Good Soldier Study Chart

A GOOD SOLDIER
OF CHRIST JESUS

WHAT DOES HE DO? WHO IS THIS? HOW DO I APPLY THIS TRUTH?
Suffers hardship
How possible? Grace that is in Christ Jesus

Does not turn away or desert
Onesiphorus:
15 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains;
17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me, and found me--
18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day-- and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.
Are you ashamed of the gospel & those who are suffering for the gospel?
Not be afraid
Remember that there is an awards ceremony (on that day)
Knows What to Guard:
Retain the standard of sound words
Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
(NIV = Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.)

Be Alert

Holding fast the faithful word
exhort with sound doctrine (Titus 1:9)
  There is something worth defending & dying for
The Great Evangelical Disaster (Schaeffer) - the study of higher criticism and was God's word really His word - if the foundation cracks, we have nothing to stand on.
Are you compromising on God's word?

Illustration: Why were prisoners in the Korean War so easy to guard and why did they not try to escape? (One guard could oversee 100 men with no problem). Why? They knew nothing about who they had enlisted for, nothing about their country and it's history. They did not know what they were guarding.

What do you do when wrong doctrine is propagated in the church?

Be on the alert -- Acts 20

War is with:
World
Flesh
Devil

2 Cor10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Js 4:1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

1Pet2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. (2:2 grow in respect to salvation)

7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.

   

A GOOD SOLDIER

Consider (continuously, commanded, my choice) what I say (MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS), for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Soldier - learn the absolute necessity of pleasing commanding officer and setting aside any distractions from that duty (v. 4).

Athlete - learn the necessity of competing according to the rules to win the event (v. 5). God has set the rules for this contest and it involves suffering hardship.

Farmer - learn the need for arduous labor (hardworking) but also for appropriating for ourselves the results we are trying to bring about (the crops, v. 6).

Verse 7 urges us to reflect on these things and to rely on the Lord to ?give insight into all this,? that is, how these images instruct us about Christian life and ministry.

(NIV = "REFLECT" which is defined as suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind. REFLECTION = a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation)

Who?

faithful man - trustworthy (2:2)

What is he faithful to do?

Retain the standard of sound words (1:13)

Guard the treasure of the gospel (1:14)

Examples of disloyalty and loyalty...

Who is positive example? 2Ti1:16

Onesiphorus (help bringer, profit bearer)

Not ashamed (of Paul's imprisonment, his chains, gospel, Jesus)

Not afraid (of men, of Rome, to die)

Steady - rendered services at Ephesus now 100's of miles away at Rome

Doubtless realized there is a "DAY" of reward for good soldiers who faithfully serve their "Captain" or "Commander" (Josh5:14)

APPLICATION: The question for each of us as His disciple called to suffer hardship (evil) with Him is -- How far down the rugged road of discipleship are we willing to follow Christ? Until we are willing to die for Him, we cannot really say that we are willing to live for Him.

The faithful Christian will not shrink back from speaking up about Christ and his work. Loyalty to the Lord is measured in perseverance in the face of opposition. We also learn that all that is needed to be this kind of Christian is provided -- power, love, discipline & "the grace that is in Christ Jesus"

Who is negative example? 2Ti1:15

All who are in Asia turned away

Have you ever been forsaken by anyone in your hour of greatest need? "Super saints" have emotions too and are not immune to their circumstances

Two unwilling to die

One willing to die (good soldier)

Contrast - selfish motives of these men versus the selfless motives of Onesiphorus.

3 Christ-like characteristics exemplified by Onesiphorus:

1) unconcerned for self ("he often refreshed me"),

2) undaunted by sacrifice ("when he was in Rome he eagerly searched for me")

3) unceasing in expression ("you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus")

Truly Onesiphorus is an outstanding example of all that Paul has been exhorting Timothy to do. Onesiphorus has been eternally etched upon the pages of Scripture for his selfless, sacrificial service. Truly it is only by losing our life for the sake of Christ that we guarantee its worth to be saved beyond the grave.

