A GOOD SOLDIER IS STRONG
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: One of the reasons the attack on Sept. 11, 2001 was so devastating was that we were not prepared for it. We did not expect to be attacked on our own shores.
Our theme for the year is “Prepare for War in 2004.” I want you to realize that in order to be a good Christian, you need to be a good soldier.
One of the characteristics of a good soldier is:
A GOOD SOLDIER IS STRONG
Examples of strong soldiers:
President Bush and his father
Strong Christian soldiers:
The apostle Paul
Early martyrs, including the apostles
Billy Sunday – fishing for men, fighting liquor
J. Frank Norris
John R. Rice
If you will listen to and obey the commandments of God, you can be strong:
Deuteronomy 11:8 Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;
Here are some commandments of scripture for spiritual strength that mirror ways people get physical strength:
I. A GOOD SOLDIER GETS STRENGTH FROM EATING
Psalms 104:15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
Acts 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
An army travels on its stomach
A. Receiving the word
1. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
B. Recalling the word
1. Like a cow with its second stomach
C. Rejecting “junk food”
1. False doctrine
2. Frivolous reading and time-consuming habits of television, computer games, and fiction
II. A GOOD SOLDIER GETS STRENGTH FROM EXERCISE AND EFFORT
Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
A. Prayer – deep-knee bends
B. Pursuing sinners in soul-winning – marching
C. Pressing toward the mark – bench presses
III. A GOOD SOLDIER GETS STRENGTH FROM HIS EMOTIONS
A positive attitude helps a person’s immune system, recuperative powers, and ability to work.
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
A. Rejoicing (above)
1. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
1. Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
C. Reliance on God
1. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
IV. A GOOD SOLDIER GETS STRENGTH FROM ENCOURAGEMENT FROM OTHERS
Deuteronomy 3:28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.
Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
A. By example
1. Pace setters
2. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
3. 1 Thessalonians 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
B. By exhortation
1. We need Christian cheerleaders
V. A GOOD SOLDIER GETS STRENGTH FROM EXTRA SUPPLEMENTS
Judges 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Bodybuilders, weight lifters, other athletes – supplements, steroids
A. The Savior
1. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
B. The Spirit
1. Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church