1Corinthians 16:13-14, “13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love”
Society is ever so confused about the identity and the role of men in this day and age. At one time it would seem, they were to only provide for the family, and be strong and rugged individuals. Women were to be at home and submissive to their husbands. Now society seems to want to reverse the roles and identities of the two genders, and desires men to be more feminine, and women to be more masculine with the ungodly women’s liberation movement. In order to look at this issue through the lens of truth, one cannot look through the ever changing winds of this confused society, but rather to the unchanging truth of God’s Word. With that said look at the final instructions Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in his first letter to them.
When looking at the Church in Corinth, “Even by the pagan standards of its own culture, Corinth became so morally corrupt that its very name became synonymous with debauchery and moral depravity. To “Corinthianize” came to represent gross immorality and drunken debauchery.” In Corinth there were men involved with incest (5:1), and the moral depravity was rancid. Paul gives five commands to the Church which includes: be alert (watchful), firm, mature, strong, and loving.
Be watchful: Why would Paul instruct them to be watchful and furthermore, watchful of what? Paul used the word gregoreo, which means to stay awake, to be in continuous readiness and alertness to learn—‘to be alert, to be watchful, to be vigilant. If you recall the watchmen on the wall in Ezekiel, the watchmen were supposed to exemplify the tenants of the previous definition and warn the people of an enemy attack so they could be prepared for battle and thus save their lives. However, if the watchman was asleep or failed to do his duty, God would hold the watchman accountable for the blood of His people. How do men stay alert, by staying in prayer and in the Word of God. The Psalmist gives instruction to young men in Psalm 119:9-11, “9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Men cannot be confused on their responsibilities. Men will spend hours watching sports games on television, at the stadiums for these events, but where are the men of God that will say like Paul I count all things as loss as compared to the treasure of Christ. Do you watch so you can keep your life pure? Do you look to God’s Word for strength and direction on how to stay alert? Do you memorize Scripture and quote the Word of God when you are tempted with lust, pride, and envy just as Jesus did (Luke 4, Matthew 4)? An average movie is about 2 hours long, and in that amount of time one can read the entire book of John. Yet men make excuse after excuse as to not having time to read their Bibles. Men make time for that which is important to them. Be watchful! Be like Job who said, “ I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food,” (Job 23:12).” Put your Bible before your belly or to say in the vernacular no read no feed!
Stand firm in the faith: Continuous holding ground, or hold ground and keep holding ground. Paul again writes from jail, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” Ephesians 6:11. Men in war must stand their post, fight the battle, and stand against the enemy. Sir, do you stand firm in the faith of Christ? Men get into God’s Word daily, consistently and obey what you read.
Act like men: (Gk. andrizomai) is a frequent command in the Septuagint and is used in contexts encouraging people (esp. soldiers) to act with courage and strength in obedience to the Lord and with confidence in His power (see Deuteronomy 31:6–7, 23; Joshua 1:6–7, 9; 10:25; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Psalm 27:14). One might say, MAN UP! Men often choose movies where the man risks his life for a cause greater than himself. Men, risk your life, living dangerously for Christ counting your life as worth nothing compared to living for Him. Paul penned these words from JAIL, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:8). Sir I ask you, is your heart set more on who is going to win the a national sports events or that you exemplify Christ in your life. You must treasure Christ above all things in your life. If someone were to ask you what the greatest treasure in your life is, would your answer be “CHRIST”? Would those closest to you say that of you?
Let all you do be done in love: Love is HARD WORK! The American concept of love is totally backwards, and has more to do with emotions alone than true biblical love. Look at what Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (KJV). Men would you lay your life down for your wife, your children, your Lord? Become more like Christ by digging in to the Word of God. Read and study God’s Word, and apply it to your life. If you are too busy to spend time with God then He is not your Lord and if so read Matthew 7:21 – 23. Love the Lord, love your family, love the lost (your enemies) that they might come to Christ. Preach the Gospel and never be ashamed of it (Romans 1:16), stand on it, and stand your ground. I ask, if not now, when and if not here, where? Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Until the nets are filled…Phil, “The Evangelist”
- Daniel: Name Change Not Nature Change, Pastor Phil Sessa (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)