1. Since tomorrow is Memorial Day, perhaps this is a good time to study several matters that relate to God's army, the church. 2. Let us begin by considering . . .
I. HOW A PERSON BECOMES A MEMBER OF GOD'S ARMY
A. The army of God is an all-volunteer army. 1. To become a member of God's army we must "come to" the Father through Christ (John 14:6). 2. To learn what is involved in coming to the Father through Christ, let us examine Acts 2:36-41, 47b. 3. Vs.41 is a key verse -- in coming to God through Christ we must gladly receive His word. a. (vs.36) This word teaches us something important about Jesus -- He is both Lord and Christ. b. (vs.38) This word teaches us something important about salvation -- we must repent and be baptized in the name of Christ to receive the remission of sins. c. Vs.47 teaches us that the Lord adds those who are saved to His church, which is God's army. B. Now that we understand how to become members of God's army, we need to point out that . . .
II. SOLDIERS IN THE ARMY OF GOD ENJOY GREAT BENEFITS
A. God provides wonderful benefits for those who serve in His army. 1. (Ephesians 1:3) God blesses His soldiers with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, one of which is "redemption" through the blood of Christ (vs.7). 2. The fact that all spiritual blessings are only found in Christ should motivate men and women to enlist in God's army. B. While God provides His soldiers with tremendous benefits, we must point out that these blessings are accompanied by responsibilities.
III. GOD GIVES RESPONSIBILITIES TO THOSE WHO ARE IN HIS ARMY
A. A soldier's main responsibility is to fight, and this is true of Christian soldiers. 1. We are not involved in physical warfare (John 18:36). 2. Christians are involved in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12). a. Our main enemy is Satan (1 Peter 5:8). b. God wants us to fight against Satan and his works (1 Peter 5:9). 3. (1 Timothy 6:12) We are admonished to "fight the good fight of faith." 4. In addition to fighting, . . . B. Christians must obey their commanding officer. 1. Christ is the commanding officer in God's army. 2. The Bible teaches us to strive to please Him (2 Timothy 2:3-4). C. Another responsibility is loyalty. 1. Soldiers in God's army must be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10). 2. Those who are not will be punished (2 Peter 2:20-21). D. Additional responsibilities are revealed throughout the New Testament.
IV. GOD HAS A UNIFORM FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN HIS ARMY
A. The Bible has much to say about the Christian soldier's uniform. 1. (Romans 13:12) We are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 2. (Ephesians 6:11, 13-17) We are to put on the whole armor of God. 3. (John 13:35) We are to be identified as soldiers in God's army by our love for one another.
1. Christian soldiers look forward to a great victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). 2. If we become members of God's army, fulfill our responsibilities, and do not disgrace our uniforms, we can enjoy this victory.