2 TIM. 2:1-4 “BEING A STRONG SOLDIER”
A) A good soldier makes a difference in the world! * Someone has written:
* It is the soldier, not the preacher, who gives us freedom of religion.
* It is the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press.
* It is the soldier, not the poet, who gives us freedom of speech.
B) It is the soldier, not the protestor, who gives us freedom to assemble!
* It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
* It is the soldier, not the politician, who gives us the right to vote.
* It is the soldier, who not only salutes the Flag, but serves under the Flag, fighting for the country
that Flag represents.
C) Soldiers make a difference in this world … a difference for which you and I should always
* It shouldn’t surprise us that the Bible uses a good soldier as a model for you and I about how to
live for Christ.
* Tonight, I want us to look in 2 Tim. 2:3-4 where the Bible tells us how we can be good soldiers
for Christ. * I want to do an acrostic sermon on the word “soldier.”
(1) S – STRONG! * v.1 … This was precisely Timothy’s need!
A) Paul knew that the devil would attack him with everything hell could throw against him!
* Knowing the fears that can come to an individual when everything goes against him and all his
friends let him down, Paul urged Timothy to be strong “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
* He wanted Timothy to look above, not at circumstances around him!
* He should trust God for the victory and for grace to face whatever the coming days might bring.
B) Paul had learned that God’s grace was sufficient for any and all things – 2 Cor. 12:8-10!
* Remember that Paul was facing death … He was to be executed by the Romans on the false
charge that he was a revolutionary against the state.
* Timothy was to be Paul’s successor … He would soon take over the main responsibility for the
churches scattered all over the world.
* The responsibility for spreading the Gospel across the earth would soon be his.
C) Could he stand up under pressure?
* Could he handle all the problems and circumstances that would arise? * Would he …….
* Work enough … Study enough … Learn enough … Pray enough … Witness enough … Preach
enough … Teach enough … Endure enough … Strive enough … And war enough in the spirit?
D) There was only one hope for Timothy, just as there is only one hope for any of us!
* Timothy needed an unlimited strength … A strength that could drive him to conquer any
circumstance and to work at any task until it was accomplished.
E) That strength would only come from one source!
* And Paul knew the fact, that strength is the strength of God!
* The strength of man is no stronger than man … His strength ceases to be.
* And not only this, but all along the path of life, man falls short and fails time after time, no
matter who the man is … The weakness of his strength is constantly showing itself.
F) However, the strength of God is entirely different!
* God’s strength is all sufficient and all powerful!
* It can and does conquer all the circumstances of life, including death itself!
* Therefore, if a man can tap into God’s strength, he can conquer all the circumstances of life, and
“can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength to do it!” * BE STRONG!
(2) O – OBEDIENT! * v.2 … Paul told Timothy, in other words, “Do what I ask you to do!”
A) A good soldier always follows orders from their commander in chief!
* A good soldier always focuses upon his commander and his words, and obeys them!
* What would happen if a soldier disobeyed a direct command from his commander in chief?
* I would guarantee you that discipline would take place almost immediately!
B) Our Commander in Chief is Jesus Christ, the Son of God! * He calls the shots in our lives!
* Heb. 5:9 “And being made perfect, he (Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey him;”
* The Greek word is hupakouo (hoop-ak-oo’-o); to listen attentively; to heed or conform to a
command or authority; to hearken; be obedient to. * BE OBEDIENT!
(3) L – LOYAL! * v.4 “that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
A) Loyal … Faithful in allegiance to duty or to a person!
* One of the most important lessons you learn in the military is how to take orders … But the good
soldier learns an even more important lesson: always be faithful to your commanding officer.
* Paul describes this attitude to Timothy when he says a good soldier of Jesus Christ is committed
to pleasing the One who enlisted him as a soldier.
B) Who enlists us as soldiers in this spiritual war? * Christ Himself.
* He calls us to follow Him, to lay down our lives for Him and for one another, to obey Him, not
just out of duty, but from a heart of love.
* He died, not just to give you a ticket to heaven, but to enlist you as a good soldier in His army, to
mold you and empower you to be a soldier who lives to please Him.
* He enlisted you to be a faithful, loyal soldier.
C) Are you a faithful soldier? * Can Christ depend on you to obey orders?
* What about when you don’t feel like it? * What about when you don’t understand?
* Can He count on you to march in step with Him, even when everybody else is taking a detour?
D) Or are you an unfaithful soldier, one day doing what He says …….
* And the next day, you’re acting like a deserter? * Do you follow Him only when it’s
convenient … Only when it’s comfortable … Only when you want to?
* A good soldier of Christ is always faithful to His Lord.
* That is the difference between victory and defeat in your life and my life.
* Where is Christ calling you to be more faithful … To be a good soldier? * To be loyal?