ADDITIONAL NOTES A GOOD SOLDIER IS READY AND WILLING TO DIE FOR HIS COMMANDER:

This verse (2Ti2:4) was Jim Elliot's "Life Verse" -- Before Elizabeth Elliot became Jim's wife, she was Elizabeth Howard a student at Wheaton College. She had scrutinized the boys on campus and decided that there was really only one who interested her and his name was Jim Elliot. He displayed a maturity and godliness that was very attractive. When the school yearbooks were handed out, Elizabeth asked Jim to sign hers, hoping that if there was any interest in her, he might indicate so in signing her yearbook. When he returned it, she rushed to her room, found his signature and read beneath it “2Timothy 2:4.” He later wrote "he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." He was willing to suffer hardship as a good soldier even it meant dying for his Commander which is exactly what he did. His actions backed up the words he lived by in 2 Timothy 2:4.

He was a good soldier like Paul who said "I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24)

Our problem is not physical death, but the daily call to die to my own desires and interests and consider others more important then myself! It would be easier to die physically I think.

A GOOD SOLDIER
of Christ Jesus

THE HARDSHIP
TO BE EXPECTED

THE ENTANGLEMENT
TO AVOID

THE FIGHT
COMMANDED

THE SOURCE OF
STRENGTH NEEDED

2:7) Consider what I say

The Lord will give you understanding in everything

Who is in the Christian army?

Every child of God is a soldier in God’s army, either a good one or a bad one. I

Who is a good soldier?

2:3) One willing to Suffer hardship

A willingness to accept an assignment to suffer is the sure mark of a dedicated trustworthy man and a good soldier.

Alone?

With me (cf 1P5:8-10)

What was the charge to Timothy in chap 1 that might bring suffering?

Retain the std

Guard the treasure

(Paul's example? 1:12 for this reason I suffer these things...)

Who suffers hardship?

3:12) all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

1:8)

Do not be ashamed

Join with me in suffering (sugkakopatheo)

(Why? for the gospel)

(How? Go to column 4 - Power of God)

2:9) Suffer hardship (kakopatheo) – even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

What purpose?

2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

4:5) Endure hardship (kakopatheo) AAM

It is difficult for Christians in most of the Western world to understand what serious spiritual warfare and suffering for Christ mean. The secular environment in our society is becoming more and more hostile to Christianity and to religion in general. But we are not faced with loss of job, imprisonment, and execution because of our faith. With few exceptions, being a Christian will not keep a student out of college or a worker from getting a good job. But the more faithful a Christian becomes and the more the Lord blesses his work, the more Satan will put roadblocks, hardships, and rejection in the way, the more evident the spiritual warfare will become, and the more frequent and obvious the hardship will become

(see 2Ti 3:12)

As members of the army of the Lord, we follow a Commander who has “all authority” (Matt. 28:18), including authority over Satan, sin, death, and hell

2Ti2:4 Absolutely no one who serves as a soldier becomes entangled

Entangle = Weaving, Braiding hair, sword entangled so that it cannot be withdrawn, sheep caught in thorns, whatever you cannot get loose from, in context not bad things

What do we need to do to not be entangled?

Involves making a choice between this world and the world to come.

The world is one of our enemies. James 4:4 writes "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (cf 1 John 2:15-17)

What can entangle us?

Affairs of everyday life

Why do we need to take care that we are not entangled?

you may please (aresko) the one who enlisted you as a soldier (Who enlisted? Lord)

Compare Heb 11:6 (euaresteo)

Single minded
Whole heart
Undivided heart

What do we learn about entanglement in Hebrews 12:1?

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us (Encouraging example - see #4 for this one)

"let us also lay aside every encumbrance"

See Hebrews 11:24-26

the sin which so easily entangles

But use of the definite article (the sin) seems to indicate a particular sin. And if there is one particular sin that hinders the race of faith it is unbelief, doubting God. Doubting and living in faith contradict each other. Unbelief entangles the Christian’s feet so that he cannot run. It wraps itself around us so that we trip and stumble every time we try to move for the Lord, if we try at all. It easily entangles us. When we allow sin in our lives, especially unbelief, it is quite easy for Satan to keep us from running.

let us run w endurance the race set before us

An encumbrance (onkos) is simply a bulk or mass of something. It is not necessarily bad in itself. Often it is something perfectly innocent and harmless. But it weighs us downs diverts our attention, saps our energy, dampens our enthusiasm for the things of God. We cannot win when we are carrying excess weight. When we ask about a certain habit or condition, “What’s wrong with that?” the answer often is, “Nothing in itself.” The problem is not in what the weight is but in what it does. It keeps us from running well and therefore from winning.

