Soldiers of Christ
1 Peter 3: 15,16 -
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
A soldier fights and a gangster also fights, one fights for his country or kingdom and the other for his own selfish purpose or the sake of terror. One has a uniform and the other does not know what a uniform means. One works with the whole army as one unit having ultimately one command head and the other works in small units having their own leaders, they may corporate with each other temporally but soon or later fall apart due to selfish reasons. One works for the glory of his country or kingdom and the other for an individual's glory. A soldier is trained and made fit and gangsters do not.
In today's message we Christians are compared to soldiers who needs to be dressed, trained and educated about the purpose he or she is going in the battle field. The Lord in today's message is telling us the first step towards being a Christians is to sanctify our hearts. The word 'sanctify' means to be used solely for holy purpose. People think by sprinkling water a thing can be sanctified. Objects in the Bible which were called holy were symbolic to what they represented. Holy, only humans can be, not objects. Holiness like righteousness is an on-going process which being children of God we cannot do without. Like a plant grows towards the sun which is far, far beyond, yet it still grows towards it. The holy water we need to be drenched in is in Living Water which is the knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of God which Jesus manifested in flesh.
The second step is towards being a true Christian is to be filled with knowledge, wisdom and understanding such that we are always ready to answer everyone (means both growing Christians and unbelievers alike). That means, we as Christians should be ever thirsty, having a burning fire inside us for growing in true knowledge and understanding.
This knowledge and understanding being more of the Kingdom of God makes us meek and fills us with fear of God for as we come to know more of Him, how magnificent and powerful He is we grow in awe and respect of Him. A true wise man will always be aware of the little he knows but at the same time would not act like a fool who does not know anything.
Like a soldier defends his country we are expected to use this knowledge and understanding for the purpose of defending those who comes against our faith or our character in Christ.
If we call ourselves protectors of our faith, let us be like soldiers disciplined and trained, and not like gangsters.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You hate evil but yet in patience and wisdom You did not finish Satan in a moment which You could easily have done, but You pursued the complete and eternal eradication of darkness. You came as man so that You could use the least of the Kingdom of God to bring down the very high who went against your light. Lord, condition and prepare us as true, string soldiers for your Kingdom...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
2 Timothy 2:1-7
1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
6 The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
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