Faithful soldier of Christ

  • There are three aspects seen in the faithful soldier of Christ.

    1. As a Steward: Pastor is entrusted with a the Ministry.
    2. As a Servant: God will enable him to do the work he is called to.
    3. As a Soldier: God has equipped him for battle.

    I. Appointed to Service: 1 Tim. 1:12-14

    A. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus"

    Word "ministry" KJV is the Greek "diakonia".

    1. It means "servant".
    2. Same word we get the word "deacon".

    B. Paul is thanking God for calling him to service.

    Paul was not thanking Him for some honor bestowed on him, but rather for the privilege to serve the One who had saved him and given him eternal life.

    His calling was of being a servant to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the children of God. One cannot serve the Lord Jesus without serving others.

    Some may misconstrue the distorted idea and think the pastor is to be "church waiter." Acts 6:1-7 dispels this false idea when the Apostles were relieved of the menial tasks needed to be done in a church by appointed servants. Churches today, following the false ideas of the Roman Catholic and Protestant church have changed these duties of appointed servants (called today "deacons" to positions of leadership. But that is not the biblical example. These servant were appointed to menial tasks, not leadership, to take the load off pastors so they could study the word of God and meet the spiritual needs of the congregation.

    The pastors area of service is leadership and directing the church as God directs and leads him (See Ephesians 4:11).

    The Protestant view is in error as the pastor being the church lackey.

    C. It is fulfilling and satisfying to be used of the Lord and to serve. The other side of the story is found in V18 where the pastor is to be active in warring against false doctrine and those that would compromise and hinder the preaching of God's word.

    D. The Pastor's qualification is simply the grace and call of God. v13

    Paul was a blasphemer and murderer. He put believers in jail and had many killed. Literally it reads text reads, "the grace of the Lord was super-aboundingly (exceedingly abundantly) was poured on me in faith and love which is in Jesus Christ." V14. His qualification was not his "college or degree" or experience, but God's grace. The glory is the Lord's PERIOD!

    There is no place in the ministry of Jesus Christ for the proud or those who serve for recognition. For example there are many men who use the title "doctor" before their name. Many have not earned the title and the degree is one that has been given them without their going through the studies that earn the degree. No preach should call himself anything more that "pastor" because that is the biblical tern and denotes a shepherd or servant of the flock. The same applies to using the title "Reverend." In the Bible the only One who that title applies is Almighty God Himself. Yet, many good men, without studying the matter us unbiblical titles which in a sense take glory to themselves.

    Paul is saying to Timothy, if God can make a missionary out of a murderer, he can surely use you. Thus the motivating forces in Paul's life was Grace, Love and faith.

    F. V13: Paul did what he did in ignorance.

    Because Paul did these things in ignorance is no license for others to do the same. Paul was forgiven upon hearing and receiving the truth. Ignorance is really no excuse. But Paul did receive the truth and turned repentantly from his sinful ways.

    G. Paul recognizes his true sinful nature and calls himself the chief of sinners.

    Anyone thinking he is not is the same situation as was Paul is deceiving himself. Christ came to save sinners and He has never saved anyone else, but sinners.

    H. Paul saw himself as a pattern for others to follow.

    Every man who thinks he is being called to preach needs to submit to a personal test. The question is what kind of example an I before the people. Does my life show that I am trusting in the Lord Jesus and that He has the preeminence or first place in all things. Do I show others that I live by Matthew 6:33, seeking first the kingdom of God, and trusting in Him for the things I need in life.

    Many areas of the preacher's life needs to be examined including one's finances and credit standing. A poor preacher can have a good testimony where money is concerned. An example of self examination would be to ask "Have I been in debt since I surrendered to preach. I have asked myself why? The answer may show poor planning or a lack of faith. But in the public view does my obedience serve as an example to others. Turning one's back on wealth can stress the importance of serving God, and being committed to his will. However, there is nothing spiritual about living in poverty. God provides adequately for those who give Him their all.

