(Heroes of the faith – Christian soldiers)
Christian Soldier And His Armor
Paul exhorted Timothy to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” 2Tim. 3:4 - And, “... be strong... put on the whole Armour of God... that ye may be able to stand” - Eph. 6:10,11 - All Christians are in the spiritual battle, but to be a “good” soldier, it is voluntary. This requires a special commitment and endurance. - - First, let us consider the,
TRAITS OF A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST - He finds himself on the front lines encountering powerful foes. (The flesh, the world and the devil) The battles are too tough for us, so we are to be, “strong in the Lord and the power of His might” Eph. 6:10 - The devil is too strong; he is like a roaring lion, a subtle serpent, a deceiving angel of light and the god of this world.
The flesh is so weak and vulnerable that it could fail at any moment. The world is attractive and presents a constant temptation. Paul’s personal testimony in 2Cor. 11:23-33 illustrates, what it is for a good soldier to endure hardships. The pleasures and treasures of earth may entangle the good soldier. 2Tim. 2:4 - Moses chose the reproaches of Christ, greater riches then the pleasures and treasures of Egypt. Heb. 11:26 - Demas on the other hand loved this present world and deserted Paul. 2Tim. 4:10 - Someone says, “but I tried to control my tongue and temper but I failed” - Stop trying and surrender to the Spirit. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1John. 4:4 --- Second, consider,
THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER’S ARMOR: see, Eph.6: 11-18 - We are exhorted to “put on the whole Armour of God... “ – (By faith) - If we omit one piece it will give the enemy an advantage for an attack. The reason is because, “the days are evil” and so is the enemy. Remember to claim and thank God for the victory because Christ has already conquered, “if God be for us who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31,37 ---
Finally, consider the, “
ARMOR” (Equipment) Eph. 6:13-18 - (1) There is the ARMOR OF
CONSISTENCY; 14,15 - The
“Loins girt about with truth” The girdle holds the rest of the Armour together and prevents tangling and falling. The girdle of “truth” overpowers the lies of the devil and gives the soldier integrity and a bold, clear conscience in the heat of the battle. David tried to hide his sin for a year and lived a defeated life. Psalm 32:51 – Then, there is the “
Righteousness” 14b - This is not the “imputed righteousness” which is by faith, Rom.4: 5, but rather, “imparted righteousness” for those who, “walk according to the Spirit” Rom.8: 4 - This is the Armour which is demonstrated in the life, and is the practical righteousness that protects from the attacks of the enemy. -
“Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” 15 - This is living and speaking the message of the Gospel to the lost sinners of the world. Peace with God and the peace of God qualify the messenger for this assignment. When we practice what we preach the shoes of the Gospel are worn on “beautiful feet” Isa.52: 7; Rom.10: 15 - Satan has declared war, but we are ambassadors of peace, in the ministry of reconciliation. 2Cor. 5:18-21 (2) Then there is the ARMOR of
CONFIDENCE; 16,17 - The
“Shield of FAITH”, gives confidence in Christ and the Word. This protects against the fiery darts of the enemy, which are his lies that would cause us to doubt and sin. This is not saving faith, but faith lived out daily on the front lines. - Next comes the, “
SALVATION” 17 - This protects the mind and intellect from Satan’s lies. It is the mind that believes God’s promises and assurances. The mind plays a vital role in growth, service and victory. When the Word of God does not fortify the mind it is vulnerable. Remember how Satan beguiled Eve’s mind in the garden. Gen.3; 2Cor. 11:3
(3) Finally, the armor of
COMMUNICATION; 17-19 – The
“Sword of the Spirit” which is the
Word of God, 17b - The Bible is God communicating with us and we need to get marching orders from the Commander in Chief, daily on the front lines. The believer who is “Bible illiterate” is sure to be defeated in the battle. The Bible is not only food for the soul and marching orders for the Christian soldier but it is a “sharp two edged sword” to convict and to defend. It is the Sword for the Spirit to wield and not for us to, carelessly use in the flesh. Peter in the garden of Gethsemane swung the sword in the flesh and cut off the ear of the servant. Luke. 2:50 - On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the Word and the Spirit used the sword to convert 3,000 souls. Acts.2 - It is the Spirit who inspired the Word and He wields the sword to convict and convert sinners. We are to use it by faith. Jesus used the Sword for His defense, “It is written” (3 times) Mat. 4:4-10 - Satan pretends to use the Word but misquotes it to deceive. - And finally, “Praying always” 18 - This gives the needed energy for the strenuous encounter on the front lines. “Always” suggests an unbroken communication with the Commander in Chief. This is “praying in the Spirit” - The Spirit instructs us in the Word but also guides us in our prayers. As sheep flock together for protection, soldiers stand together for stability and saints gather together for fellowship. With the protection from the armor and the orders from our Captain we can with confidence, March forward into battle. Our Captain never sounds retreat or accepts defeat. Remember we are on the Lord’s side therefore the winning side.
