• rctaylor84

The Character of the Soldier pt.1

Text: 2 Timothy 2:1-10

In this post and the next we are going to be talking about the character of the soldier. Character is as stated by Webster “The peculiar qualities, impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from others; these constitute real character, and the qualities which he is supposed to possess, constitute his estimated character, or reputation. Hence, we say, a character is not formed, when the person has not acquired stable and distinctive qualities.” (Webster’s 1828. eSword 2020) A person can have a good character or bad character; it these things that we evaluate a person. If a person lies, cheats, and steals, we would say that person’s character is not very good. However, if a person is always giving of himself, putting others before himself, a good just man that abides by the law, we would say that he has good character. As children of God and as soldiers of God we ought to be concerned about our character. What do others see in us? When the world looks at us what do they see. Do they see a person of low character who is always trying to get something for nothing, who is more concerned about self than the needs of others or do they see a person who truly reflects the image of God. It is important that a soldier of Christ reflect his Character.

In this post I want us to take a look at 3 aspects of the soldier’s character.

1. The first aspect is that he is strong v.1-2

Paul here telling us that if we want to be soldiers then we need to be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ. He is saying here to take comfort in the grace of God. God extended grace to us when He sent His son to the cross to die in our place. This is something we did not deserve, but God in His love sought to extend it to us. We can find strength in the grace of God. We can know that it is the truth. He is saying here to take comfort in the grace of God. God extended grace to us when he sent His son to the cross to die in our place. This is something we did not deserve but God in His love sought to extend it to us. We can find Strength in the grace of God. We can know that it is the truth.

He then goes on to say we should we are to be strong in the things in which He has taught.

Paul here is talking to a young man in the faith, Timothy, whom he had invested much time in. He wants to make sure that the time he spent was not for vain. He wanted to know that Timothy remembered and in turn taught the things he had taught him. We ought to commit those things to memory and hold them close to our heart.

He also desires us to be strong so that we can teach others the grace of God. “The same commit thou unto faithful men.” Timothy is a pastor. Paul here is telling him to share the knowledge that he had shared with him to these faithful men in his church; perhaps other young preachers. We all have been taught things from the Word of God from faithful men of God. Let us in turn share and commit to others the knowledge the Lord has blessed us with about the grace of God.

2. Single Minded v.3-4

He endures. He does not get discouraged in hard times. He keeps at it. It is no secrete hard times are going to come for the soldier of Christ but a good soldier endures.

The soldier is focused. He is focused on the things of God, on His calling. We need to remain focused on what God has commissioned us to do. I talk a lot about getting distracted by the things of this world, the things that consume us. I am not necessarily even talking about sin. Too often we get consumed with trying to survive in this life, or get a head even just a little that we forget what are purpose as Christians is. We don’t intentionally forget but we get busy and we don’t think about it. We get busy doing what we think is important. What we think is good. It is not that these things are not good but we must not forget to remain focus on the things of God and things which He has called us to do.

He then tells us not to get entangled (v. 4). Don’t get entangled with the things of this world. The things that will cause you to lose focus. These may not be bad things but they may lead you astray get you off task.

Paul then tells us to remember who has called us. Jesus is the one who has called each of us to be soldiers. May we please Him in all that we do.

3. Disciplined (v. 5-10)

Paul tells us to strive for the masteries (v.5). A good solider is a masters in his skill. Think of a sharp shooter or Navy SEAL. They are proficient at what they do. They make it a priority in their life. They consume themselves to become the best they can be. The soldier of Christ follows the precepts of God. He doesn’t allow himself to get involved in things he shouldn’t be involved in.

Paul uses an illustration of a famer. He says that a farmer labors for the fruit (v.6). He does not just get to reap the fruit at the harvest. It takes a lot of work to get to the harvest. They have to prepare the ground; they have to plant the seed. Then they have to see that it is watered and fertilized. They have to keep the weeds down. Then they can harvest but even that takes work. They don’t go out and find the harvest in their barns, they have physically gone out and get it. They have to be disciplined so that they get the greatest harvest. Too early you won’t get much. Too late, the animals could eat it up. The soldier like the farmer needs to be strict; he needs to be disciplined. The soldier endures (v.8-10). He endures affliction and persecution for the cause of Christ. He does all of this in order for other to receive salvation.

It is important if we are going to be soldiers of Christ that we have a character that reflects Him. We have looked at three aspects of the Character of the soldier of Christ. We saw first of all that we are to be strong. We need to stick by the stuff and endure affliction. No one ever said the Christian life would be a cake walk. Sometimes God calls us to walk down a difficult path. We need to stay strong. The Life of a soldier is not a life of ease. It takes hard work and commitment. Secondly we saw that we are to be singled minded. We need to remain focused on the things of God. We cannot allow the things of this world to distract us from our missions. Lastly, we saw that we are to be disciplined. A good soldier is disciplined. His shoes are always shined. His bunk is made. He does his best at all times. The Best of the Best, our Green berets, our navy Seals, the marines are disciplined. They don’t just get to those positions by doing the minimum, they work hard to achieve those post. We as soldiers of Christ need to work with that same diligence with that same discipline. God calls us to be soldiers we ought to desire to be the best soldiers we can. When others see us outside of Church what do they see. Do they see good upstanding Christians or do they see someone who does not resemble Christ. Our testimony is so important. How others view us could affect their eternal destination. God has called each and every one of us to be His soldiers, it is up to us to live like it. We will all give an account for how we lived on this earth. What will we have to say for ourselves? Will God be able to say “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or will we hang our heads in shame? It is up to us to make that decision. We need to ask ourselves “are we going to be soldiers of Christ.” Then decide if you have character worthy of a soldier. [1]

Sources consulted:

Charles Ryrie. Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition KJV. Chicago. Mood Press. 1994. 1833-1839

[1] Charles Ryrie. Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition KJV. Chicago. Mood Press. 1994. 1833-1839

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