Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
We are drawing close to the completion of our Wednesday evening Bible Study series through 1 Corinthians, now looking at the 16th and final chapter. Last Wednesday one verse we examined was 1 Corinthians 16:13.
As with all Paul’s letters and following the conventions of ancient letters, Paul ends with exhortations (parenesis). In v. 13 he offers four quick, forceful commands in staccato style:
First: “Watch ye.” This is an eschatological command. It is a call not to be lax but to remain vigilant till Christ comes again. As Christ himself said, “Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).
Second: “Stand fast in the faith.” The definite article “the” reminds us that Paul is urging the church at Corinth to hold fast to the body of sound doctrine (cf. Jude 3). Some had denied even the resurrection, but Paul reminded them not to abandon right belief (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3-5).
Third: “Quit you like men.” This is not a call to “quit” but to remain steadfast and to defend the faith like men sent into battle. This was addressed to the whole church, men, women, and children, as they were all to demonstrate the best God-given qualities of men, to fight for truth and to protect the well-being of the family of God.
Fourth: “Be strong.” We may look at a sin-ruined landscape and at our own failures and feel weak beyond measure, but then we are reminded that our confidence is not in our power but in Christ’s. As the Lord told Paul when he asked for the removal of the thorn in his flesh, “my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 11:9).
So friends, let us heed the command of the apostle and watch, stand fast, act like men, and be strong in the faith.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle