“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Tim. 2:3,4).
In the soldier it is courage and self-discipline that are important. It has been well said that the measure of a good soldier is not how much he can “give,” but how much he can “take,” how much he can endure — how much it takes to make him give up.
It is a sad fact that many of God’s people simply do not want to be soldiers. They are sure that the battle for the truth can be won by “love.” They decline to obey God’s specific order to “fight the good fight of the faith” (I Tim.6:12). Some even find fault with those who do stand as soldiers for Christ and wield the Sword of the Spirit in defense of the truth.
But if God does not wish us to be soldiers in the fight of the faith, why did He command us to be such in the first place, and why, in Ephesians 6:10-20, does He urge us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” instructing us to “Put on the whole armour of God,” naming each piece separately, so that not one might be missing? Why does He bid us to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”?
Does He mean that we should put our sword in the scabbard and go on dress parade, to show what fine soldiers we are? No! We are to wield the Sword of the Spirit, “standing against the wiles of the devil”, and to keep standing until, “having done all,” we are still found “standing.”
Four times in this passage the word “stand” is used, and God has provided a complete armour so that we may be enabled to stand.
But there is more. A “good soldier,” says the Apostle, is careful not to “entangle himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (Verse 4).
What a lesson! Should not we, who have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, be “good soldiers” for His sake, single-minded, and disentangled from the affairs of this life?
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.