E) I read a story of a soldier in WWI who was so distraught with the war that he deserted!
* Tried to find his way to the coast so he could catch a boat, make his way back home to England.
* In the darkness of the night he stumbled on a road sign. * It was so dark and he was so lost, he
had no idea what the sign said and decided to climb the pole.
F) When he got to the crossbeam, he held on to read the sign!
* Took out a match, lit it, and looked directly into the face of Jesus.
* He had climbed an outdoor crucifix!
G) Stunned by what he saw, he realized the shame of his life!
* He was looking into the face of the One who had endured it all and had never turned back.
* The next morning, the soldier was back in the trenches.
* You and I tonight need to look into the face of the One who endured all the punishment and
shame of our sin and never turned back.
* And as we look into His face, we must ask ourselves, “Am I totally loyal to the One who is
totally loyal to me?”
(4) D – DEFENSIVE! * This is something that a soldier is trained to do … To defend!
A) When Paul urged Timothy to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, one thing he was reminding
him about is that we are in a war!
* The world is at war, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in the spiritual realm as well!
* We are fighting a war between the forces of God and the forces of evil!
* Eph. 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all, to stand.”
B) Paul wasn’t just using flowery language here …The war that Paul writes about is real!
* It’s going on right now in the lives of every one of us here!
* Some of us are fighting against temptations that try to defeat us and drag us down with guilt.
* Some of us are warring against discouragement and depression … Others of us are fighting to
hold on to our faith in Christ, praying and doing all we can not to give in to doubt and unbelief!
C) Some of us are fighting for our loved ones in prayer, pleading for their salvation, and for
them to come to Christ!
* These battles are not won by faint hearts, but by brave soldiers who are ready to fight for the
Lord and for those they love!
* This fight will not be won by the strongest arms or the best missiles … It’ll be won by those who
keep praying, keep believing, and never give up the fight until God gives the victory!
* I’m telling you tonight … BE DEFENSIVE … FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH!
(5) I – INDIVISIBLE! * v.4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of …”
A) Indivisible … The word means “impossible to divide or separate!”
* That’s exactly how a soldier is … He does not become entangled with the affairs of day to day
living … He always stays focused on his cause as a soldier!
* He knows why he’s there and he does not divert from it!
B) Paul is not referring here to a man who’s on furlough or working at a desk at headquarters!
* He is talking about a soldier at war … A fighting man in the front lines!
* A soldier on active duty cannot allow other interests to interfere with his military responsibilities
to his country, his commander in chief, and his fellow soldiers!
* A soldier in the thick of battle has a full time job … He must be alert and active, both mentally
and physically … That is the only way he can fulfill his duty!
C) And a soldier who practices less than his duty would be counted as a deserter!
* He would grievously fail his commander in chief, his fellow soldiers and his country!
* A good soldier must be detached from all that would entangle him or draw his mind and attention
away from the battle in which he is engaged!
D) And let me add … We as the church should be indivisible, impossible to divide or separate!
* The Lone Ranger and Tonto were being chased and had ridden their horses into a canyon with no
way out when the Lone Ranger noticed that there were Indians all around them.
* Startled and out of options he said, “Tonto! Tonto! The Indians have surrounded us; we are in
terrible trouble! What are we going to do?” Tonto replied, “What you mean, “we” white man?”
* If you want to be a good soldier, be indivisible!
(6) E – ENDURING! * The Greek word is “sugkakopatheo” (soong-kak-op-ath-eh’-o) …….
A) It means: “to suffer hardship in company with; be partaker of afflictions!”
* A strong soldier endures, suffers, and shares hardship with all other soldiers.
* He does not lay behind, shirk his duty, seek to escape battle, refuse to carry his load …….
* He does not give in to the enemy, deny the cause, reject the commander, or hide from the toil.
B) A strong soldier stands with the other soldiers and suffers the hardships of the struggle with
them … He sacrifices all that he is and has for the cause!
C) The strong soldier of Jesus Christ suffers hardship, no matter what the hardship is!
* Matt. 10:22 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the
end shall be saved.”
* Many soldiers of the Lord are getting out of the battle because they can’t take it!
* Matt. 24:12-13 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
* BUT A STRONG SOLDIER WILL ENDURE HARDSHIPS!
(7) R – READY! * A soldier can never let his guard down … He must always be ready to fight!
A) 1 Tim. 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith,” * 2 Tim. 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I …”
* Not only are they ready to fight … They know they must be ready to die! * Heb. 9:27
* James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even
a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
* Are you ready to fight and are you ready to die?
A) Being a strong soldier! * A good soldier is … Strong … Obedient … Loyal …
* Defensive … Indivisible … Enduring … Ready!
* Just what kind of soldier are you tonight in the Lord’s army?