Flee, Follow, Fight - 1tim. 6:1-21 (11,12)
Paul, as it were blew the trumpet to alert Timothy, that the enemy is lurking in the shadows to rob us of the victory that is in Christ. Note the progression in the threefold warning, to “FLEE” - “FOLLOW” and “FIGHT.”
FLEE - Timothy is called, “MAN OF GOD” - A title given to a prophet, a messenger of God. 2Kings 1:12 - It suggest one who is born of God, is Godlike, for God’s purposes, to walk with and work for God, and of one who is mature. Flee, “these things” - No one is exempt; Adam, Aaron, Samson and David were defeated because they failed to flee. - No special strength is needed to flee, just good common sense and a decision of the will. It is a time to regroup, re-supply and count the cost. Paul warns against false teachers and unprofitable doctrine. Sound teaching honors Christ and promotes godliness. False teachers are proud, puffed up and conceited. They “know nothing” - They are the worlds’ intellectual philosophers but are spiritually ignorant. “Dotting about questions” means, an ailment of the mind. They love to debate mystery’s that belong only to God. Deut. 29:29 - They have “corrupt minds... destitute of the truth” busy with, “strife of words”, wangling about empty and trifling matters. Paul warns against the delusion of earthly riches. Supposing material gain is godliness. Beware of the “Prosperity Gospel” It is not money, but the “
love of money” that is the root of all, evil. -
“Love” - is “agape” love, which is, sacrificial and reaches out to others. - “
Patience” - is grace that does not retaliate, a courage that continues in tough going.
“Meekness” is an attitude of humility. Not weakness, but power under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is not seeking great things for self, like prosperity, pleasure or popularity. It is the fruit produced by one who walks, “in the Spirit” - Gal. 5:22,25 - Jesus exhorted Peter to, “follow thou me” - and don’t object to the fact that John is following; follow me! John 21:19-22 - Flee... idolatry” 1Cor. 10:14 - Remember we, entered this world naked and that is the way we will leave it. Job 1:21 - A desire to be rich, leads to temptations and a snare, and ends with many hurtful and foolish lusts that leads to destruction and perdition. It pierces through with many sorrows, however, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” - Paul also warned, “Flee...youthful lusts” - “flee fornication” 2Tim. 2:22 - 1Cor. 6:18 - Joseph fled from a dangerous proposition, and won a great victory. Gen. 39:7-12 - Such fleeing isn’t cowardice, but a mark of sanctified wisdom. Fleeing is separation, based on Biblical convictions. When we submit to God and resist the devil, he will be the one to “flee.” Jas. 4:7 - We are to flee from the wrath to come, by fleeing for refuge to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke. 3:7 - Heb. 6:18 - One day the ungodly will flee from God’s face at the Great White Throne Judgment. Rev. 20:11-
FOLLOW is to pursue the elements of Christian character. -
“Righteousness” is not the imputed righteousness of Christ, which is positional, but personal integrity gained by grace in submission to the power of the Holy Spirit. “
Godliness” - is Christ-likeness, practical piety received by grace. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” -
“Faith” - is faithfulness. The greatest ability in the believer is dependability. It will involve faithfulness to, “
the faith” which is Christian doctrine, and a willingness to “contend for the faith” Jude.
FIGHT: The English equivalent is to
agonize, an athletic and military term. - Paul used this term, “Fight... I give thee charge... charge them” (vs. 12,13,17) It is to contend with a goal to obtain, straining to win the prize or battle. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight...” 2Tim. 4:7 - It is like Nehemiah and his co-workers with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. Neh. 4:17 - It is occupation with eternal entities and to lay hold of the things of eternal life. Notice again, verse 3, they are, “words of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore “wholesome words” and suggest the “doctrine according to godliness”.
