Summary: Are you a civilian or a soldier in your attitude toward your Christianity? 2 Tim. 2:4 says you're "chosen by Jesus to be a soldier!" Peter said to "weaponize" yourself with the attitude that you're to endure suffering. Come on Church! Rise up and conquer
WARRIORS FOR CHRIST
2 Tim. 2:3-4
1. At one Army base, the annual trip to the rifle range had been canceled for the second year in a row, but the semi-annual physical fitness test was still on as planned. One soldier mused, "Does it bother anyone else that the Army doesn't seem to care how well we can shoot, but they’re extremely interested in how fast we can run?"
2. As a group of soldiers stood in formation at an Army Base, the Drill Sergeant said, "All right! All you idiots fall out."
As the rest of the squad wandered away, one soldier remained at attention. The Drill Instructor walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him, and then raised a single eyebrow. The soldier smiled and said, "Sure was a lot of 'em, huh, sir?"
3. AIR FORCE RECRUITS
a. The Air Force was way undermanned so they did a special hiring effort. A pair of twin brothers who looked like they had just stepped off a Marine Corps recruiting poster walked up to them.
b. The Air Force recruiter asked, "Son, what skills can you bring to the Air Force?" The first brother said, "I'm a pilot!" The recruiter got all excited, turns to his aide and says, "Get him signed up today!"
c. The recruiter asked the 2nd brother, "What skills to you bring to the Air Force?" "I chop wood!" "We don't need wood choppers in the Air Force, what do you know how to do?" "I chop wood!" "You’re not listening to me, we don't need wood choppers, this is the 20th century!"
d. "Well," the young man said, "you hired my brother!" "Yes, but he's a pilot!" "So what! I have to chop it before he can pile it!"
B. THESIS & TITLE
1. We Christians must know that we’re combatants in a universal War. This knowledge will prepare our minds with the alertness and toughness to get through this life victoriously.
2. The title of this message is “Warriors for Christ.”
I. WARFARE: A FOREIGN CONCEPT TO THE N.T.?
A. WARFARE IN O.T. TIMES
1. Throughout the O.T., warrior terminology was used because Israel was actively engaged in warfare with their surrounding neighbor-nations.
2. David said, “He [God] trains my hands for battle” 2 Sam. 22:35. David saw his physical battles as spiritual battles, because his nation alone had the knowledge of God, while all other nations were idolaters. If the other nations won, their gods won.
3. So they really were in a spiritual, as well as physical battle. David said that God trained him to win those battles. So we understand the use of O.T. warfare/ military terminology.
B. WARFARE IN THE N.T.? CAN’T BE!
1. But when we get to the N.T., we’re surprised to Paul and the Apostles also using military terminology in reference to our spiritual lives. They tell us that Christians are in a war. We are to fight because we’re soldiers in Christ’s army. We have weapons and armor.
2. “Wait a minute!” you say. “I thought we’re supposed to love our enemies, not fight them!”
3. Well, the Bible does say that some humans are used as tools of the devil. Certainly the Jewish leaders were, Ananias & Sapphira, the Antichrist, Bar-Jesus, Judas, Alexander the Silversmith, and even Peter were named as people through whom satan operated to accomplish some aim (and he still uses people today!)
4. Satan is also said to cause some natural events (wind that killed Job’s children) and physical illnesses (woman bent over for 18 years, etc.).
5. But Paul makes it clear that it’s ultimately NOT humans our warfare is against. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Eph. 6:12.
C. ANOTHER ENEMY CLOSER TO HOME
1. Another enemy we battle against is ourselves -- our carnal natures. James 4:1 & 1 Pet. 2:11 talk about “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”
2. Our worst enemies are the ones in our blind spots – that are a part of us, and we are prone not to see. It’s so easy for pride or a critical spirit to creep into our lives.
3. The Pharisees were some of the most godly people on the planet in Jesus’ day. They knew the Word and prayed daily, but they couldn’t see their own hypocrisy and judgmentalism.
4. So we have numerous spiritual enemies: in the heavenlies, on earth, and even within ourselves. This knowledge should cause us to be alert at all times.
II. WHY DOES ALL THIS MATTER?