In the closing admonitions of the first Corinthian letter, Paul
said, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be
strong" (1 Cor. 16:13). How complete was this exhortation and how thoroughly suited to Christians of every era!
Many scholars feel that perhaps "Watch ye" has a military
derivation. That is, a Christian is to be awake, to be vigilant, in
much the same way that a sentry is to guard the camp. We must not let Satan catch us unaware. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:11f). Not only
must we watch to guard against Satan, but we must watch for the
coming of Christ. In Matthew 25:13, Jesus said, "Watch therefore,
for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man
"Stand fast in the faith" necessitates first that we know the faith, the gospel. Then, knowing the faith, we must hold tenaciously to it and defend it. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth..." said Paul in the first part of Ephesians 6:14. There can be no yielding to the enemy; the stand must be unwavering.
The word translated "quit"
occurs nowhere else in the New
Testament. It is, defined "to make a man of" (Vine) and means,
therefore, to be brave, or, negatively, not cowardly. Christians
are to behave like men and not like children who fear the darkness and quake at whispering winds. Cowardice is, not of Christians! The eleventh chapter of 2 Corinthians records the courage of Paul and should serve as a fitting example to you and me.
"Be strong" calls
to mind Ephesians 6:10: "...be strong in the
Lord, and in the power of his might." Weakness, be it moral,
doctrinal, or spiritual, has no place in God's child. Strength in
Christ should be the essence of the Christian's character. We must learn that we "can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth" us. We should pray for ourselves and others "to be
strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man."
by Jim Ward -- Via The
Bulletin of the Church of Christ at New Georgia,
January 16, 2005
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