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Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 022413
B
eing a soldier for the Word of God. Part 2.

 

 Seven Doctrinal Conclusions:

  1. The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them.
    ECC 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--

 

  1. The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you.
    ECC 3:11 he has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set the desire for eternal things in their heart,

 

  1. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.
    EPH 5:14-15, For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,

 

 

  1. When it comes to time, you can make more money, but you can't make more time.
    EPH 5:16, Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

 

 

  1. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

So that in EPH 5:2, we have the phrase, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

 

  1. Sadly, many Christians use the church but don’t love it. This is revealed by their desire to eat at one place while supporting with their time, talent, and treasure, another place. They perceive and metabolize Bible doctrine and support one form of teaching but through familiarity with the communicator they violate 2CO 5:16, Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

 

They eat at one place under the principle of reciprocation but then support another. Here is where gracious responsibility comes into the picture.

 

ROM 15:26-27, For Macedonia and Achaia [a-kai-a] have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.

 

So in effect this is what we have. The communicator shares his spiritual prosperity, his wealth of doctrine with his students. When they became wealthy in a material way, they wanted to share their wealth with him....which is; mutual blessing by association in which the pastor contributes the wealth of doctrine and the congregation contributes in a monetary way.

So, it's an exchange of blessing by association and it's one of the highest forms of giving because there's no solicitation involved, no pressure involved. It is merely those who have been blessed in a material way recognizing the source of their spiritual and material prosperity.

 

JER 15:16, Thy words were found and I ate them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

 

JOB 23:12, "I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

EPH 5:17-18, So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

  1. And then here is something that is a result of fellowship with the Holy Spirit, EPH 5:19, If you are filled with the Spirit one of the results of the filling of the Spirit is speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

The filling of the Spirit is based upon your fellowship with the Spirit. 2CO 13:14, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the "fellowship" of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

 

Notice that it says, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, 1CO 1:9, God is faithful, through whom you were called into "fellowship" with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Then another principle; you have also been called into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

1JO 1:3b, And indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Then a third principle; we are to have fellowship with the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

 

With all of this in mind, Let’s continue with our study of the Christian Soldier.

The difference between fear and courage is the ability to think and concentrate under pressure. By concentration, I do not mean on the problem but on the doctrine that you have previously learned. If you have trouble concentrating under normal situations, you will have trouble concentrating under pressure situations. If you don’t think doctrine under normal circumstances, you will be filled with fear during abnormal circumstances.

 

But, those of you who take the course under normal circum­stances have a chance to learn how to handle disaster. This does not necessarily mean that you will automatically pass. There are many who will sit through the course but will not metabolize the lesson or if they do, they will fail to apply it at the appropriate time.

In combat, a man has to be trained for the job and that takes time. He has to know how to do his job under normal conditions before he is given the job under abnormal conditions. And, it’s the training that makes him victorious not his lack of fear or courage.

Soldiers are also clothe by the military they represent so the Christian soldier is said to be clothed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2CO 9:8 defines logistical grace for us, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything [logistical grace support and blessing], you may have an abundance for every good of intrinsic value production.

 

In that very popular passage, in MAT 6:25-33 our Lord said, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, {as to} what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, {as to} what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and {yet} your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a {single} cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, {will He} not much more {do so for} you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

Now, that takes care of being clothed in the natural realm! In the spiritual realm GAL 3:27 applies, For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

 

LUK 12:27-28, “Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more {will He clothe} you, O men of little faith!”

 

So, every believer has been enlisted in the spiritual army of God and is a spiritual soldier of Jesus Christ.

A soldier is also told who to go to war with and he understands who his enemies are so the Christian soldier has his warfare appointed to him and his enemies are made known to him by the Scriptures. Basically our enemies are said to be of the world, the flesh and the devil.

1JO 2:15-17, Do not love the world [the cosmic system], nor the things in the world [cosmic system]. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [the OSN] and the lust of the eyes [arrogance system] and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

 

We are told that the devil makes war against the Lamb and His followers, in REV 17:14, “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

The world is the enemy of the Christian soldier insofar as the things of the world, the pleasures or the profits of the world take the believer away from the plan of God. This is why John wrote in 1JO 2:14-17, I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

A soldier is also supplied logistically as he goes forward in training, discipline and warfare, so the Christian soldier is provided logistical grace for his spiritual walk and warfare.

GAL 5:16, But I say, walk or live by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

 

However, the corrected translation of GAL 5:25, If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [march] by the Spirit.

Stoicheo goes back to classical Greek where it was a military term which was used of troops lining up in a row or in ranks. Later it was applied to anything that was in a direct line, a group that marched in rank and file, and by New Testament times it came to mean to follow a certain course of action, to follow a preset pattern, to stay in line, and it is used to refer to walking in a closely regulated life, living according to set of definite rules.

 

The military bears the expense of the war and furnishes the soldier with whatever is necessary for his calling. Our Lord has given us clothes, armor, weapons, and whatever we need to handle what we are going to face. This is why the apostle Paul said in1CO 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

 

Everything we need both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm has been provided for us by God. In 1TI 4:7-8, the apostle Paul uses physical exercise as an analogy to self discipline!

1TI 4:7, But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.

Again we see the importance of self-discipline. The organization of your time, the setting up of your priorities is very important. Godliness is simply a lifestyle for the “spiritual” believer. Why does it say to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness? Because it requires self-discipline and organization to execute the PPOG even if you have Bible doctrine as your number 1 priority. And if that is true, and it appears to be for most of you, doctrine seems to be high on your priority list.