2) fixing our eyes on Jesus = author perfecter of faith

What example?

who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart

What is the motivation? The reward?

2:4 To be pleasing to the one who enlisted us as a soldier

A strong desire to please God is the highest incentive for doing His will and shows a true understanding of godly fear. We may have other worthy motives, such as the inner satisfaction of doing what's right or the anticipation of heavenly rewards. But we bring the greatest glory to God when we obey and serve Him because we long to do what brings Him delight.

DOES A GENUINE DESIRE TO PLEASE HIM MOTIVATE YOUR ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS EACH DAY?

2 Ti 4:7-8

fought the good fight

finished the course

kept the faith

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Henry "Those who will war the good warfare must sit loose to this world."

Barnes says "It is not to pursue his own plans, or to have his own will, or to accumulate property or fame for himself. His will is absorbed in the will of his commander, and his purpose is accomplished if he meet with his approbation. Nowhere else is it so true that the will of one becomes lost in that of another, as in the case of the soldier. In an army it is contemplated that there shall be but one mind, one heart, one purpose - that of the commander; and that the whole army shall be as obedient to that as the members of the human body are to the one will that controls all."

2Ti2:4: Active service (PMP continually waging war)

How often is a soldier on duty? Is it 9 to 5?

NO – it is 24x7. (CONTINUALLY)

1 Ti 1:18 This command (MILITARY ORDER 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines) I entrust to you, Timothy (2 TIMOTHY 2:2), my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight (WAGE WAR - PAP CONTINUALLY) the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience (~ BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS) which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

Someone defined responsibility as “our response to God’s ability.”

1 Ti 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith - agonizomai (agonize) PMM - implies there will be hindrances to holiness

How do you "fight"?

good fight of faith

First present tense indicates this is a constant need and that the battle is incessant. In contrast to real war there is no "furlough" in our spiritual war. To fight we need to...either perpetual warfare or perpetual preparation for it...

(1) make daily choices wholly Holy for we serve a Holy God - where we go, what we see, what we say, etc.

(2) exercise faith He gives for divine enablement to strive

Col 1:29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving (agonizomai - PMP) according to His power, which mightily works within me.

MacArthur - It is a constant battle against the flesh, the devil, and the resistance of the fallen world that loves sin and error and hates truth and holiness. It is also a struggle against lethargic Christians and apathetic churches.

take hold of the eternal life to which you were called (and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses)

MacArthur says “Get a grip” on the reality of eternal life, so that he would live and minister in the light of eternity. Those who minister for what they can get in this world have a wrong perspective. (cf Col 3:2, our citizenship is in heaven Php 3:20)

Wuest says "Paul exhorts Timothy to lay hold of eternal life, he does not imply that he does not possess it. Timothy was saved, and possessed eternal life as a gift of God. What Paul was desirous of was that Timothy experience more of what this eternal life is in his life."

Hendriksen - Yet, though whenever the life so qualified pertains to man the quantitative idea is not excluded, the emphasis is on the qualitative: this is the life which manifests itself in fellowship with God, in partaking of his holiness, love, peace, and joy.

Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

(v4: servants of the Lord)
2 Co 6:7
in the word of truth

in the power of God

by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left

Righteousness = upright, consistent character.

“When a man is clothed in practical righteousness, he is impregnable.”

If our conscience is void of offense toward God and man, the devil has little to shoot at.

2:1) Be strong (PPM) in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

What truth do we see in 2Ti1 that we should gird our loins with?

1:5) Sincere faith

1:6) Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you

1:7) Not given:

Spirit of timidity

Given spirit of:

Power

Love

Sound mind

1:8) (Suffer) according to the power of God

1:15) Spirit indwells us

How does the truth in James 5:10 encourage us in suffering?