Enoch Walked With God
**Gen. 5:21-24 - Heb. 11:5,6 - Jude 14,15
1. Five commendable facts about Enoch.
(1) He had faith in God.
(2) He pleased God.
(3) He walked with God.
(4) He prophesied for God.
(5) He was taken [translated] by God.
2. WALK = conduct, life style, steady forward progress, with a goal.
3. An exciting testimony. (1) His walk on earth. (2) His rapture into heaven.
I. AN AMAZING FACT; God wants us to walk with Him.
1. Man was created for fellowship. (Body/soul/spirit)
(1) God looked for a walking companion. Gen. 3:8
(2) Sin thwarted the plan.
(3) The Gospel regains it.
3. It’s not God walking with us but we walk with Him; He leads the way.
II. CONDITIONS FOR WALKING WITH GOD: (Three)
1. Acquaintance: never walk with a stranger!
(1) The Lord enables us. The lame man, “Rise up and walk” John. 5:2-11
(2) “Walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”. Gal. 5:16
2. Agreement: Can two walk together, except they, be agreed? Amos. 3:3
(1) He plots the course, direction, goal, speed, etc.
3. Abiding: A commitment to stay near. (Prayer/Bible/Assembly) John. 15:4
III. BLESSINGS ARE KEYED TO OUR WALK WITH GOD:
1. Stimulates fellowship and develops friendship.
(1) Occupies our hearts with Him and not on self or the world.
(2) Jesus/disciples; not servants but friends. See- John.15: 14,15
(3) God and Moses; face to face, as a friend (intimate) see - Exodus. 33:11a
(4) Emmaus, “Jesus Himself drew near”(walked/talked) see Luke. 24: 15
2. It keeps us within the “safety zone” (Cf. Shepherd and sheep)
(1) Separates us from the world. 2Cor. 6:17
(2) Shields us from darts of the devil. Eph. 6:16
(3) Occupies our minds with pure thoughts. See - Php. 4:8
IV. SIN HINDERS OUR WALK WITH GOD:
1. Eden; one sin caused God to walk alone. Gen.3: 8-13
2. A tiny spec of grit will stop an engine. (Sugar - Bills boat)
3. A tiny pebble in a shoe hinders a cross-country hiker.
4. Geometry: a slight angle results in a great deviation.
(1) Lose sight and voice contact, sheep become vulnerable.
(2) Long pauses in conversation, indicates alienation.
1. Enoch walked with God, right into heaven.
(1) His translation followed a faithful walk that pleased God.
2. Not a literal walk, but a conscious unbroken communion.
(1) Possible today. (In the Spirit)
3. God is involved in our time and eternity. (Our choice)
4. Enoch started his walk at 65 - don’t wait, start now!
5. A desirable epitaph. “He walked with God” Gen. 5:22
The New Testament Concept Of “
Walking With God”
1. Walk = manner of life and conduct. (102 X’s - N.T.)
2. The Lord enables us to walk; (1) cf. lame man - Jo.5: 2-11
(2) “Walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”. Gal.5: 16
3. The old walk. “Course of this world... power of the air... “ Eph.2: 2
4. The new walk.
(1) In “newness of life...” Rom.6: 4
(2) In “Love” - as Christ also hath loved us. Eph.5: 2
(3) In the “Light” Eph.5: 8; 1John.1: 7 (Jesus is Light/key to fellowship)
(4) In “Truth” stimulates joy. 3Jo. 1: 4
(5) In “Wisdom” - redeeming the time. Col. 4:5
(6) Circumspectly. (Carefully) Eph. 5:15
(7) Honestly. (Transparent) Rom. 13:13
(8) By “faith...not by sight.” 2Cor. 5:7
(9) “Worthy...pleasing...fruitful...increasing...” Col. 1:10
5. The “OVERCOMER” will one day walk with the Lord in white. Rev. 3:4
Mission (Recruiting Soldiers)
**Mark. 16:15 - Go ye into the entire world, and preach the gospel.
**1Cor. 9:16 - woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
(The Gospel is costly)
1. It cost the precious blood of Christ.
2. It may be costly for us to preach it.
(1) It could take us to the desert like Philip. Acts.8
(2) It could take us to prison like Paul and Silas. Acts.16
(3) It could take us to martyrdom, like James and Steven.
(4) Costly but productive. “Bringing his sheaves.” Psalms. 126:6
3. When we fail to preach the Gospel it is even more costly.
(1) Precious souls are lost in hell for eternity.
