Five Commands for Christian Soldiers

  • 1Co. 16:13-14
  • 1Pe. 5:8, “Be sober, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Pro. 28:1, “The righteous are as bold as a lion.

BE ON THE ALERT. The present imperative is a command to habitual vigilance. Thomas Jefferson said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Jesus constantly challenged His disciples to spiritual vigilance. “Be on guard (prosecho), that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap;” and “But keep on the alert (agrupneo) at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” The word prosecho means to “hold before you,” to be attentive. Agrupneo means to “be awake, not sleeping.” Our word here is gregoreo, meaning “watch vigilantly.”

STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH. The present imperative from the verb histemi was the battle-cry of the elite Roman soldier. It meant to hold your ground in the face of enemy assault. Paul uses this word four times in Eph. 6:10-14. The Christian soldier is enabled to “stand firm” by means of the faith in the unchanging Word of God. Our feet are planted on the foundation of the promises of God. (cf. Heb. 6:17-20) When we have put on the “full armor of God” (Eph. 6:14-18), through Bible study (the belt), spiritually and sanctification (the breastplate) personal witness (the sandals), daily trust (shield of faith)’ eternal assurance (helmet), application of God’s word to life (the sword), and prayer (logistical supply), we can then “STAND FIRM.”

ACT LIKE MEN. The word andrizo means to be manly or courageous. In ancient Rome the first of the virtues taught and admired was courage in battle. For the Christian soldier, courage in life comes from the confidence in God and His plan. Knowing that God is in complete control (Rom. 8:28), gives us confidence and courage in facing and enduring trials and afflictions. “Through many afflictions we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Act 14:22) But by steady spiritual growth, we are able to “attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13)

BE STRONG. Strength in the spiritual life comes from three sources. First, from the control of the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 3:16-19) Second, from the Word of God. (Heb. 4:12, Eph. 1:17-19) Finally, from genuine spiritual growth or edification. (Eph. 6:10, 2Ti. 2:1-2) As we combine these elements in our life, we display a spiritual power not of this earth nor of ourselves. As 2Ti. 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

LET ALL BE DONE IN LOVE. Divine love is the greatest virtue and strength. It is the source of our salvation (Joh. 3:16, Eph. 2:4-7), the stimulus for service (2Co. 5:14-15), the pinnacle of growth (2Pe. 1:7) the greatest witness. (Joh 13:34-35) Love overcomes all things. (1Co. 13:4-8; Rom. 12:9, Rom. 12:21)

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