By Ron Thomas
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Cor. 16:13,ASV).
Just what does Paul mean when he writes what he did? First, be on your guard. The servants of Satan are going about seeking who they could devour. (1 Peter 5:8). As they do this, they have many schemes they will certainly utilize (2 Cor. 2:11). Those who do not know the Lord as He needs to be known, and I am speaking of Christians, they soon will be deceived, then devoured.
Second, to stand fast in the faith is to be anchored in the Lord, always going about doing the work of the Lord. Paul wrote to the brethren in the previous chapter, Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord (15:58). To stand fast in the faith is more than having a commitment, it is also gaining knowledge of the Lord's way, educating your mind to be better informed about holiness and those things and efforts others make to knock you on your backside and keep you down. Wherefore be ye not foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17).
Third, "quit you like men" is a term that speaks to courage. It is the hallmark of a male to be courageous when that which he loves is threatened. It is certainly to be this way when it comes to his family, even more so when it comes to the Lord! It also speaks to maturity, that is, one is no longer a child easily tossed to and fro on the seas of confusion.
Fourth, associated with courage is to be strong in the Lord. The Lord told Joshua: Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which I swear unto their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:6-7).While Paul used the male gender to make his point (a point easily understood by those not confused with ideas from secular society), the application belongs to both the male and female. When difficulties arise in your life, as they surely will, will you stand firm? You will if you stand on the firm-foundation of the Lord Jesus.
- Ron Thomas preaches for the Church of Christ at Rio Grande in Bidwell, OH. He may be contacted at email@example.com