(2) Reward for obedience is forfeited.
(3) The glory of the Lord is thwarted.
(4) The Lord will use someone else and we will be set aside. 1Cor. 9:27
MISSIONS (The “Mighty Army” Marches On)
**Acts 13:1-4 - A missionary call and commendation.
**Acts 14:25-28 - The first missionary report.
1. Acts is a, “Missionary Hand Book”
I. A MISSIONARY CALL AND COMMENDATION Acts. 13:1-4
1. The Holy Spirit’s involvement.
(1) A Divine call. “The Holy Spirit said...” 2
(2) The Spirit calls, prepares, gifts, makes willing and sends.
2. The assembly’s involvement.
(1) In tune. “Ministered... fasted...prayed...” 3
(2) They “sent” them away = let go, dismissed, set free.
(3) “Laid their hands on them” = (not ordination but identification)
3. The missionary’s involvement.
(1) A personal call. “Separate me Barnabas and Saul...” 2.
(2) A call to separate from all earthly ties. 2
(3) A specific assignment. “For the work.” 2 (Workers together - 2Cor. 6:1)
4. The commendation. “...To the grace of God...” Acts. 14: 26
(1) Not to a place, because grace has no boundaries or limitations.
(2) “Recommendation” = commit, permit, given over to, allow.
(3) A threefold agreement of the Spirit, the assembly and the missionary.
(4) A lifetime commitment, not short term adventures.
II. A MISSIONARY REPORT Acts. 14:25-28
1. One of seven meetings of the assembly.
2. The assigned task was completed. “The work, which they fulfilled.” 26c
3. They rehearsed,
(1) All that “God had done” Acts. 14:27
(2) How God, “opened the door of faith” Acts. 14:27
4. No appeal for money. (Our Master owns the cattle on a thousand hills)
1. They were accountable, to God and to the commending assembly.
2. There was no, “Mission Board” - Only the Spirits’ guiding.
STEPHEN (Front Line VIctory)
**Acts. 6:1-15 - Acts. 7:51-60
1. One of seven deacons’. (?)
(1) Practical ministry led to spiritual. Stephen & Phillip are examples.
(2) Qualifications. Natural talent, Acts.6 - Spiritual gift, Acts.7
2. Stephen reflects Christ more then many Bible characters.
3. No negatives. Not sinless but early confession. (Cf. David)
I. A MAN OF
INTEGRITY “...honest report...” 3
1.Trustworthy, Conscientious, Available and Compatible.
QUALIFIED man, based upon the word “full” 3
1. Full of faith 5,8 armed with the, “shield of faith” Eph. 6:16
(1) Shielded from darts of temptation, not stones of persecution.
2. Full...of the Spirit, 5 - “fruit of the Spirit” Ga. 5:22
(1) Conditional, His surrender to the Spirit - reflected heavens glory. 6:15
3. Full of power, 8 - in touch with Omnipotence.
(1) Stephen and Philip possessed miraculous power.
(a) The apostles laid hands on both of them. Acts. 8:6,15,17
(2) We are in touch with Omnipotence, in prayer and the Gospel.
4. Full of grace, 8 - ASV (a gift that makes one gracious)
5. Full of wisdom, 3,10 = spiritual discernment. 1Cor. 2:5,13
6. Full of the Scriptures. Note his Biblical sermon. Acts.7
7. Full of courage and zeal, “ye stiff-necked...” Acts. 7:51
(1) First martyr. He preached himself into the grave. Acts. 7:59
(2) He earned a “crown of life” Jas. 1:12 - Rev. 2: 10
DEPENDABLE man (practical/spiritual)
1. He served tables. (Natural talent) Acts.6
(1) A big man, willing to do a lowly task. (All service is important)
2. He preached an eloquent sermon. (Spiritual gift) Acts.7
3. Available to do what God had for him to do.
IV. An UNCOMPROMISING man
1. Falsely accused and publicly embarrassed. Acts. 6:11-14
(1) Didn’t defend him but spoke the truth in love. (The truth hurts)
2. Stones didn’t modify his message. (Committed to pleasing God)
(1) Would he have avoided martyrdom with a watered down Gospel?
