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Summary: “What makes a good soldier?” I believe that there are three common traits that every good soldier possesses which are necessary in our lives if we are to be good soldiers for the Lord – Fidelity, Focus, and the ability to Follow Orders.

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Three Traits of a Good Soldier

2 Timothy 2:3-4

Introduction: As we think of soldiers past, who have sacrificed so valiantly, I want you to realize that if you are a Christian you too are a soldier, a soldier in the army of the Lord. Looking at our country’s soldiers past and present I ask myself, “What makes a good soldier?” I believe that there are three common traits that every good soldier possesses which are necessary in our lives if we are to be good soldiers for the Lord – Fidelity, Focus, and the ability to Follow Orders.

I. A Good Soldier is Faithful

A. When you hear the words Semper Fi you immediate thing of the United States Marine corps. Semper Fidelis distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life. Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what. Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fi reminds us of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.

B. Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”

C. When a person becomes a Christian, he says that he will deny himself and follow Jesus Christ no matter what. Becoming a Christian is a transformation that cannot be undone. We need to remind ourselves of that fact

D. Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

E. 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

F. Faithfulness is the quality of reliability and trustworthiness.

G. Proverbs 25:19 “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”

H. Someone has said that “Faithful Christians can be trusted and counted on. When they say they will "be there" they make every effort to fulfill their promise. They aren’t easily shaken loose. They are not easily broken under pressure. They don’t pull out when things get tough.” – Dave Redick, You Can Do It

I. 1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

J. One of the three core values of a Marine is commitment. Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in every Marine. It is what compels Marines to serve our country and the Corps. Every aspect of life in the Corps shows commitment, from the high standard of excellence to vigilance in training. (Honor, Courage, Commitment)

K. 2 Timothy 2:3 “endure hardness as a good soldier” – persevere, stand fast, be faithful

II. A Good Soldier is Focused

A. Vigilance and Diligence with a steadfast determination to do one’s duty.

B. 2 Timothy 2:4 “No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

C. A good soldier does not allow himself to be distracted from his mission. He remains focused on the job at hand. His life depends on it and the lives of others depend on his single-mindedness. Julian Barnes from USNews and World Report wrote (10/31/05) that “safety depends on soldiers staying focused on their jobs.”

D. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:”

E. Deuteronomy 20:5-9 “And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? Let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart. And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.”

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