Christian Warfare

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Christian Warfare

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The Word of God is filled with metaphors which teach important spiritual principles. For example, it speaks of Christians being soldiers of Christ. "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3 2 Timothy 2:3You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
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). What did Paul mean by this rather straightforward statement?

The notion of Christians being soldiers appears to be a contradiction of terms. Aren't Christians commanded to love even their enemies? Doesn't the Bible forbid the taking of human life? Didn't Christ teach that Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek in a confrontation? How do we put the pieces of this seemingly contradictory puzzle together?

Christianity not for cowards

When looking for solutions to difficult questions, remember the Bible does not contradict itself. At times it may appear to do so, but with continued study you will find it to be a consistent guide for life. Remember, the Bible interprets itself. Within its pages are found the answers to questions that have perplexed humanity for centuries.

However, like anything else of value, you must be willing to commit time and effort to discover its timeless message. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
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). It takes tremendous courage to allow God's Word to cut to the joint and marrow of our being. Are you up to the task? As you read the Bible, it is our prayer that you will be moved to take action and begin your journey as a Christian soldier.

Soldier

Being a Christian is not for cowards. God calls His people to fight the good fight of faith in a hostile environment. At one point in Jesus' ministry great multitudes went to hear Him and to see miracles performed. As strange as it may seem, this displeased Him. He knew they were not really interested in the spiritual truths He was teaching. They were looking for a free ride. "Jesus answered them and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled'" (John 6:26 John 6:26Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
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Jesus understood they were not willing to become engaged in spiritual warfare. They had become distracted from seeking truth, by looking for miracles (John 6:27-30 John 6:27-30 [27] Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed. [28] Then said they to him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? [29] Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent. [30] They said therefore to him, What sign show you then, that we may see, and believe you? what do you work?
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). Are you willing to become a Christian soldier? If so, it will require courage, commitment and dedication fueled by faith. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles [schemings] of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly [spiritual] places" (Ephesians 6:10-12 Ephesians 6:10-12 [10] Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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Spiritual warfare on two fronts

Our battlefield is not limited to the external world. There is a second front in this war. It is the battle to surrender the "self" to the will of God. This second front is one every Christian soldier wants to lose. As we do, we experience the ultimate victory. In surrendering the self a wonderful peace, which surpasses all understanding, begins to occur. "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4-7 Philippians 4:4-7 [4] Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. [5] Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. [6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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Like it or not, Christians are required to change inwardly if they are to be effective in their spiritual warfare. This process of changing is called conversion. As the self is defeated and we surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, a new person is being created. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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Take up the armor of God

The weapons of our warfare not designed to kill or maim others. They are spiritual in nature because ours is a different type of war.

"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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:13-18 Ephesians 6:13-18 [13] Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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We fight this war not only for our own benefit, but for the good of all humanity. Those who respond to God's calling now do so looking forward to the time when they can share God's way of peace with all humanity.

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