Js 5:10

Prophets

What had Timothy seen? 2Ti3:10-11

As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience (makrothumia), take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

How does Js 5:13 help us in this area of suffering (same word in 2Ti2:9 = kakopatheo = suffering evil)? Is anyone suffering? Let him pray

What truth do you see in Hebrews 12:1 to encourage us to endure suffering as good soldiers? Example

We are all creatures of motivation. We need a reason for doing things and we need encouragement while we are doing them. One of the greatest motivations and encouragements to the unbelieving Jews, as well as to Christians, would be all these great believers from the past, their heroes, who lived the life of faith.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses (martyrs) surrounding us

What does Paul say about the source of our strength to fight the good fight in Eph 6:10?

Be strong in the Lord

The strength of His might

Put on the full armor of God

Why? may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

How do we take up the shield of faith?

By my willingness to obey the gospel...When I am willing to obey what His Word has to say, that act of obedience becomes like a shield to a Roman soldier in a battle.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Being a spokesman for God calls a man into warfare. It is a constant battle against the flesh, the devil, and the resistance of the fallen world that loves sin and error and hates truth and holiness. It is also a struggle against lethargic Christians and apathetic churches.

Our problem is not physical death, but the daily call to die to my own desires and interests and consider others more important then myself! It would be easier to die physically I think.

Rev 22:12 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

2 TIMOTHY

2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,

2Ti 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship (present tense) even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

2Ti 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing

EXAMPLE OF SUFFERING

Js 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

RESPONSE TO SUFFERING?

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. (Jas 5:10)

FELLOW SOLDIER

Php 2:25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need.

Phm 2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house

1CORINTHIANS 6:7

4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,

7 in the word of truth,

in the power of God;

by the weapons of righteousness

for the right hand and the left,

EPHESIANS 6:10-19

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.

11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

1 TIMOTHY 1:18

1 Ti 1:18 This command (Paraggello meant to transmit a message from one to another and when it was a military command it demanded the subordinate obey the order without hesitation. The idea inherent in paraggello is found in our word "subpoena" where the refusal to obey makes the recipient liable to punishment. 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines) I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

1 TIMOTHY 6:12

1 Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

HEBREWS 12:1-4

1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart 4. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.

Hebrews 11: 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

1 Corinthians 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.


Now here one cannot but admire at the precaution of the Romans, in providing themselves of such household servants, as might not only serve at other times for the common offices of life, but might also be of advantage to them in their wars; and indeed, if any one does but attend to the other parts of their military discipline, he will be forced to confess that their obtaining so large a dominion, hath been the acquisition of their valor, and not the bare gift of fortune; for they do not begin to use their weapons first in time of war, nor do they then put their hands first into motion, while they avoided so to do in times of peace; but, as if their weapons did always cling to them...they have never any truce from warlike exercises; nor do they stay till times of war admonish them to use them; for their military exercises differ not at all from the real use of their arms,

...but every soldier is every day exercised,

...and that with great diligence,

...as if it were in time of war which is

...the reason why they bear the fatigue of battles so easily; for neither can any disorder remove them from their usual regularity, nor can fear affright them out of it, nor can labor tire them; which firmness of conduct makes them always to overcome those that have not the same firmness; nor would he be mistaken that should call those their exercises unbloody battles, and their battles bloody exercises.

...Nor can their enemies easily surprise them with the suddenness of their incursions; for as soon as they have marched into an enemy's land

...they do not begin to fight till they have walled their camp about;

nor is the fence they raise rashly made, or uneven;

nor do they all abide in it,

nor do those that are in it take their places at random;

but if it happens that the ground is uneven, it is first leveled:

their camp is also foursquare by measure,

and carpenters are ready, in great numbers, with their tools, to erect their buildings for them


Roman soldiers were bound to service through a long term, took a solemn oath, were never to desert their standard (the golden eagle), were to submit their will to the commands of the leaders, were to sacrifice their life for the safety of the Emperor, received excellent pay, were constantly involved in military exercises regardless of age or weather conditions, exercised with weights double those used in actual warfare, cultivated the science of tactics, were able to advance 20 miles in 6 hours even with their baggage until they met the enemy. Soldiers were not allowed to marry during their term of service and were to be strictly devoted to their service for over twenty years but only about half survived to retire.

