Soldiering for Jesus

2 Timothy 2:3–4 (ESV) … “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

Soldiering can be tough at times, but it can also bring its own rewards. So it is with ministry. Like a soldier on active service, the Christian pastor is in the forefront of the spiritual warfare that rages in the world between the forces of truth and righteousness and the powers of darkness and falsehood. He will devote himself therefore to pleasing his Lord in the same way as the soldier concentrates on his soldiering in order to please his commanding officer.


Furthermore, just as the soldier is called to be a soldier and not to get involved in civilian affairs, so the pastor must give himself essentially to the work of pastoring, and not get so tied up with secular matters that they hinder him from fruitful study of God’s Word and the care of souls.


Commenting on this passage, John Stott says, ‘… this needs to be remembered in our day when ‘auxiliary’, ‘supplementary’, and ‘part-time’ ministries are increasing in which the pastor continues his trade or profession, and exercises his ministry in his spare time. Such ministries can hardly be said to contravene scripture. Yet they are difficult to reconcile with the apostle’s injunction to avoid entanglements.’[1]




[1] Williams, P. (2007). Opening up 2 Timothy (pp. 40–41). Leominster: Day One Publications.

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