If it is high on your scale of values it requires a lot of self-discipline. There are many times when you do not want to come to Bible class. Many legitimate and even illegitimate reasons are given. However, it takes a lot of self-discipline to get here. Then once you get here it takes more self-discipline to listen, especially if it’s not your favorite subject.

1TI 4:8, for bodily discipline is only of little profit  (for a short time),

There is profit in physical exercise but it's only for a short time. The reason why we have exercise used as an analogy to godliness is because exercise requires self-discipline. Exercise takes self-discipline. You have to have a priority slot for exercise. You have to exercise (if you take it seriously) whether you feel like it or not. This is why there are all kinds of gadgets and pills on the market that really are trying to monopolize on inconsistency.

 

So 1TI 4:8, for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things,

Godliness or living the spiritual life is the result of consistency in the perception of doctrine. Your consistency is very important because the doctrine you learn today is going to carry you for a short time. That’s another reason why doctrines have to be repeated and are repeated in certain books of the Bible.

There must be the repetition of doctrine. Even the Bible repeats doctrine. Repetition therefore, becomes vitally necessary in the Christian life.

1TI 4:8, for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. In other words the most important thing in your life is your consistency in the spiritual realm.

Godliness holds the key to this life. Your happiness depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your capacity for life depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your success in life depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your promotion in life depends on godliness or spiritual living.

 

So godliness is said to hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The life to come is a reference for all eternity. For all eternity because some of you were consistent and faithful in the little things you are going to have the uniform of glory, the order of the morning star, the various different crowns, your name recorded in the historical section of Heaven. You are going to rule cities for a 1,000 years in the Millennium etc.

 

Godliness is profitable in time, but even more it is profitable for the life to come. So, the one thing that you have in this life as a believer which will be profitable for you for ever and ever and ever is godliness or spiritual living. And again godliness or spiritual living is compared to physical exercise. Exercise tones up the muscles. Godliness or spiritual living tones up the spiritual life. And the believer needs spiritual power much more than physical power.

Physical power is a dime a dozen, anyone can have it if they desire, especially with the narcissus complex. However, spiritual power is hard to find. So self discipline means;
- Dedication.
- Commitment.
- Instruction.
- Discipline.

 

Discipline is of no value unless it is consistent. The word discipline means to drive on or something performed or practiced in order to develop skill. Anyone can exercise even in the spiritual realm, but for a person to stick with it consistently takes character. It takes training. It takes self-discipline. It takes spiritual exercise.

Exercise for the Royal family in the congregation of the local church means:
- Self-discipline.
- Assembling together.
- Concentrating on the teaching.
- Good-manners.
- Silence
- Not disturbing.
- Not moving-around.
- Objectivity.
- Persistence in spite of distraction.

 

 

All of this is part of the spiritual exercise that takes us from salvation to spiritual self-esteem, from Spiritual Self-Esteem, Spiritual Autonomy, Spiritual Maturity.

A soldier is also known by his discipline, his armor, and his weapons so the Christian soldier must be disciplined, have his armor on and know how to use his weapons, EPH 6:10-17.

 

Soldiers are also clothe by the military they represent so the Christian soldier is said to be clothe by the Lord Jesus Christ, MAT 6:25-33, GAL 3:27.

A soldier is also told who to go to war with and he understands who his enemies are so the Christian soldier has his warfare appointed to him and his enemies are made known to him by the scriptures, 2CO 2:11. Basically our enemies are said to be the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

A soldier is also supplied logistically for as he goes forward in training, discipline and warfare, so the Christian soldier is provided logistical grace for his spiritual walk and warfare, 2PE 1:3. The military bears the expense of the war and furnishes the soldier with whatever is necessary for his calling. Our Lord has given us clothes, armor, weapons, and whatever we need to handle what we are going to face. Everything we need both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm has been provided for us by God.

 

A soldier must also be an expert and well-skilled in his field so the Christian soldier ought to be well-skilled in all things necessary for his calling, LUK 14:25-31, Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand {men} to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.

 

So, this requires much discipline and wisdom. He must understand the word of command and be ready to obey his officer. As the psalmist in PSA 119:60, I hastened and did not delay To keep Thy commands. It is very sad in our day and age when the Christian soldier hears the commands from the Lord Jesus Christ and then delays obedience to Him.

A soldier must also know his place and how to keep both rank and file so...the Christian soldier must know his place and particular station, where he has been placed in the body of Christ by God the Holy Spirit, 1CO 12:18. Military discipline has appointed every officer in the army his proper place, and every private soldier is to abide in the same rank and file, or the place where he is set by his commander. In the military, you're not free to change your station or post on your own.....especially in a time of battle when you expose yourself and others to great danger if orders are not followed accurately and precisely.

 

The Christian soldier must keep his place and particular station, where he has been placed in the body of Christ by God the Holy Spirit. 1CO 12:18, But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

 

The believer is not to quit his command when he pleases. Or because he or she doesn’t like the personality of the officer above them. The average Christian soldier has gone AWOL because of no humility, and this is especially true when it comes to keeping his place in the body of Christ. Staying with his training. Staying with his commitments. Staying with the intake of doctrine and the execution of the PPOG.

 

The Christian soldier is to discover God's plan for his life and stick with it while he is growing spiritually. Pastors must keep their places, deacons must keep their places, members of each church must keep their places, and not withdraw when they please. This does not mean that you will not be promoted out of your place, it simply means you need to hold the ground that you have gaine.

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