“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
Life is more of a battlefield than it is a playground. Matthew Henry wrote, A Christian is always in danger, therefore should ever be on the watch. He should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and never desert or give it up. By this faith alone he will be able to keep his ground in an hour of temptation. Christians should be careful that charity not only reigns in their hearts, but shines in their lives.1
As we navigate this thing we call life, Paul gives us four clear admonitions:
1. Be on your guard because we are never safe from attack. It is in those places in your life where you think you are safe that you are in the greatest danger. The writer of Proverbs said, guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 4:23 We primarily guard our hearts and minds by pouring the Word of God into them. Hopefully this One-A-Week challenge is encouraging you in this.
2. Stand firm in the faith simply means that we must have stability in our lives. We must have a strong foundation on which we build everything we do. If we are not grounded in the faith we will fall for anything. The Faith that Paul writes of here is not the faith of trusting but the faith of truth. In other words, he is talking about the content of the gospel. The truth of Jesus Christ. Too many people in Corinth were, as those in the world today, are swayed by everything under the sun. Our security is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is not the best way to God, He is the ONLY way to God.
3. Be courageous. A better translation of this portion of this verse reads act like men (1 Cor. 16:13) He is imploring them to have the courage to stand up against the attacks, assaults, and accusations of the enemy.
4. Be strong concludes his admonitions. A constant reminder of Paul throughout his writings is the matter of being strong in the Lord (see Eph. 6:10-18). Another great reminder of this truth, and one of my favorites, is in Joshua 1:6-9. I trust that as we memorize this verse we will take heed and materialize this verse in our hearts, minds, and lives. 1
I trust that as we memorize this verse we will take heed and materialize this verse in our hearts, minds, and lives.