You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier. (2Timorhy 2:3-4)
Paul in this chapter addressess Timothy to be strong in the grace and thereafter enjoin him to pass on what he have heard to other faithful men so that the teachings of Christ will continue on and on. With this as a background to the text above, Timothy is told to endure hardness as a soldier. This infer that one must not go to rest after training up others. Much work still need to be done.
The word “good” that qualifies the soldier proceeds from the Greek “Kalos”. It represents excellent, praiseworthy, noble and competent among others. “Soldier” stem from the Greek “stratiōtēs” which in common use is Soldier but metaphorically refers to a champion of the cause of Christ. A good soldier is that competent, excellent and praiseworthy champion of the cause of Christ.
To become a soldier one must put away his will, be enlisted to go through a training process and be prepared to fight continuously defending the integrity of the nation. This good soldier of Christ also must be prepared to put away the old nature of the natural man, be born anew, enlisted to go through the training process of a disciple of Christ and then be prepared to advance the cause of Christ in his generation. This soldier must be ready to carry out God’s will for his life.
OUTLINED FEATURES OF THE GOOD SOLDIER OF CHRIST
1. Endure hardness: this as used in the text is from the Greek “kakopatheō”. It means to suffer evils, hardships or troubles and to be afflicted. I believe it is interesting to know that Christ Soldier must certainly face evils, hardships, troubles and even be afflicted. It’s not surprising that the Bible saints faced such and they endured to get victory. Christ faced it and he left for us an overcoming example. It is important to note that the best way to overcome is to focus not on the present circumstances but on the future glory when you overcome, that is what every soldier enjoy at the end of their successful battles.
2. Be focus and avoid distractions: No man who is in a battle entangles himself with the affairs of this life. The word “this” is placed before life for emphasis sake and may not appear in some manuscript therefore it maybe be italicized in some KJV. Entangles is from the Greek “emplekō” and it means to inweave. It seems to be common when you see “Christians” indulging in ways that is not exemplary or Bible accepted standard. You even wonder if they have another Bible they are reading. The church is so mixed up with the world system that there is no clear cut differences. Good soldiers are not known just by what they preach but the attitude that is exhibited in combat. Therefore a good soldier of Christ should be ready to dare to be different from others operating the world system. The good soldier must focus on the task and not be carried away by the distractions the word have to offer. “You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God.” (Col3:3 TLB)
3. Please Christ always: the Greek for “please” as used in verse 4 is “areskō” and it indicates to strive to please. It further mean to accommodate one’s self to the opinions, desires and interests of others. A soldier do not fight for himself in a battle. On the overall, he defends the integrity of his nation, while doing so, he also fight to keep other members of his team alive. Always a selfless adventure. For the Christian, we seek to please Him who enlist us into the team (Christ). All your actions and words should please Christ. He takes the glory. You are His worker whom He enlisted by grace to play a role in the advancement of His kingdom, that is what you must do and you must do it willingly to be acknowledged as a good soldier and worthy of the accolade in the end.
Conclusively, to fulfill your mandate, you must know who you are and what you have been made to be. You are a soldier but it is your attitude in combat that determine whether you are a good soldier or the opposite.
1. Let God endow you with the Spirit of endurance to persevere through the necessary hardships.
2. May your attention be always focused on the price ahead and to overcome every distractions of life.
3. You may also pray to be enlisted in the army of Christ if you are not yet enlisted.