We look upon every young convert as a recruit; not merely as one who has been himself saved, but as having within his new-born mature the possibilities of a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

THE GOOD AND THE BEST...

Paul’s appeal shows the importance of developing an ability to distinguish between doing good things and doing the best things. Servants of Christ are not merely to be well-rounded dabblers in all types of trivial pursuits. They are tough-minded devotees of Christ who constantly choose the right priorities from a list of potential selections. Paul prohibited the loss of single-mindedness and the longing for an easy life.

WHEN IS THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER ON DUTY?

John MacArthur points out that A soldier in active service does not have a 9 to 5 job, or even a long 60– or 70–hour work week. He is a soldier 24 hours a day, every day of the year. His body, his health, his skills, his time—all that he is—belong to the military in which he serves. Even when on leave, he is subject to recall at any time, without notice and for any reason. And whenever ordered into dangerous duty, he is expected to put his very life on the line without question or hesitation. MacArthur, J. (1996, c1995). 2 Timothy. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

WHO DO CHRISTIANS SOMETIMES SEEK TO PLEASE?

Many Christians succumb to that temptation and become more concerned about pleasing their fellow workers, their neighbors, and their friends than about pleasing the Lord. And for the same reason, many pastors fall into the trap of wanting to please their congregations or their communities more than to please the Lord. That desire inevitably leads to moral and spiritual decline, because pleasing the world, including worldly Christians, demands compromise of God’s truth, God’s standards, and personal holiness MacArthur, J. (1996, c1995). 2 Timothy. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

1 Thes 2:4 "but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts."

Did Timothy obey? Paul answers this himself writing later that "you followed (closely, side by side) my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings..." (2Tim3:10, 11) The writer of Hebrews has an interesting entry near the close of the letter recording...

"Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I shall see you." (Heb13:23)!

Plummer notes he would have understood that Paul's charge was no small matter but that it involved.."self-sacrifice, endurance, discipline, vigilance, obedience, ready co-operation with others, sympathy, enthusiasm, loyalty."

All believers must recognize that the Christian life is not a playground; but a battlefield where battles are being won and lost in real spiritual battles. Ultimately Christ Jesus has was victorious over the powers of darkness at Calvary, but in the meantime He has left us here and called us to be "good soldiers".

"Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Cor15:57)

Elizabeth had scrutinized the boys on campus and decided that there was really only one who interested her and his name was Jim Elliot. He displayed a maturity and godliness she found most attractive. When the school yearbooks were handed out, Elizabeth asked Jim to sign hers, hoping that if there was any interest in her, he might indicate so in signing her yearbook. When he returned it, she rushed to her room, found his signature and read beneath it “2Timothy 2:4.” He later wrote

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose.
"

e was willing to suffer hardship as a good soldier even it meant dying for his Commander which is exactly what he did. His actions backed up the words he lived by in 2 Timothy 2:4. He was a good soldier like Paul who said

Entangles (1707) (empleko from en = in + pléko = tie, braid, twist) means to wrap or twist together and so to entwine. It was used of a sheep whose wool was caught in thorns - this illustrates the difference between "involvement" and "entanglement" - one is entangled when he is not free to get loose! When the affairs of this life hem us in so tightly that we can't get loose to fulfill our Captain's commands then we have become entangled in the "thorns" of non-eternal pursuits. The world's pleasures can easily entwine us especially in hedonistic America!

DAILY BREAD "WHAT COMES NATURALLY?"…

The story is told about an elderly man who retired after many years in the British Army. One day a man who knew about his long and distinguished military career decided to play a prank on him. As the old soldier walked down the street with his arms full of packages, the jokester sneaked up behind him and shouted, "Attention!" Without hesitation, the military man dropped his arms to his side, and every package went tumbling to the sidewalk. Without a conscious thought, the veteran was doing what comes naturally for a soldier. Similarly, as believers in Christ, we should respond in a manner that corresponds with our new life. Our behavior is to be more and more in line with the example of Jesus' life. We still must deal with sinful desires, so we need to discipline ourselves to be the kind of person God wants us to be. Like a soldier or athlete in training (2 Timothy 2:3-5), we need to practice repeatedly until doing what's right comes naturally.