    II. Committed to the Struggle: V18

    A. God has enemies. If they killed Jesus, is it any strange thing that they also will want to kill you?

    "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake" (Matthew 5:11).

    "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also" (John 15:20 ).

    B. The Pastor, as is all true servants of God, is in a battle and are truly soldiers.

    "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" (2 Tim. 2:3-4).

    C. Timothy when ordained a preacher had predictions made concerning his service.

    In spite of his natural timidness, some there thought he would be a bold warrior for Christ. When Timothy was ordained great things were predicted for him. Like Gideon who was hiding while threshing out some grain for his family did not look much like what God called him. God called him a "Mighty man of valor." Gideon was not truly a mighty man of valor, but empowered by God through his obedience to the Lord, he became the man God called him to be. Like Gideon, Timothy too became a mighty warrior for the Lord.

    The preacher who forgets his calling and where it came from is in serious trouble. His only course is that of following God's leading and His subsequent empowering.

    D. Paul "charges" for orders Timothy to V19:

    The word charge means that Paul was commanding Timothy to hold the faith and a good conscience. For the pastor it is not optional. The preacher serves the Lord, and God directs what he is to do. The charge is thus on the same level as a military command which is to be obeyed at all costs.

    Conscience: means "to know with" or to have a co-perception of the task and means at hand. Based on the principles in God's word, Timothy was to be his own inward judge discerning the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is an inward wisdom or in a sense a "feeling" of uneasiness or peace about a thing that comes for God.

    Christians can have a good conscience and be correctly lead be it. However, a Christian must to looking to serve and be in close fellowship with the Lord. With our consciences the statement often made about computers rightly applies "Junk in Junk out."

    The command was to hold to the faith. In other words know the truth and hold to it.Your conscience will be effected by it and lead you to do what is right. However, it is much more that just knowing the truth, it is having the commitment to it. It is being dedicated to living and teaching others this wonderful truth that frees and satisfies the heart and soul.

    E. There are always those who are disappointing to you and discourage you in the ministry.

    Hymenaeus (Hy-men a us) and Alexander were men who tested the faith and commitment of Timothy. In most churches there are such people who will oppose the pastor and wear him down. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 Paul mentions this situation and of turning them over to Satan. That is a profound action. It establishes the fact that there will be those in a church who will not submit themselves to the Lord and certainly not to the pastor. They will not respond to the preaching of God's word and often will become greatly offended if confronted with their disruptions.

    However, if after prayer for them and sound counsel they refuse to repent, there is no course but to turn them to dis-fellowship them which in effect was turning them out of their church and to the hands of Satan. It does not mean that Paul "excommunicated" in the sense of having their salvation revoked. No church or congregation imparts salvation nor can it withdraw it. The true believer can fall and go into unrepentant sin, but he will be saved in the end. God will chasten him, and even take the unrepentant sinner's life, but even God will not cause the believer to lose his salvation. What Paul is saying is that the church in Ephesus was to redraw fellowship and rebuke these erring men.

    It must be recognized that disciplining a wayward and rebellious church member is not easy for a church, an experienced pastor, or in this case young Timothy. It was a difficult task to face these men with God's truth, but he had to do it if he would preserve the purity and power of the church. There would be less false doctrine today if Christians had withstood the false teachers and disputers of yesterday.

    We should note that Paul called them by name. He openly identified them as "making a shipwreck of the faith" or destroying the faith. 2 Tim. 4:14, he stated Alexander the coppersmith had also done him much evil.

    J. Vernon McGee said that the act of "delivering them to Satan" was a special thing only an apostle could do. I strongly disagree. I believe it basically means that the are left alone to the devices of the Devil and were disciplined by the congregation. Matthew 18:17 states that the believer who will not repent after being confronted by the congregation should be treated as a heathen or a publican.

    Basically, it means, they will reap the just recompense of their sin. There are times when you can go so far, and then you must "back off" and let them go there on way. Jesus said not to cast your pearls before swine.