In 1749, hymn writer, evangelist and brother of the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, Charles Wesley wrote these words: “Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on.” Some 17 centuries before, the Apostle Paul had compared the disciples of Christ to soldiers. As far as we know, the apostle had never served in the army, but he had been guarded by Caesar’s soldiers. He knew about army life, discipline, dress and armor. He used this knowledge in analogies picturing the life of the people of God.


In 1749, hymn writer, evangelist and brother of the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, Charles Wesley wrote these words: “Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on.” Some 17 centuries before, the Apostle Paul had compared the disciples of Christ to soldiers. As far as we know, the apostle had never served in the army, but he had been guarded by Caesar’s soldiers. He knew about army life, discipline, dress and armor. He used this knowledge in analogies picturing the life of the people of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17 NKJ reads, “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 of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day….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!”
The soldier must be aware of his enemy’s strength, power and purposes. Satan is our enemy and he has powerful allies. He is deceitful, tricky. To be successful, the soldier must have the best armour, equipment, and intelligence of the enemy’s operations. Our commander, our Lord, furnishes us with the best. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (fleshly) but mighty thru God to the pulling down of strongholds,” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
As Christian soldiers, we must always be on alert. Traveling in the Holy Land, I was impressed by the Israeli troops. Even while off duty and at home, they were dressed for battle and fully armed. Our battle is a full time, all out war.
We must be fully committed to our master, always on duty, always obedient to God’s commands, and never shirk our responsibility. Until God takes us to be with him, we are never discharged from His army. Until then, love for and allegiance to our master, obedience to his every command, spiritual fitness for duty, dressed in full armour and alert, and ready for battle, and prayer should be our watch words. So, in the words of the Apostle and Charles Wesley, put on the armor of God; and, forward march!
You may contact E. J. Bradshaw at 337-238-0440; Email: bradshawej@bellsouth.net.