In the New Testament-era time of Christ and the apostles, the spiritual teachers used practical, everyday persons, places, objects and real-life examples to help their listeners and readers understand and visualize spiritual truths and concepts. A few common examples used through the New Testament are:
- Farming—illustrations of farming such as planting, protecting and harvesting grains and fruits (Matt. 13:18-32).
- Fishing—catching men, mending nets, and dealing with storms (Matt. 4:18-20; 13:47-50).
- Running—a foot race, winning the prize, not giving up, and laying aside weights and sins (Heb. 12:1-2).
- Warring—a soldier who is equipped with armor to fight and defeat enemies (Eph. 6:10-20).
Perhaps you enjoy those promises of reaping and sowing and prefer to remain in the farming scriptures. For those who like athletic activities, you can relate to the run-the-race admonition in Heb. 12:1-2 because you desire to win the prize. However, if you are an active Christian, you are to be continually prepared for a surprise spiritual conflict that attacks your health, wealth or family—similar to the assault the enemy leveled against Job (see Job 1-2). We must all understand that this conflict is the battle of the ages, and each soul that falls in battle, wounded and unable to stand, is a victory in the kingdom of darkness. Anyone who is a Christian is also a soldier. After ministering to hundreds of thousands of believers, I have observed four basic types of soldiers in the body of Christ: Full Story