Through faith in Christ we are children of the heavenly Father. By the power of the indwelling Spirit, therefore, let us develop the habit of submitting to God's Word.

Eph 6:16 FIERY MISSILES OF THE EVIL ONE...

The fiery darts, the flaming missiles of the evil one, give us a picture of how the devil works in our life. I think the battle is in the mind. As we think, so are we. Our enemy is constantly trying to deceive us as John says in the Revelation...

"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives (present tense = continually) (Click for word study on deceive) the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (cf Revelation 12:9).

He is constantly trying to lead us astray with wrong thinking. What would the darts be wrapped up in? To me it would have to be thoughts that he is constantly throwing at us. These thought are like "Scud missiles" coming into our mind. We can’t turn on the television without these "fiery missiles" bombarding our living room. We can’t walk into the world without these thoughts bombarding our mind. So as those things are coming in, we must make a conscious choice to adhere to the truth. Then you can recognize the deception and error. Secondly you have to obey the truth that you are adhering to. Your willingness to obey wards off those darts that are coming in.

Friend, listen, you are up against an enemy that wants to get your mind.

If he can lock it up and hold it hostage with immoral thoughts, he will do it.

If he can lock it up with anger, he will do it.

If he can lock it up with resentment, he will do it.


DISCUSSION - LESSON 6 - 2 TIMOTHY

GOAL - class will understand what is means to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ

UNDERSTAND - a good soldier must be strong in the grace, suffer, and remain in the suffering with one purpose to glorify God, does not get entangled, but is wholehearted

REMEMBER - puts on whole armor, stands in armor

APPLY –

Are you a good soldier willing to suffer hardship?

Are you entangled?

What is it that you can get free from?

Are you willing to set aside every encumbrance, every sin, are you willing to suffer, please the one who enlisted you, are you wholehearted and single minded

VISUAL AID - THE GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST

MUST SUFFER HARDSHIP MUST ENDURE SUFFERING MUST FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT

This week we spent the whole week meditating on the good soldier of Jesus Christ, and we learned some things about the Roman soldier that has helped us understand how we can become good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

How much time did Paul spend with Roman soldiers?

- he lived with them, 24/7, chained to a Roman soldier for about 2 years

- he had traveled with them so he understood their life on the road

So we could say that he was more than a casual observer of the Roman soldier, he knew everything about their life, their psychological makeup, their goals -- everything that made them tick. He also knew the level of commitment it took to be a Roman soldier, and he boldly declared that Timothy should follow their example as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

The Roman soldier

What was the requirement to be a Roman soldier? Be a citizen, have a country to love, have property to defend

How does this compare to a Christian? How does this requirement fit into a comparison with the Christian soldier?

- must be a citizen of heaven, must be born again, must be a member of the Kingdom of God

- must love God’s kingdom, must love other believers, must love the church of Jesus Christ

- must be committed to defending the Kingdom of God no matter what

What made the Roman soldier almost undefeatable according to #3 on the list on p. 53?

- the patriotism

What is patriotism?

- someone who shows love and loyal support for one’s country

- someone who zealously supports his country

So if patriotism made the Roman soldier undefeatable, how does this transfer to the Christian soldier? What must the Christian soldier have in order to be a victorious Christian?

- love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind

- zealously supports the authority and interest of God’s kingdom

What is a good soldier to do 2:3? suffer hardship

In our lesson we looked at some definitions on p. 47. What did we learn about this phrase - suffer hardship?

- it means ‘suffer evil’ or ‘suffer trouble’ or suffer trouble with another

Who and what are the enemy?

- battle the world, our flesh, and the devil

Where is our allegiance? If our allegiance is truly to the kingdom of God, then what will we do? suffer hardship

How can we apply suffering hardship with the Christian life? As a soldier in active service for Christ, what does it mean to suffer hardship? What are some ways you suffer for the gospel?

In our American culture, how do we view suffering? something to be avoided

Are we ashamed of the suffering aspect of Christianity? Are we ashamed to tell people that if they accept Christ they also accept suffering, or do we just sell them a ticket to heaven?

