Being a Soldier of Jesus Christ

There are four people in the New Testament scriptures who are specifically mentioned as being soldiers. Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus, and Archippus.

Paul gives us many instructions throughout his writings, but only a few passages are specifically linked to warfare. Let’s take a look at those.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

"For though we are walking in the flesh, we do not serve as soldiers according to the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty/powerful through God to the demolition of military strongholds) taking/casting down arguments, and every defensive wall that continues to lift itself up against the application-knowledge of God, and taking/bringing captive every thought/purpose/design/feeling into the obedience/submission to Christ."

Our most powerful weapon is prayer. Prayer is made powerful through God; it is not effective due to eloquence, nor is it effective due to length. But the reason prayer is so powerful is because of the grace of God. When we come to God in humbleness, in the name of Jesus, God honors that. No matter how unlearned in the scriptures, no matter how frail of speech, each of us can wage war against the enemy and his kingdom of darkness through prayer. In Revelation 8, we see the effectiveness of prayer in awesome detail. John records,

"And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake."

Our feeble, broken prayers, the cries of children to their Father, though weak, come down to the earth in great power: thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes. For, Paul tells us,

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."

Through the seeming weakness of prayer, made powerful through our Great God, He is glorified.

2 Corinthians also shows us what prayer can do. We can use prayer to demolish enemy strongholds.

  1. Demonic strongholds which war against us can be destroyed through prayer!
  2. Secondly, the casting down of arguments: prayer can be used to take down any argument against the Truth of God. For, “there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against The LORD.”
  3. Thirdly, prayer is useful to cast down defensive walls which are risen against the knowledge of God. The word for knowledge here means “application knowledge,” or knowledge gained from applying truth/knowledge. When head knowledge is used and experience is gained, the Bible calls that “application knowledge.” Prayer can break down any wall that would stop us from obeying The Lord.
  4. Finally, Paul tells us that prayer can take captive thoughts, purposes, designs, feelings to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Through prayer we can take captive thoughts, rebuke thoughts, which the enemy slings at us. We can keep our minds pure and think upon good things using prayer.

Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29

"Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

"And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."

These words of Jesus are recorded after he had cast out a demon that His disciples could not. His answer is pretty remarkable, and what He is saying is not that previously He had prayed specifically or fasted specifically for this, but that His life was one which was modeled after prayer and fasting, and because of that, and His submission to The Father, He was able to cast out the demon.

Practice a lifestyle of prayer and fasting, both of which in secret and humbleness. Pride will render your warfare useless.

In addition to prayer & fasting, there are six other weapons we can take up, making a total of seven. But notice that these are performed predominately through prayer. These are found in Ephesians chapter six. [For a more detailed explanation click here.]

Ephesians 6:10-18

"From this point onward my brethren, receive ability in The Lord, and in the complete authority of His power to overcome resistance. Clothe yourselves with the complete set of weaponry which derives from God, that ye may be able to stand unmoving against the devil’s methodologies. [This is] because we are not in a struggle against flesh and blood but against rulers, against delegated powers, against the world-rulers of the darkness of the age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Wherefore take up the complete set of weaponry which derives from God with the intention of using it, so that ye may be able to resist/oppose [spiritual enemies] in the evil day, and having labored to [that day’s] conclusion, to stand unmoving. Therefore stand unmoving, having girded your loins with truth and having clothed yourselves with the breastplate of righteousness; and having shod the feet with preparation/preparedness [which is] derived from the gospel of peace. Above all, having taken up the full-body shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the arrows of the evil one, which have been set on fire. And receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken word of God, through all prayer and supplication, praying in every season in The Spirit, and unto this very thing, staying vigilant with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."

