The Good Soldier of Christ Jesus (Part 1)

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” [2 Timothy 2:3 NASB]

Paul, the author of this second letter to Timothy, calls us to action “as a good soldier”. Having spent much time associated with Roman soldiers through his various imprisonments, he took the concept of soldier and applied it to the Christian life.

What is implied in the concept of “soldier”? The soldier is a citizen of his country and serves his country out of love and devotion. As a soldier, he seeks to uphold the authority of his country’s government because he believes that government to be true and trustworthy. This strong love for country excites within him a zealous patriotism that propels him to fight to the death. It is his great honor and privilege to serve as a soldier for his beloved country and leader.

Paul calls each believer to serve “as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”. A soldier of Christ Jesus has his citizenship not of this world but of the Kingdom of heaven . 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [Philippians 3:20 NASB]

The good soldier serves out of love and devotion for the Kingdom and his Lord. He believes its government, laws and statues to be true and trustworthy, therefore he upholds its authority and advances its goals of righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Timothy 2:22). 

“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” [2 Timothy 2:22 NASB]

The good soldier is consumed with a passion for the honor and glory of His Commander and in his zeal will lay down his earthly life in death. He is persuaded there is no greater honor or privilege than to serve as a soldier in his Lord’s army.

The soldier of Christ Jesus is called to suffer hardship in his service.  Webster’s Dictionary defines “suffer”: “to sustain loss or damage, to undergo, to experience, or to submit, to endure.”  The thought implied by “hardship” is evil or trouble. The soldier is to submit to loss caused through the evils and troubles that assail him while in “active service”. “Active service” indicates that the soldier is serving a tour of duty such as in a military campaign, engaged in warfare defending his country from enemy attacks.

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” [2 Timothy 2:4 NASB]

Have you enlisted as a soldier of Christ Jesus? Entering into His service is a daily dying to self and living only for Him to please Him.

Next time: The Good Soldier of Christ Jesus (Part 2)

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