Did the Roman soldier understand what would be expected of him when he enlisted as a Roman soldier?

How did Paul describe the extent of the hardship to expect?

- 2:9 - even to imprisonment as a criminal

- 2:10 - endures all things

We looked at the meaning of the word endure = remain under or abide under or live under

What does Paul say he is remaining under?

- v. 10 responsibility to give the gospel to the chosen, for the many who are searching for God, who are burdened under the weight of sin and despair

Why is Paul willing to stay under the load, to stay in the battle, to endure all things? Look at v. 4

- his first priority is to please the one who enlisted him as a soldier

If we look at the example of the Roman soldier, did he dare go against his commander? p. 54 - #7

- he feared his commander more than he feared the enemy

Timothy clearly understood the principle Paul was giving him because he knew the life of the Roman soldier

Paul feared God more than he feared the cruelty of men, Paul understood the sovereignty of God over all of his life.

What kept the Roman soldier strong and ready for battle? #8

- military exercises

Was there ever an excuse for not participating in the vigorous training?

- not age, not weather, nothing stopped the training

How do we as Christians keep strong and ready for battle?

- daily study of God’s Word and prayer

- putting on the whole armor of God - Eph. 6

- Christian fellowship, worship, using our spiritual gifts

So coming back to Paul’s statement in 2:3 . . suffer hardship with me . . . this is a tough call, it is a high calling, it is an impossible task, and Paul know that, so what has he said just before he tells Timothy to suffer hardship? What does he say in 2:1?

- be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

This is soooo important. We must daily come before God and declare our total dependence on Him, asking Him to live in and through us so that we can be a good soldier . . . so that we can stand against the evil forces, and the powerful influences of the world and against the desires of our own humanness.

This phrase ‘be strong’ is in the present tense meaning keep on being strong, keep on being empowered, otherwise you will not be able to suffer hardship.

Another verse that we have studied in ch. 1 also says the same thing. . . . join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God --- based on the power of God that is available to us -- we cannot suffer for the gospel without the power of God, we cannot and will not be able to suffer for the gospel in our own limited strength.

In our lesson we were asked to look at another verse in 2 Timothy that had to do with the theme of enduring hardship and that is in 4:5 where Paul tells Timothy again to endure hardship and then in 4:7 he tells Timothy that he - Paul, has fought the good fight. This ties in the 1 Timothy 1: 18 and 6:12 where Timothy is told to fight the good fight.

Paul gives Timothy a tip in 2 Tim. 2:4 and he also gives the same tip in Hebrews 12:1. How is it possible to fight the good fight?

- don’t be entangled = involved in, enweaved with

In Hebrews 12:4, what entangles a Christian and keeps him out of the battle or out of the race, as the illustration in Hebrews says? What are we to lay aside that will keep entangle us?

- every encumbrance

- sin

Read Heb. 12:4 …. what should we be striving against?

- we should be striving against sin, resisting sin

Are there other things besides sin that entangle a Christian? Can a Christian be entangled in good things that keep him from fighting the good fight?

- even church activities can entangle us and keep us weak and defeated

What keeps us strong?

- Bible study and prayer

Should we put a prerequisite on those who serve in the church, that the should not serve if it takes them away from their daily exercises of preparedness for the battle?

- Sue’s leaders in Healing Hearts

When we look at the armor that is described in Eph. 6, it is the word of God and prayer that are the armor that is necessary to battle the spiritual forces we face daily.

The importance of supply lines in a battle - if the enemy can cut off the supply lines, what happens?

Can you see that the devil has us right where he wants us when we don’t take time to read God’s word and pray. If we wonder why the church in America is so weak, it is because our supply lines have been cut off by business, even good business.

Another tip that Paul gives us in 2 Tim. 2:3 -- what does Paul do for Timothy that we also need to do as we consider that we are in a battle?

- pray for each other, intercessory prayer is essential

We also had some information in our lesson on page 55 that gives us principles of warfare. What can we learn from these principles?

- objective

- offensive

- concentration

Any of these things have special meaning for you?

How are we doing? Are we in the battle? What has God spoken to you about this week?

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