Summary: Our life for Christ is in many ways required to closely parallel that of a soldier who is committed to his calling in discipline, obedience and loyalty.
It was indeed a moving ceremony to witness the graduation of recruits as they are recognized as Marines! The new Marines were thrown together, to live together, enduring together, tolerating each other, supporting each other, working together and striving to that day when they are finally recognized for what they strove to achieve a full member of the United State Marine Corp!
In the New Testament we find Paul drawing a lot on military metaphors in describing the qualities of a Christian believer.
2Ti 2:1-10 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) 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. (3) Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (4) 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. (5) And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. (6) The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. (7) Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (8) Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (9) Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (10) Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Last week we saw that Caleb’s attitude, actions and subsequent address to Joshua concerning Hebron demonstrated some unique qualities of the enduring warrior. We are engaged in a constant warfare with an enemy that is unrelenting in his quest to steal, kill and destroy. In the passage quoted above we are called upon as soldiers of the cross to do and to be certain things.
1. WE ARE CALLED UPON TO ENDURE HARDNESS AS A GOOD SOLDIER!
A soldier endures hardship for the cause of freedom of the country, justice and liberty for ALL.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2Ti 2:3
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2Co 4:1
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2Co 4:8-10
You as an individual have your own preferences and tastes. As a soldier you do not get things the way you always want it to be! Regardless of your own individual preferences, likes and dislikes, it is expected that you will push them aside in deference for the common good of the company. When commanded to move forward the soldier does not make excuses but works with the team. All of God’s warriors are team players. We work together as a body with the individual skills of each member combining to make the unit function in harmony. A healthy well coordinated body functions efficiently with each individual supplying that which the other lacks.