A Good Soldier Is Sober

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Aug. 01, 2004, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


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

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-13

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:8

1 Thessalonians 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Introduction: “Prepare for War in 2004” is not only the theme for our church for this year, but it is also a WARNING. If you and I, as children of God, do not prepare for spiritual warfare, we will suffer the consequences.

There is a great distinction, according to the Bible, between SALVATION and SERVICE. Although salvation is through FAITH, and not of WORKS, service to God includes a FIGHT, in a WAR. Salvation is never produced through man’s labor, and service to God is never performed WITHOUT man’s labor.

If you will prepare for war, you can be a conqueror! If you do NOT prepare for war, you will be a casualty!

Our text refers to Christian warfare, mentioning two pieces of the whole armor of God: the breastplate and the helmet. It commands us to have the right attitude and the right action. The action is to put on God’s armor. The attitude is “But let us, who are of the day, be sober …”

What does it mean for a Christian to be sober? It does not mean to be gloomy. There are numerous dictionary definitions, but the definition of sober can be said to be almost exactly opposite of that of “drunken.”

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:


Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

  1. He is awake so that he can work
  2. He is awake so that he can watch
  3. He is a watchman
  4. To sleep while “on watch” is dereliction of duty!
  5. He is awake so that he can war

Judges 18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.

  1. He is looking
  2. For any sign of danger
    2. For any sign of the enemy
    3. For an opportunity or an opening to defeat the enemy
    4. We should be looking for any signs of compromise, for enemy soldiers wearing our uniform, for opportunities to witness.
  3. He is listening
  4. For any strange sounds
    2. Eve wasn’t alert and didn’t recognize the danger of the serpent’s voice.
  5. He is leaning forward
  6. Like a football player on the line, waiting for the play to start


2 Corinthians 2:10-11 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

  1. Of the ways of the enemy
  2. Deceit
    2. Discouragement
    3. Doubt
    4. Distraction
    5. Delay
  3. Of his own weaknesses
  4. No confidence in the flesh
  5. Of his weaponry
  6. Recognize the word of God
    2. Read and study it

1 Samuel 17:48  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.

A drunk man tends to be passive. Alcohol is a sedative, a depressant, or a tranquilizer. It robs a m an of his initiative.

  1. He starts confidently
  2. He strides forward courageously
  3. He succeeds consistently
  Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,  Gospel Light Baptist Church 
P.O. Box 3071 (237 Lockett Station Road), Albany, GA 31706
(229) 432-0039 (church) / (229) 698-2127 (parsonage)
*Scriptures in my notes are from the Authorized Version 1611 -KJV- and are used by permission of the Author – Ephesians. 6:17*
“Prepare For War in 2004”
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