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By Curtis Pugh

The way of the carnal nature is to please itself. But the true child of God has a higher calling. Paul wrote: “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 Timothy 2:3-4). True children of God ought to seek to please God: the one “who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

The child of God is likened to a soldier. A soldier endures an intensive “basic training” and perhaps more specialized training depending on how he shall serve. A soldier learns to serve. He learns to obey. He learns battle skills. He suffers pain in the process of learning. His needs (not his wants) are provided for by those over him. In short as Paul wrote he must “endure hardness.” Enduring hardness does not make him hard, but it makes him tough, adaptable, skilled and strong. Sadly, today most professing Christians are just empty professors: they are not soldiers, but rather are couch potatoes, non-participants, spectators, and pretty much bored with the whole thing.

Christ's soldiers are those that make war: first of all against their sin nature: their own base carnal nature that would put them on the casualty list. The chief danger is that of being entangled “with the affairs of this life.” These entanglements are not necessarily evil in and of themselves, but are things that trip up the solder. They wrap around the soldier hindering him from his first obligation: doing his duty.

What is his duty? His duty is to “please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” His is an high mission. Neither he nor his mission was chosen by himself. It is not the soldier of Christ who volunteers: he is chosen to be a soldier by God. This is proven by Ephesians 1:4 which says: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Having been chosen by God, trained and equipped by Him, the soldier has no excuse. He is to please Christ!

This is contrary to all that is in the world and to the flesh and the devil: the three enemies of the child of God. The world calls to him with its tinsel and baubles: toys that please the flesh. It cries out to him that he ought not to be so very different from his neighbors. His own flesh would entangle him also for all his career long he shall be beset by that awful fallen nature with which he was born and with which he is so terribly familiar. And then there is that deceiver and liar, the devil, who would lead him astray from the truth as it is in Christ Jesus into another gospel which is not a gospel at all! Avoiding pitfalls he must seek to “please him who hath called him to be a soldier.”

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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