- Published: 13 December 2010
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Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3).
In the physical world there is much warfare, but in the spiritual world there is a battle going on continuously. It is just as real and grim as the physical. But in this battle there is no possibility of a truce or armistice of any kind. It will be carried out to the bitter end for Satan and all the forces of evil. On this battleground you do not see the casualties or hear the screams of wounded and dying men, but the consequences are so serious they will count for eternity.
The qualifications of a good soldier are set down for us in Eph 6:10-18. Here are just a few:
1. A good soldier understands the nature of the battle. It is spiritual, not physical, therefore he does not fight in the power of the flesh. He is strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (v.10).
2. A good soldier knows who the enemy is. Since it is a spiritual battle it cannot include our fellow men as enemies. The foe is described in v.12. Some who profess to be believers spend much time contending with others understood to be believers also.
3. A good soldier is not presumptuous or foolhardy. He puts on all the armor of God (vv. 11,13). The armor he wears is defensive, but he knows the best defense is the offense, so he wields the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
Note also he takes hold of the helmet of salvation. The doctrinal fact of sins forgiven remains an unalterable reality for every believer, but taking hold of the helmet suggests a practical side. Perhaps living the salvation-showing way of life is one way of putting it (Rom 12:2). If we put on the armor as we should it will be a dead give-away whose side we're on!
Who qualifies for such high service? No draftees here! Only enlisted personnel serve. Directions for a successful career are found only in God's Word. No physical requirements, just a submissive and obedient heart full of love and loyalty to Christ.
Since ultimate victory for Christ is sure, then there must be a great victory celebration in store for all who have fought the good fight just as Paul and Timothy did (2 Ti 4:7,8).
We would like to have a part in such a celebration, wouldn't you?