Paul continues his discourse on the mindset of a fighter in 2 Timothy 2:3: “Share in suffering like a good soldier…” “We come to the second important word in this verse, the term ‘good’.” In Greek, “good” is translated as “kalos” which speaks of something “good, beautiful, excellent, just, capable, or virtuous.” By using this term, Paul is not just describing a soldier, but “an excellent soldier, a remarkable soldier, or a soldier who is just, capable, and beautiful.”

This soldier possesses all the qualities that a Roman soldier should have. That’s what a “good” soldier is. We will see in chapter 6 what kind of training a good Roman soldier must undergo. It is important to keep in mind that in Paul’s time, the Roman Empire had conquered the world. Using such a symbol is very significant. The qualities of a Roman soldier were renowned; they were highly professional, disciplined, committed, fierce, motivated, and hardworking.

Often in the New Testament, Paul uses military vocabulary when talking about himself, his friends, and the Church in general. By using this terminology, he explains to Timothy what God expects from him, from us, and from every member of the body of Christ.

If you desire to become a leader in the body of Christ, you must know that you will be set apart from the rest of the people. While the lay Christian also takes part in the battle, the committed leader more frequently faces attacks than most people in the congregation.

Leadership and the five ministry gifts are constantly bombarded by the enemy, for Satan knows their value and strategic importance.

Satan has a diabolical plan to destroy every apostle, every prophet, every evangelist, every pastor, and teacher. If he can touch one of them and bring them down, he can hurt the whole church with a single blow! This is war! And the apostle Paul understood it well! So, he uses the appropriate vocabulary to describe our spiritual life, military terminology.

The New Testament Church viewed itself from a military perspective! They believed they had to “conquer the world” until the whole earth was evangelized and converted. They were so convinced of this that they literally changed their society and history forever.

The Early Church did not sit around waiting for the next “wave” of the Spirit before taking action! They had already received the power; they knew what Jesus expected of them, and they applied it. They sacrificed everything to fulfill their mission. That’s why Paul uses this military language, advising Timothy to be a “good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Paul himself sees himself as a soldier, he also sees Timothy as a soldier, and he refers to Jesus as a soldier.

He says: “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” The little word “of” can also be translated as “like,” so Paul means: “be a good soldier like Jesus Christ.” For him, Jesus is a soldier. You won’t find that sentimental mindset with Paul, like “goosebumps.” He was a soldier, quite fierce in his commitment to the Lord. He was ruthless towards his own flesh. He knew that God had called him and he was going to do what it took to finish the work God had entrusted to him…

This text is an excerpt from the book “Living in the Combat Zone” written by Rick Renner.

We invite you to read the following article “When we must face our greatest fear.”

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *