Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 NIV84)
Paul is about to close his first letter to the Corinthian church. He has masterfully addressed the Christians faith and life. With these two verses he leaves them with his final thoughts.
“Be on guard” – We must always remember that there are enemies to our faith. Satan, the lures of this world, and our own sinful flesh desire to destroy our faith and entrap our soul. We have to be spiritually discerning so that we may guard against anything that comes to attack us. We must put on (daily) the full armor of God so that we might stand firm.
“Stand firm in the faith” – We need to stand on, and for, the truth. We must know what the truth of God’s Word is and firmly root ourselves in it. We must hold onto our faiths even when our eyes of sight might lead us to think otherwise. The God who made us born again and placed faith in our hearts can do anything. We must cling to the Vine of Christ and stand on the Rock of Jesus our Lord.
“Be men of courage” – we need to be courageous enough to stand up for what we believe in as we live in this hostile world. We must be bold enough to drive the kingdom of God forward amidst opposition and resistance. We must courageously strive to fulfill the great commission. The light of Christ must shine in this dark and broken world.
“Be strong” – Not human strength! We are called to move in the strength of the Spirit of God and by the power of His grace. Most often our greatest times of strength will come in our moments of weakness. We need to rely on the strength of God to see us through all the challenges we face in this world.
“Do everything out of love” – Oh yeah, don’t forget chapter 13! Without the love of Christ flowing through all that we say and do, none of it matters. We need to begin and end our days at the cross of Jesus Christ, for it is there that we see the love of God in its full expression. Let’s let love be the motivator for all that we do.