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TEN TRAITS OF A GOOD SOLDIER

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Today, we will honor those who have served in our military.

 

B.      Tomorrow, our nation will honor all those who have lost their lives fighting to protect the United States of America.

 

C.     When we turn to the Scriptures, we find:

1.      The church of Christ is referred to as a holy nation (I Pet. 2:9).

2.      Ruling over this nation is the King of kings (I Tim. 6:15) and the captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10).

3.      This nation is at war with evil that led by Satan (II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12).

4.      All Christians are soldiers in the Lord’s army (II Tim. 2:3).

 

D.    As soldiers, there are qualities that each of us need to possess in order to effectively engage the enemy and win the war.

 

I.                   RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

 

A.    Soldiers are quickly taught about the chain of command.  Those of lower rank must respect those of superior rank.

 

B.      In the Lord’s army, Jesus is the superior.  Our responsibility is to fear Him and honor Him.

1.      Ecclesiastes 12:13

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God…

 

2.      Hebrews 12:28

 

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

 

C.     How is respect displayed?

1.      Is it merely a trait of the heart?

2.      Or, does it manifest itself in behavior?

 

II.                PREPARED

 

A.    A soldier does not enlist and show up on the battlefield tomorrow.

 

B.      A soldier goes to basic training, then to other schools in order to prepare to fulfill his responsibilities.  In other words, he is well trained.

 

C.     We, too, need to be trained as soldiers in the Lord’s army.

1.      The basic training involves having a grasp of the Word of God.

2.      The writer of Hebrews tells us that knowledge is the difference between a babe in Christ and one who is of full age (Heb. 5:13-14).

 

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness:  for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

 

D.    In warfare, it is also essential to know the enemy and his tactics.  This is true for the soldier of Christ (II Cor. 2:11).

 

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us:  for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

III.             STRONG

 

A.    A good soldier is strong.

1.      Having great bodily and muscular power

2.      Physically vigorous or robust

 

B.      The strength of the Christian soldier involves the inner man.

1.      I Corinthians 16:13

 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

 

2.      Ephesians 6:10

 

Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

 

3.      II Timothy 2:1

 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

C.     Strength can be measured in two ways:

1.      Ability

2.      Endurance:  physically and mentally

3.      NOTE:  Strength is not determined by meanness and acts of cowardice like those practiced by Islamic extremists.

 

IV.             COURAGE

 

A.    Courage can be defined in several ways:

1.      It literally means “to have heart.”

2.      It is the ability to conquer fear and move forward.

3.      It is the spirit of the mind that enables one to face difficulty, danger, and pain.

 

B.      Joshua, as the leader of God’s people, was encouraged often to “be strong, and of good courage” (Deut. 31:6, 7, 23, Josh. 1:6, 9, 18).

 

C.     It takes courage to stand

1.      With the minority instead of the majority.

2.      On principles instead of what is popular.

3.      With God, and not the world.

4.      With God, and not with friends and family.

 

 

 

V.                DEPENDABLE

 

A.    Dependable means “worthy of trust, reliable.”

 

B.      A dependable soldier

1.      Shows up for duty

2.      Remains at his post

3.      Follows orders

4.      Does what he says he will do

 

C.     The Bible word for dependable is “faithful.”

1.      The Hebrew defines the word as “to render firm, to be permanent, to be true.”

2.      The Greek word for faithful means “trustworthy.”

 

D.    I Corinthians 4:2

 

Moreover it is required in servants that a man be found faithful.

 

VI.             FOCUSED

 

A.    One has said:  “Safety depends upon soldiers’ staying focused on their jobs.”

 

B.      II Timothy 2:4

 

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath called him to be a soldier.

 

C.     QUESTION:  What do you focus most on in your life?  Is your Christian life your primary focus?

 

VII.          ALERT

 

A.    Definition:  fully aware, attentive, made awake

 

B.      The Bible speaks of being alert and attentive.

1.      Watch (Matt. 25:13)

2.      Be sober (Tit. 2:6)

3.      Be vigilant (I Pet. 5:8)

4.      Gird up the loins of your mind (I Pet. 1:13)

 

C.     We need to be alert to many things

1.      Where we are.

2.      Who we are with.

3.      Things we are tempted by.

4.      Our level of spiritual interest.

5.      Excuses and justifications.

 

D.    Romans 13:11

 

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

 

VIII.       PERSEVERANCE

 

A.    Soldiers are trained to endure afflictions.

1.      They know there will be hardships, pain, and suffering.

2.      They know that wars can last for month and years.

3.      They know that they must keep on keeping on.

 

B.      Paul’s words to Timothy (II Tim. 2:3)

 

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

1.      Battles with false teachers

2.      Battles with persecutors

3.      Battles with false brethren

4.      Battles involving church problems

5.      Battles with imperfect conditions

 

C.     The man who endures

1.      Reaches deep within

2.      Lives beyond the moment with hope

3.      Embraces the difficulties as a challenge

4.      Looks to others who have endured as examples

5.      Trusts God to see him through

 

IX.              OBEDIENT

 

A.    No soldier will last who cannot obey orders.

 

B.      As soldiers, we must be obedient to our commander and Lord, Jesus Christ.

1.      Deuteronomy 13:4

 

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

 

2.      Luke 6:46

 

And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 

3.      Hebrews 5:9

 

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.

 

X.                 FIGHTS

 

A.    A soldier is a member of the military who engages in warlike matters.

 

B.      Every soldier in the military learns to fight against the enemy.

 

C.     Several passages speak of the Christian soldier’s willingness to fight.

1.      War a good warfare (I Tim. 1:18)

2.      Fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12)

3.      Contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3)

4.      Set for the defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:17)

5.      Having done all to stand (Eph. 6:13).

 

D.    When we say the Christian must fight, some do not understand.

1.      It involves teaching, reasoning, and argumentation (Acts 19:8, 9).

2.      It is tempered with love and gentleness (Eph. 4:15; II Tim. 2:24).

3.      It involves offense, not just defense (Matt. 28:19).

4.      It involves no backing down (II Tim. 1:13).

 

CONCLSUION

 

A.    We are in the fight of our lives, spiritual lives, that is.

 

B.      As Christians, we are soldiers in the Lord’s army.

 

C.     To be successful, we must manifest man positive traits.

 

D.    My friend, unless you have “enlisted,” you are not in the Lord’s army.  Please note:  The Lord does want you! (Matt. 11:28).