3. Not popular but powerful and faithful. “Not able to resist” Acts. 6:10
1. Like Christ “Lay not this sin to their charge” Acts. 7:60 - Luke. 23:34
HEAVENLY ORIENTED man, Acts. 7:55,56
1. Suffering caused him to look up. He saw three visions,
(1) The “glory of God.” 55
(2) The, “Son of Man
standing.” Mediator (Priest & Advocate) 55
(3) The “heavens opened.” (To welcome him with blessing) 56
2. His face reflected angelic glory. Acts. 6:15
3. “They were not able to resist the wisdom” 6:10
1. A life of (1) Serving (2) Shining (3) Suffering
2. “Old soldiers never die...” He just “fell asleep” (Macarthur) 7:60
3. He didn’t live long but he lived and died well. “Well done” Mat. 25:21
4. “Faithful unto death.” He earned the martyrs “crown of life” Rev. 2:10
(1) Faithfulness assures promotion. (Serving tables, preaching, crown)
5. Instrumental in Paul’s conversion; Acts. 8:1; 9:1
OBSERVATIONS (Choosing Deacon’s In Acts 6)
1. Lessons for the Church.
(1) Do things “decently and in order” 1 Cor. 14:40
(2) Leaders, chose qualified, Spirit filled men. Act. 6:3
(a) Elders, delegate specific tasks to willing committed servants.
(b) Spiritual growth assures numerical growth. 6:7 - Preach the Word!
(a) It gave more time for spiritual ministry. 6:2
(b) They chose Grecian deacons, to serve Grecian widows.
(c) The murmuring stopped. A message on “contentment.”
(4) The spiritual is important - the physical can’t be overlooked.
(5) Problems arise, but can be resolved through Spirit filled leaders.
2. Lessons for individual believers.
(1) Lowly tasks are important to God.
(2) Big (Spirit filled) men will do menial tasks. (Humble/Available)
(3) Faithfulness leads to a higher calling. (Serving tables to preaching)
(a) Promoted from deacon to preacher to martyrs crown.
Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters
Bishop Ryle, on
(1) The most unsatisfying of possessions.
(2) It takes away a few cares but multiplies many more.
(3) There is trouble in getting it. (4) Anxiety in keeping it.
(5) Temptations in using it. (6) Guilt in abusing it. (7) Sorrow in loosing it.
(8) There will be squabbles in settling the estate.
Abraham - Isaac - Jacob
1. Abraham - the man of the altars. Gen. 22:9 (Worship and Sacrifice)
2. Isaac - the man of the wells. Gen. 25:11 (Fruitfulness)
3. Jacob - the man of the tents. Gen. 25:27 (Pilgrimage)
Why Did These Christian Warier’s Press On?
(The call comes from four directions)
commission from the regions above: “go into all the world” Mark.16: 15
cry from the regions beneath: (rich man) “send him to my father’s house” Luke.16: 27
call from the regions beyond: (Macedonian call) “come... and help us” Act.16: 9
constraint from the regions within: “the love of Christ constrains” 2 Cor.5: 14
1. Feelings, emotions and human logic can’t be involved.
2. It is exclusively the Holy Spirit’s guiding and constraining the surrendered believer.
**Psalm.78: 1-11 - The value of history.
1. History is like a lighthouse, to warn us of past mistakes.
2. For Israel it was to preserve them from the folly of their fathers.
3. God armed Ephraim for battle but turned back and was defeated.
(1) The immoral nations became a perpetual thorn is Israel’s flesh.
4. We have powerful foes.
(1) The “flesh lusteth against the Spirit” Gal. 5:17
(2) Greater is He that is in you then, he who is in the world. 1Jo. 4:4
5. We have.
(1) The Lord in heaven interceding.
(2) The indwelling Holy Spirit empowering.
(3) The Word, which is the sword of the Spirit to protect and guide.
6. All systems are “GO”! - “We are not of them who draw back” Heb.10: 39
The Christian Soldier In Ephesians Chapter Six
1. An Impregnable Position. - “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Eph.6: 10
2. An Impenetrable Provision. - “Put on the whole Armour...” Eph.6: 11-17
3. An Invincible Protection. - “The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” - Eph.6: 17
4. An Incredible Power. - “Praying always... in the Spirit... “ Eph.6: 18
The Armour Of The Christian Soldier
1. The Armour of
LIGHT, - “let us put on the Armour of light” - Rom.13: 12
2. The Armour of
RIGHT. - “The word of truth, power of God... the Armour of righteousness” 2Cor.6: 7
3. The Armour of
MIGHT. - “The power of His might” - Eph.6: 10
Notes & Quotes
On the front line you have to trust and follow the orders of the Commander in Chief. 2Tim. 2:8.9,13
Paradoxes: Death leads to life - Suffering leads to reigning in glory. 2Tim. 2:12
It is not trying to be faithful, but looking to the faithful One that won our victory.
