“The Christian: A Soldier In God’s Army – Part 2”
The Christian: A Soldier In God’s Army – Part 2
The Bible gives us a number of pictures of the Christian. These pictures show us who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. We began last week to notice the image of a soldier. What are some things we associate with soldiers?
Solidarity: There is a special bond that soldiers share because they have gone through many of the same things- training, separation, hardships. Furthermore, they often share similar values- honor, love of country, courage, etc. They will gladly risk their lives for each other. If necessary, they will even give their lives for each other. In like manner, there is a solidarity shared by spiritual soldiers. In the book of Philippians, Paul spoke of the bond that he shared with a soldier named Epaphroditus. He wrote, “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need” (Phil. 2:25; cf. Phile. 2). Epaphroditus had been willing to risk his life for Paul and others. Paul wrote, “Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” (Phil. 2:29-30).
Sacrifice: Sacrifice is a word that we associate with soldiers. They sacrifice many things for the freedom of others. They sacrifice time with their families, holidays, nights and weekends, etc. A few even make the ultimate sacrifice. As you know, we have days of remembrance to remember the sacrifices they have made. Christian soldiers are also known for their sacrifices. In the book of Revelation, John wrote, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Rev. 12:11). The greatest love that any man can show is to willingly give his life for another. Jesus declared, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Priscilla and Aquila had done this for Paul. To the saints at Rome, Paul wrote, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” (Rom. 16:3-4).
Submission: A final word that probably comes to mind when we think of soldiers is submission. The military operates by a system of rank. Those of lower rank submit to those of higher rank. Without this submission an army cannot function effectively. Of course, the same is true in spiritual soldiering. To Timothy, Paul wrote, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:4). The soldier strives to please his superior. To the saints at Corinth, Paul wrote, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.” (2 Cor. 5:9). In like manner, to the saints at Thessalonica, Paul wrote, “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;” (1 Thess. 4:1). Soldiers must not walk disorderly or out of rank (2 Thess. 3:6). They must walk in a manner worthy of their commander (Col. 1:10). They must submit (Jam. 4:7).
The Christian is a soldier. As a soldier, we should see strength, separation, solidarity, sacrifice, and submission in his life. Are you a good soldier of Jesus Christ?