Faithlife Sermons

A Good Soldier of Christ

Memorial Day Service  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:56
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What does it mean to be a good soldier for Christ?

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INTRO

Illustration of need addressed.
Connect illustration to present day hearers.
Transition = Show this need or similar issue was also the question behind the biblical text.
Clearly state the theme of the text/sermon.
Memorial Day History
Memorial Day and its traditions may have ancient roots. While the first commemorative Memorial Day events weren’t held in the United States until the late 19th century, the practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans held annual days of remembrance for loved ones (including soldiers) each year, festooning their graves with flowers and holding public festivals and feasts in their honor. In Athens, public funerals for fallen soldiers were held after each battle, with the remains of the dead on display for public mourning before a funeral procession took them to their internment in the Kerameikos, one of the city’s most prestigious cemeteries. One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War
The holiday’s “founder” had a long and distinguished career. In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War. On Decoration Day, as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle, though some historians believe the date was selected to ensure that flowers across the country would be in full bloom. After the war Logan, who had served as a U.S. congressman before resigning to rejoin the army, returned to his political career, eventually serving in both the House and Senate and was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for vice president in 1884. When he died two years later, Logan’s body laid in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, making him one of just 33 people to have received the honor. Today, Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle and several townships across the country are named in honor of this champion of veterans and those killed in battle.
It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971. American’s embraced the notion of “Decoration Day” immediately. That first year, more than 27 states held some sort of ceremony, with more than 5,000 people in attendance at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890, every former state of the Union had adopted it as an official holiday. But for more than 50 years, the holiday was used to commemorate those killed just in the Civil War, not in any other American conflict. It wasn’t until America’s entry into World War I that the tradition was expanded to include those killed in all wars, and Memorial Day was not officially recognized nationwide until the 1970s, with America deeply embroiled in the Vietnam War.
More than 20 towns claim to be the holiday’s “birthplace”—but only one has federal recognition. For almost as long as there’s been a holiday, there’s been a rivalry about who celebrated it first. Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, bases its claim on an 1864 gathering of women to mourn those recently killed at Gettysburg. In Carbondale, Illinois, they’re certain that they were first, thanks to an 1866 parade led, in part, by John Logan who two years later would lead the charge for an official holiday. There are even two dueling Columbus challengers (one in Mississippi, the other in Georgia) who have battled it out for Memorial Day supremacy for decades. Only one town, however, has received the official seal of approval from the U.S. government. In 1966, 100 years after the town of Waterloo, New York, shuttered its businesses and took to the streets for the first of many continuous, community-wide celebrations, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation, recently passed by the U.S. Congress, declaring the tiny upstate village the “official” birthplace of Memorial Day.
What bring the most honor to a soldier?
Is it not fighting valiantly and being willing to, if asked even lay down his life for the cause!
Title & Text
A Good Soldier of Christ
2 Timothy 2.1-13 & Ephesians 6:10–18
Theme
We ought to be good soldiers for Christ.
How do we do that?
What does that look like?
Pray

THE SERMON BODY

Expose the structure of the text.
Main points should support the theme.
points should follow textual sequence unless good reason to change.
use simple and clear transitions to give structure to movement.
Use verse references before quoting so that listeners can read along.
Use personal observances to illustrate difficult concepts.
Structure
Paul is writing to timothy from prison. He is in prison because of the preaching and teaching of the gospel.
2 Timothy 2:1–13 ESV
1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
Exposition of Text
We ought to be good soldiers for Christ.
What will a good soldier do?
2 Things, First...
2 Timothy 2:3 ESV
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Share in the suffering of Christ Jesus.
Loss
friends
family
Hardship
poverty
Persecution
physical
mental
emotional
spiritual
Temptation
Slander
integrity
character
Malice
disagreement
strife
2 Timothy 2:4 ESV
4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
Disentangle himself from foolish worldly pursuits.
Lusts of the Flesh
Sex
Stuff
Food
Pleasures
Pride of Life
Position
Power
Legacy
Fame
How will the soldier do this?
Ephesians 6:10–11 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:13–18 ESV
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Only with the help of the LORD.
Only with the help of others.
cxv
Why will a good soldier do this?
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Timothy 2:11–13 ESV
11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
Because the fight is worth it!
Because He is faithful!
Because we have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

CONCLUSION

Be brief.
Don’t introduce new material.
narrow the focus don’t expand it.
Clinch the goal.
Give concrete applications.
1 Timothy 1:18 ESV
This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Goal
We ought to be good soldiers for Christ.
To be a good soldiers we must be willing to abandon everything if it means victory.
Application
Steal yourselves for the battles which are about to be waged on us.
Strive to adorn yourselves properly with the prescribed instruments for war.
Do not underestimate the power of our adversaries, yet do not fear from a misunderstanding of the power of our God.
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