1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Sufferhardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
Paul was telling Timothy to teach faithful people who will be able to teach others also. He asked Timothy to suffer hardship with him as a good soldier of Christ Jesus does.
Soldiering is a part of being in Christ. The Gk word strateuomai, refers to engaging in spiritual warfare. Every saint does this. So every saint needs to be taught how to fight.
Saints should join together to fight as an army does in the natural, so in the spirit. The spirit world controls the natural world, so these battles are key and a priority.
The Gk word is also translated as serves [as a soldier], war [not according to the flesh], fight [the good fight], active service [not entangles themselves in other affairs], wage war [in your members, your soul].
Fleshly lusts versus spiritual experience:
Gk sarkikos, carnal behavior from human nature based mainly on physical desires. [note: “old: or sinful nature, is a phrase coined by theologians, which creates much theological confusion.]
There is an inner conflict with sin, but salvation isn’t just adding a good nature.
Because we are in a body, we face corruption. There is a bondage in this state. When we are free of the body through physical death, we are free from corruption. However, we make our decision, while in body, to what our eternal residence will be.
During the body-time, we face corrupt wisdom from fallen angels called demons, who persuade us to chose against the spirit. Deceit is used. Those who are delivered from the corruption can pray another out of corruption through spiritual battle.
1 Peter 2:11
11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
The saints in the body still face elements of corruption, but overcome it daily by God’s grace and knowledge of the Word of God. That is why meditating on the Word is key and the learning of prayerful battle. All can partake in the divine nature of God while in the body. This is a great gift from God.
Divine nature: 2 Pt 1:4, Gk theios, from theos, which is God. Divine nature participates with God in fellowship. A saint needs to learn this fellowship, for all promises are based not just facts, but Gk koinonia. Divine nature must be cultivated, it just doesn’t happen magically. It manifests through daily experiences of decisions for Christ’s character in us. If a saint doesn’t fellowship with God, they continue in human nature’s corruption and lusts. To escape corruption, you must spend time with the uncorrupted, the uncorrupted saints and God
29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, 40so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
Escaping corruption: Gk apopheugo, fully breaking away from your previous situation that human nature got you into.
When Adam sinned, all future generations entered into sin. Rom 5:12. Adam’s sin became the agent of sin for mankind. So also, Christ’s conquering of sin became the agent of freedom and righteousness for all mankind who choose Him.