Onward Christian Soldiers

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, April 30, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. For more outlines, including a zipped file of all of my 1999 sermon outlines, click on the link at the bottom of this note, and go to our website:


By Michael D. O’Neal                 Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                 Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20

Text: Ephesians 6:10

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Introduction: A person is saved without any effort whatsoever on his part. I don’t believe in EASY believism, as some people call it. I believe in EFFORTLESS believism. If something is EASY, effort, although minimal, is implied. A person is saved WITHOUT effort, by grace through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, who died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

However, once a person is saved, he finds that he is in a battle. He has three big enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Every man, woman, boy, and girl who is saved needs to learn to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

If the secret of security and peace is a strong military, the church is in trouble. Most churches look more like a cemetery than they do a training camp for soldiers.

The weakness of the average church with regard to being a fighting unit is displayed by:

1. Her lack of men – The men they do have resemble women. They style and spray their hair. “REAL men do not wear queer-rings and necklaces!”

2. Her resistance to strong leadership – Most churches have little respect for God’s chain of command in the local church. They are run by the young people, who run the mothers, who run the fathers, who run the preacher. God’s churches should be overseen by a God-called, God-appointed pastor, whose leadership is followed and back up by godly men who will lead their wives and children after them.

3. Her lack of Christian warfare music. The average church today that is able to maintain a crowd of any size is saturated with either rock music (called Contemporary Christian Music) or country western music (called Southern Gospel). Many churches rarely sing, “When the Battle’s Over,” “Onward Chrsitian Soldiers,” “The Fight Is On,” “Loyalty to Christ,” “Sound the Battle Cry,” “Hold the Fort,” “Am I a Soldier of the Cross,” “Faith is the Victory, “As a Volunteer,” or “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.”


1 Samuel 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

A. He needs to be converted

B. He needs to be concerned

C. He needs to be in a church

D. He needs to be courageous


Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

A. Help in standing – Truth girding about the loins

B. Heart covering – Breastplate of righteousness

C. Handheld shield – Faith

D. Head covering – Helmet of salvation

E. Handheld weapon – Sword of the Spirit


Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Our one offensive weapon in the whole armor of God is the Bible!

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

A. This comes from an enjoyment of the weapon

B. This comes from an examination of the weapon

C. This comes from exercising with the weapon

D. This comes from experience with the weapon


2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

A. He needs to endure weariness

  • Everyone gets tired and wants a break sometime.
  • Don’t let the devil talk you into giving up even ONE of your God-given jobs!

B. He needs to endure wounds

  • “Oh, it’s just a nick.”
  • “Oh, it’s just a flesh wound.” Amen. 🙂
  • “Oh, it’s clean. Went right through!” (Heb. 4:12)

C. He needs to endure wimpy Christians

  • Don’t let a Christian who gets his feelings hurt and leaves discourage you!
  • Don’t get discouraged by some Christian who doesn’t have the strength to come to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. YOU do right!


2 Timothy 2:4 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.

1 Samuel 17:48-49 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

A Christian should be more enthusiastic for the things of Christ than for the things of the world. A person who “dresses up” for some event of the world shows how important it is to him. If he does that and doesn’t dress up for church and soul-winning visitation, it shows how UNimportant the Lord is to him.

A. There should be enthusiasm in the pulpit

  • 1. We preachers have the living word of the living God in our hands!
  • 2. We have the answer to man’s questions!
  • 3. We have the solution to man’s problems!
  • 4. The preacher asked a member to wake up the person beside him. He answered, “YOU put him to sleep, preacher! YOU wake him up!”
  • 5. I WILL! If you go to sleep on me, I’ll throw a song book at you! I’ll come and preach to you where you sit!

B. There should be enthusiasm in the pew

  • Some people think themselves dignified, when they are actually PETRIFIED.
  • Some are determined to be dignified and dead!
  • Some Christians will encourage an athlete in a competition, but they won’t give a “holy grunt” or “amen” at church.
  • Say, “Amen!” “Praise the Lord!” “Glory to God!”
  • Listen with enthusiasm!
  • Everytime you see a Christian drop his Bible or songbook at church, you can tell he is just barely present. His mind is somewhere else. Get a grip! Worship God!

C. There should be enthusiasm at the prayer bench, the altar

  • Fervent praying
  • Sincere confession
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