Pastor Bob Paquet

A Soldier of Christ
2 Timothy 2: 1-7

1.  My training as a Marine during boot camp at Paris Island emphasized the need for a soldier to be physically fit, mentally alert, focused and under authority.
It wasn’t long before I realized who was giving the orders and the consequences to myself and others if they were not obeyed.

2.  2 Timothy 2: 1-7 provides the ground rules for being a soldier for Christ.  Like a soldier in an earthly battle, a soldier in a spiritual battle must be prepared and equipped
for battle and understand that casualties are expected, pain will be experienced and orders must be followed.  He must, “apprehend what he has been apprehended for!”

A soldier of Christ is instructed by God’s word concerning his training, his mission, what to expect and who his commander-in-chief is.  If God is on our side - we win.
If we are going to become soldiers in the army of Christ what are some of the characteristics we should possess? What kind of training do we need? What can we expect?
In 2 Timothy 2: 1-7 Scripture provides four characteristics or attributes of a soldier of Christ which  provide insight into the training needed and what can be expected.
The first of these characteristics is stated as a command from Paul to Timothy in verse 1.

I.          A soldier of Christ needs strength
            a. We must stir up ourselves (choose) to accept the grace provided to us by Christ (v.1.)
                Paul exhorts Timothy to find his strength in Christ
            b. We must be strong in the grace - be continually strengthened in the grace which is freely given and not look to ourselves or others for the strength
                        which will be needed.    

The second characteristic or expectation of a soldier of Christ is given in verse 3 -
II.        A soldier of Christ needs to be prepared for hardship
            a. Expect hardship, pain, suffering, casualties - when these things happen don’t be surprised.  Paul is certainly in a position to provide living testimony to  
                      Timothy in this area. (v.3.)

            b. Note the emphasis on “good soldier of Jesus Christ”.  He is the commander-in-chief!    
Knowing that strength is required (and will be given), and knowing that hardship must be expected, we now move on to the objective of a soldier of Christ.
What are our marching orders?

III.       A soldier of Christ has an objective - a primary goal
            a. What you have heard from me - entrust to faithful men to pass on to others.
                 EVANGELIZE THE WORLD.  Consider the law of multiplication.
                        1. (Illustration) Story of man entering a huge hall in heaven filled with thousands. He recognizes only two people he witnessed to - all the rest are there
                            as a result.

            b. Paul is saying -consider your calling, consider the message you have heard, consider the good news of the gospel - DEPOSIT it in others.
In order to carry out the goal - to realize the objective - to succeed in battle a soldier must be under authority; the fourth characteristic of a soldier of Christ (vs 4 & 5)
IV.       A soldier of Christ is under authority
            a.  Whole hearted devotion to obeying (pleasing) the commander-in-chief; focused, committed, single minded, unwavering, steadfast.
            b.  The crown is won when we fight in accordance with the rules - not mine but His.
1.  The Crown will go to those who are willing to obey - to lay down their lives - to submit - to surrender their bodies and the members of their bodies to Jesus Christ.
2.  A good soldier of Christ will KNOW that his strength comes from an omnipotent God, his endurance will be sustained by a loving and merciful God, his objective is
 approved by an omniscient (all knowing God), and his authority comes from a sovereign God who sits in the heavens and does what HE pleases.