2 Tim. 2:3 says, “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” On May 30th in America, we observe a day called “Memorial Day.” It is marked by parades, speeches; flags and flowers are placed on the graves of many servicemen. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, for the purpose of decorating the graves of the Civil War Dead. Now, it remembers all of those who died in the wars our nation has fought. I think as well, we would be wise to remember the “good soldiers of Jesus Christ,” who paved the way for you and me in our Christian lives. Thank God for the good soldiers of Jesus Christ who have fought well, such as those who are mentioned in Hebrews 11. What are some marks of a good soldier? Let me share a few.
I. He Is A Follower. See Mark 8:34. No one can be a good leader who cannot first be a good follower. In the military there is almost always someone in rank above you, whose orders you must follow. Following Jesus is no option, it is a command. In the military refusalto obey an order is not allowed. Court martial will follow; yet we take obedience to God so very lightly in our daily lives.
II. He Is A Fighter. He is trained and taught to be aggressive when necessary. He will not cower or retreat in the face of the enemy. He will defend his own honor and that of his country. The Bible tells us to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). The verb “fight” in the Greek N.T. is present tense (suggesting not letting up) and is in the imperative mode (which means it is a command and not a suggestion).
III. He Is Familiar. First, he is familiar with the strategy of the enemy(compare 2 Cor.2:11). Secondly, he is familiar with the skills concerning his weaponry (Eph.6:10-18). Thirdly, he is familiar with the shadows of his friends(Heb.10:25). The good soldier is not only looking out for himself, but also for his friends–there is a mutual need for being close to other soldiers as you fight the enemy.
IV. He Is Faithful. He remains true even when he must “endure hardness” as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim.2:3). That expression means, “to take one’s share of rough treatment; to suffer or endure affliction together.” It actually means to “suffer hardship in company with”—the good soldier is always true and loyal.