        7. One that is willing to be faithful even to death. Revelation 2:10 = "…Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

    3. THEY BE THROUGHLY TRAINED AND EQUIPED FOR THEIR TASK:
      1. Paul in his writings stresses the need of being properly trained:
        1. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" [II Timothy 2:15].
        2. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" [II Timothy 3:16-17].
      2. Paul also stresses the need of being properly equipped for the battle in Ephesians 6:11-17.
        1. "Your loins girt about with truth" [Ephesians 6:14].
        2. Comment: No room for error.

        3. "Having on the breastplate of righteousness" [Ephesians 6:14].
        4. Comment: Righteousness is doing the will of God. Luke 1:6 = "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

        5. "Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" [Ephesians 6:15].
        6. Comment: The Christian soldier must be properly shod for the terrain in which he serves to be able to stand up for Christ. I Peter 3:15 = "…And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

        7. "The shield of faith … to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" [Ephesians 6:16].
        8. "The helmet of salvation" [Ephesians 6:17].
        9. Comment: The assurance of salvation that encourages the soldier to fight with confidence and joy.

        10. "The sword of the Spirit" [Ephesians 6:17].

      Comment: This is the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 = "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

    4. THEY MUST BE ON THE CONSTANT LOOKOUT FOR SPIES THAT WOULD INFILTRATE THEIR RANKS:
      1. False brethren creep in to spy out the Church’s liberty. Galatians 2:4 = "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage."
      2. Satan and his servants transform themselves into angels of light. II Corinthians 11:14-15 = "…For Satan himself is transformed into angel of light. Therefore it is not great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
      3. We are warned against false teachers. II Peter 2:1-3 = "But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken on. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: …"

    5. THEY NEED TO BE SO INSTRUCTED AND STRENGTHENED, THAT THE ENEMIES PROPAGANDA WILL NOT WEAKEN THEM:
      1. Children are easily tossed about. Ephesians 4:14 = "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
      2. Those that are without strong foundation will be easily moved. Galatians 1:6-7 = "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."

    6. THERE MUST BE UNITY IN THE WORK:
      1. Each one "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond on peace" = Ephesians 4:3.
      2. Each one carrying his own load and willing to do his part to support the whole unite.
        Ephesians 4:16
        = "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
      3. There is no room for division in leadership. I Corinthians 1:10 = "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
        Ephesians 4:4
        = "There is one body". And "One Lord" [Ephesians 4:5].
      4. A divided membership of Christians or soldiers will:
        1. Destroy itself. Galatians 5:15 = "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."
        2. It will not be able to stand. Matthew 12:25 = "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every house divided against itself shall not stand."

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. ARE YOU IN THE LORD’S ARMY?

    2. ONLY IN HIS ARMY WILL THERE BE VICTORY. I John 5:4 = "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." -If you are not in the Christian army you are lost.

    3. ARE YOU A FAITHFUL SOLDIER?

 

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