1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”
This is our time on earth. This is our watch. Let us consider the words of 1 Corinthians 16:13-14:
1. “Watch.” Let us, as God’s people, be alert and on guard. (a) Let us watch out for the enemy, and his influence. The adversary is real. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We need to be a spiritually discerning people (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1-ff). (b) Let us watch out for the sake of others. Ezekiel was made a watchman for his people (Ezekiel 3:16-ff; 33:1-ff). Elders are responsible for watching out for the souls of the church (Hebrews 13:17). Christians are their brothers keepers (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 3:13). (c) Let us watch for the Lord’s return. We are told, “Watch, therefore, for you do not know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). We need to live in anticipation of this return ( 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13).
2. “Stand fast in the faith.” Let us stand our ground and not back down. It is the system of faith (cf. Acts 6:7; 14:22; Galatian 1:23; 2 Corinthians 13:5 etc.) in which we are to stand. May we not be fickle, hot one minute – cold the next (Mark 4:5-6, 16-17); but, let us resolve to be steadfast. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Galatians 6:9 exhorts, “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
3. “Be brave.” Other versions read “quit you like men” (KJV); “act like men” (NASB, ESV). Thayer defines the origin word to mean “to show one’s self a man, be brave.” Let us be men, and not children in our Christianity. 1 Corinthians 14:20 reads, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature (men – KJV).” Let us go on to maturity. Let us be men!
4. “Be strong.” Brother Bill Jackson has written, “The appeal for them to be powerful and forceful for God, and thus be spiritually strong” (Jackson, A Commentary on First Corinthians, p. 172). They were to “Trust God, and go forth doing His will” (Lipscomb, First Corinthians, p. 256). Let us be strong, powerful servants of the most High God. Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Look at the words of 2 Timothy 1:7-8, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.”
5. “Let all that you do be done with love.” David Lipscomb writes, “All their affairs were to be conducted in the spirit of love to God and man (ibid, p. 257). Our preaching should be done in love (Ephesians 4:15). Our deeds and all our actions should be likewise done in, and motivated by love (Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 16:13-14). Good deeds without love profit nothing. Let us “Pursue love”!
If we would truly do these things we just might save ourselves and many souls. We just might turn this society around.