The conquering Christian soldier is not; “carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease”
The WATCHMAN’S, life was required if he failed to warn God’s people of an approaching enemy. Eze. 33:2-8
GOOD SOLDIERS are those who volunteer to fight under His banner and courageously stand against the flesh, world and the devil. They “fight the good fight of faith” - 1Tim. 6:12 - He will seek to please his Master by abstaining from things that displease Him and hinders in the battle.
Professing Christendom is plagued today with compromise, complacency, condoning sin, and comforts. They want just enough Sunday morning religion to pacify the conscience, but not enough of Christ and commitment to disturb the comfort zone.
Recommended reading: THE PILGRIM CHURCH - by E. H. Broadbent and FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS. (CLASSICS)
TO: JESUS, SON OF JOSEPH
WOODCRAFTERS CARPENTER SHOP
FROM; JORDON MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
Thank you for submitting the resumes for the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests: and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant. The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.
As part of our service and for your guidance, we make some general comments, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation and comes without any additional fee.
It is the staff’s opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above company loyalty. Tomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau has blacklisted Matthew. James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
Jordan Management Consultants
“Who being past feeling have given themselves over...”Eph. 4:19
“If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” 1Jo. 3:19
The conscience is a divine provision that needs to be fortified by the Word and the Spirit of God. A close walk and communion with the Lord cultivate a good conscience; a clean conscience, is when there is nothing between my Savior and me. The conscience is weakened by undue exposure and compromise with this evil world, and eventually it becomes “past feeling” and callused, unresponsive to the gentle pleadings of the Spirit. “Let your conscience be your guide”, is bad advice.
The Creator of the conscience is the only One who can accurately influence it. We must remember that, “God is greater then our heart” 1Jo.3: 20
Happiness is a healthy mental attitude, and a grateful spirit,
A clear conscience is a heart full of love.
Caleb’s Faith Aimed High
“Give me this mountain...the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.” Jos. 14:12
Caleb’s faith claimed the land God allotted him, because he knew God would be with him in the battle to conquer it. The believer has entered into eternal rest by grace through faith, but there is work and a battle ahead. It required hard work before the “land flowing with milk and honey” would produce its precious fruit. It required faith and courage to March forward with God into battle. Our Canaan will produce fruit by hard work; prayer, self-denial, witnessing to a hostile world,
Facing opposition, obeying God’s Word regardless of the cost and challenging Satan’s right to trespass. We need the faith and courage of Caleb to say, “give me this mountain...the Lord will be with me”
“We rest on Thee” - our Shield and our Defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe,
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
“We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”
Caleb; A True Disciple Numb. 14:24
1. He followed the Lord fully. (He exemplifies the principle of consecration)
2. He had “another spirit” - (A work of the Holy Spirit in a surrendered believer)
3. He entered the land. (Visible evidence of victory in the believer’s life)
4. His seed possessed the land. (The abiding value of the victorious believer)
Questions & Answers
QUESTION - Are all Christians soldiers? - What are, “GOOD” soldiers? 2Tim. 2:3,4
ANSWERS - All Christians are enlisted into God’s army, but to be a GOOD soldier, one must meet certain requirements. He must “endure hardness, as a good soldier”
Paul and many of his “fellow soldier’s:” endured hardships. Consider some traits of a good soldier. He
ENCOUNTERS ENEMIES, - The Lord alerts us, “the godly... shall suffer persecution” 2Tim. 3:12 - We need not be surprised or intimidated by enemy attacks. Php. 1:28 - 3:18 - The good soldier, “
ENDURES HARDSHIPS” - We are not “carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease” - Read Paul’s testimony in, 2Cor. 11:23-33 - Nominal Christians don’t qualify as “good” soldiers. Earthly treasures entangle the soldier. Demas loved this present world and deserted Paul. 2Tim. 4:10 - The goal of the good soldier is to
please his Enlisting Officer, not self. - Paul exhorted Timothy, to “...fight the good fight of faith” 1Tim. 6:12 - This requires surrender and supernatural courage from the Holy Spirit, and true faith in our Captain and in His promises and uncompromising obedience to His commands.