We find, then, 7 pieces, which create the complete set of the armor of God. Before you look at the armor pieces, notice there are four commands (and one more later, to make a total of five):

  1. Receive ability in The Lord and in the complete authority of His power to overcome resistance.
    • The KJV “Be strong” is a passive verb which means to receive power/ability. “Power” means more specifically dominion or complete authority, referring to God’s overarching dominion. “Might” is the force to overcome immediate resistance. [Eph 6:10 Greek]
    • We are to receive this through prayer. The power does not come internally but externally. Psalms tells us, “…Power belongeth unto God.” and “…the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Blessed be God.”
  2. Clothe yourselves with the complete set of weaponry which derives from God.
    • Perhaps self explanatory given the context, but forget not the reason for the armor. For we wrestle against spiritual wickedness and it must be defended against/attacked with spiritual weapons, which only derive from God.
  3. Wherefore take up the complete set of weaponry which derives from God with the intention of using it.
    • We are commanded to clothe ourselves with the armor and take it up (in order to use it!). The armor is no good if you have no intention of using it.
  4. Therefore stand unmoving.
    • The final command is to stand unmoving. In order to stand unmoving, we MUST engage the enemy with all seven pieces of armory. We stand unmoving, when we have
      1. Girded our loins with truth
      2. Clothed ourselves with the breastplate of righteousness
      3. Shod our feet with preparedness which is derived from the Gospel of Peace
      4. Taken up the full-body shield of faith
      5. The helmet of salvation
      6. Sword of the Spirit
      7. Prayer
        • Number five and six are commands. We are commanded to receive these! You cannot get for yourself salvation and you cannot receive by any might of your own a word from God.
        • Number seven, I believe, refers to all other six pieces. These are implemented through prayer!
  5. Receive the helmet of salvation and the Sword of The Spirit (which is the spoken word of God)!
    • We must receive salvation, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
    • We must also receive the spoken-word (rhema) of God. Logos refers to all of God’s word. Rhema refers to a select portion, which The Holy Spirit brings to remembrance. Think of logos as a pool filled with water and rhema as a bowl which you use to scoop out some water from the larger pool.

1 Timothy 1:18-19

"This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:"

There are two things which Paul gives in order that Timothy “mightest war a good warfare.” He says…

  1. Holding Faith
  2. [Holding] a good conscience

In order for us to fight a good fight spiritually we must possess, and continue possessing faith. Faith is not just a once-in-the-past action, not just a faint memory, but faith is active and continuing. Possessing faith yesterday, today, and as long as we are alive. Romans tells us quite plainly, “For with the heart man is continuing to believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth continuing to confess unto salvation.” We must also be possessing a good conscience. A clear conscience toward God and men.

2 Timothy 2:1-4

"Thou therefore, my son, be filled with power/ability in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore take part in suffering, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that serving as a soldier  weaves himself together with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath enlisted him to be a soldier."

Paul continues to admonish Timothy in his second epistle to him, telling timothy to be filled with ability/power from the grace in Jesus Christ. Our strength comes from weakness, through which Jesus Christ imparts strength. Zechariah records the angel’s words to him,

"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it."

The mountains in our life will be leveled through grace – through a glorious supply of The Holy Spirit. Therefore, take part in suffering because through suffering we are made stronger and receive grace/strength. Don’t fight against it but let suffering work in your life its purifying effects. Endure through the grace which is found in Jesus Christ.

The next thing Paul tells Timothy, is that he should not weave himself together with the businesses/affairs/things of this life. This is common sense: a soldier on a battlefield isn’t worried about paying the bills, buying a car, going shopping, etc… He’s worried about staying alive and defending his fellow-soldiers/country. He can’t be distracted by a lay person’s daily pursuits when he is on the battlefield. Likewise, we need to be spiritually minded. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” [Rom 8:6]

CONCLUSION

Since we truly are in a real spiritual battle, we must be prepared! We would never go onto a physical battlefield without armor or weapons, so let us not go out onto the spiritual battlefield as such either. In summary…

  1. Pray and fast
  2. Put on all the armor of God
  3. Hold onto faith
  4. Hold onto a good conscience
  5. Partake in the sufferings of Christ
  6. Be strong in Jesus’ grace and be empowered through The Holy Spirit’s strength
  7. Do not be weaved together with the affairs of this earthly life

One thought on “Being a Soldier of Jesus Christ

  1. Pingback: The Revelation of Jesus Christ Pt 4, 1:9-16 – Bright And Morning Star

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