The Christian life is a war between the satanic forces of evil and the gospel of Christ. “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph.6:10). “Fight the good fight of the faith” (I Tim.6:12). Thus, Christians must be good soldiers.
A good soldier is eager to teach and share the gospel. We are to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph.6:17). Paul says, “preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season…” (2 Tim.4:2). Or, note, 2 Timothy 2:2: “the things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.” Paul’s goal is that the gospel be “fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Tim.4:17). Souls are at stake and many are turning from the truth (2 Tim.4:3,4). The good soldier must be eager.
A good soldier is equipped to share the message of Christ. Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished or equipped unto every good work (2 Tim.3:16,17). “Do your very best to present yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). A soldier is willing to put forth the discipline and training in the word to be ready to give an answer of hope to every man (I Peter 3:15).
A good soldier is willing to endure hardship for the battle (2 Tim.2:3). “Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). Paul suffered for the gospel, literally bound in chains as a criminal. But he says, “the word of God is not bound” (2 Tim.2:9).
A good soldier does not entangle himself in civil affairs; but his aim is to please him who enlisted him, that is, of course, the Lord (2 Tim.2:4). The cares, pleasures, and riches of life consume much time and choke out the word of God (Luke 8:14).