The Good Soldier (Part 2)

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

Who is the good soldier of Christ Jesus? In part 1 we saw the good soldier of Christ Jesus is a citizen of the Kingdom of heaven. He faithfully enlists because of a passion for the honor and glory of his Commander and in his zeal will lay down his earthly life in death. Because the good soldier is always in active service, he willingly and selflessly suffers hardship to uphold the authority of Christ’s Kingdom. 

Today we continue looking at “The Good Soldier of Christ Jesus” in as we move to 2 Timothy 2:4.

“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]

Since it says, “No soldier”, let’s pay attention to the life style of every good soldier of Christ Jesus: does not entangle himself in the affairs of everyday life. The good soldier lives with no thought of self, but only for his Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” [Galatians 2:20 NASB]

Being crucified with Christ is a putting aside as to death the old ways of the mind (thoughts) and the old ways of the heart (actions). The good soldier serves with his mind and heart faithfully focused on the glory of Christ in the warfare for the Kingdom. He is not to let himself be distracted by “the affairs of everyday life”. To entangle the old life focus of selfish ambitions with the new life focus of Christ divides the loyalty and makes the soldier unfit for war.

“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” [Hebrews 12:1 NASB emphasis added]

Sin is the entanglement that makes a soldier unfit. Sin expresses itself with many ugly faces: worry, conformity to the world’s ways, anger, selfishness; the list goes on. When a soldier leaves home to serve, he also leaves the “cares the everyday affairs” of that home behind. Now his main concern is to have the mind of Christ, which focuses on the affairs of the Kingdom.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 2:5 NKJV]

The good soldier is to serve his Commander with nothing held back; he serves with body, mind, and soul in the fight to uphold the standards of the Kingdom. He must wholeheartedly be engaged to “suffer hardship” to remain true to the Kingdom and his Commander. This wholehearted devotion must not be a work of the flesh that focuses on a personal strength of will power to bring himself glory. The goal is to do everything to bring his Commander the glory. How does Christ equip His good soldier to “suffer hardship”, to serve wholeheartedly to bring Him glory?

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” [2 Timothy 2:1 NASB]

 Christ’s soldier is equipped in the strength found in “the grace” of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1 identifies some of the armament found in this “grace”: sincere faith (v. 5), the gift of God (v. 6), God’s power, love and discipline (v.7). And the soldier is given the indwelling Holy Spirit to guard what has been entrusted to him. Thus, Christ’s soldier is fully equipped and all by God.

“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” [2 Peter 1:3 NASB]

Are you a “good soldier of Christ Jesus”?  Have you put aside the affairs of everyday life that entangle you that lead you into sin? Are you strong in the grace of your Commander fully equipped to engage in the warfare of the Kingdom? Let us be good soldiers who do not entangle ourselves in sin, but focus on His glory and honor wholeheartedly.

“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]

Next time: The Good Soldier of Christ Jesus (Part 3)

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