Summary: This is a sermon on how to be a faithful soldier in God’s army.
A Good Soldier
Intro: Paul writes to Timothy commanding him to be strong in the grace of God and stand firm in the doctrine he had been taught by Paul. Furthermore, he was to teach others these truths that those who were then taught could themselves also teach others. He likens the Christian walk, in verse three, to being a soldier, and in verse four he reminds him of the importance of avoiding the carnal or worldly things that hinder the soldier of God in his Spiritual Warfare. If you will please the recruiter who chose you for the army of God, you will have to devote yourself fully and constantly to the warfare.
I am interested particularly in the phrase in verse three, however, “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” I want to preach on A Good Soldier. What does a good soldier do?
I. Watches for the Enemy: A good soldier is very perceptive. He is on his guard. He is observant. The Bible says:
2 Cor 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
2 Cor 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Eph 4:27 “Neither give place to the devil”.
2 Tim 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
II. Listens for the Enemy: Sometimes the enemy is not given away by sight, but rather by sound. Not only was the Serpent the most beautiful beast in the garden, he was subtle in his speech. Satan will subtly try to convince you of his lies! I Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” Be careful about the things you listen to. It does effect you! II Samuel 5:24, David had to wait about going to war until he heard the moving about in the mulberry trees. We need to hear the right sound and go to war. We are hearing sounds of all types today- Sin, Satan, Self; War, Politics, and Rebellion. We have listened to the voice of Religion, the voice of Reason, the voice of Reality, and God wants us to listen to the voice of the Holy Ghost and go to war against the enemy. Listen for the enemy and know the difference in his sound and the sound of God.
III. Commanding Officer is Always In Mind: In Ephesians 6 Paul tells of the believers’ warfare and the armor of God, but he reminded us that the battle is not just about fighting. Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Always keep in mind that he is the “Captain of Our Salvation.” Heb 2:10.
IV. Loyal To His Cause: A good soldier does not fight for Mom and Dad’s approval or to satisfy another, but he has a loyalty to his cause. He knows why he is fighting, and he will not turn his back and fight along side the enemy. He knows why he is fighting, and he knows who he is fighting. Too many Christians have spent their time fighting one another and giving Satan a pass!
V. Leaving Is On His Mind: He is in a battle, and maybe he is in a foreign land. Not one day passes by that the foot soldier does not think about how good it would be for the battle to be won and for his unit to head home! So it is with a Good Soldier in the service of God. We come to long for home, think about home, dwell on home. It won’t be long until the battle will be over, and we will go home to fight no more!