1 Corinthians 16:1-18
Thursday, 18 February 2021
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. -1 Corinthians 16:13-14
In the first letter to the Church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul addresses several issues that have arisen among the believers. As we go through Paul’s teachings in 1 Corinthians, we understand that the root cause of the division in the early church arose from immaturity and selfishness. After dealing with the different issues of divisions, moral weaknesses, lack of discipline in worship, reminding them of the foundations of the faith, Paul ends his letter with an exhortation to spiritual maturity. The five commands for spiritual maturity given in this portion of scripture should be a continuous process in our daily Christian walk.
Be alert (1 Cor. 16:13): We are urged to stay on our guard against spiritual attacks aimed at destroying our walk with the Lord. We are just as vulnerable to false teaching, temptations, divisions, pride, immorality and confusion as to the Corinthian church if we are not constantly vigilant against the schemes of the enemy. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Be firm in faith (1 Cor. 16:13): The instruction ‘stand firm’ gives an imagery of a soldier on guard defending his country. Similarly as ambassadors of Christ, we are exhorted to stand firm and true to our faith – the gospel message of salvation to all who believe in the risen Savior. “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
Be men of courage (1 Cor. 16:13): The exhortation to be a man or woman of courage implies maturity. The Corinthian church was immature, like weak children that chose to ignore the sin that had crept into the church. As we grow in the Lord, knowing our authoritative position in Christ, we become mature and courageous to face opposition, to deal with sin and to counter false teachings. “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” – C.S. Lewis
Be strong (1 Cor. 16:13): The term used here means to ‘be strengthened’ or to ‘be made strong’ which is not something that we can do ourselves, but the Lord working in us. The source of our strength is the Lord. As we humble ourselves before the Lord the presence of the Holy Spirit in us will strengthen and lead us. “… that according to the riches of His glory, He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16).
Do everything in love (1 Cor. 16:14): True love is characterized by a selfless concern for the welfare and good of others. Love should be the reason behind our service, our intercessions for others and in all that we do. Let love be our only motivation. All our service amounts to nothing, if it not done with love (1 Corinthians 13:1-2). “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
To live a powerful and power-filled Christian life, let us focus on Paul’s exhortations and press on to spiritual maturity, being transformed daily into the image of Christ.
Quote for the Day:
“Maturity in the Christian life is measured by only one test: how much closer to his [Christ’s] character have we become?”
— Elyse Fitzpatrick