Man UP -
1 CORINTHIANS 16
Love for the needy (1–4). These instructions concern the offering Paul was taking up from the churches to help the needy believers in Judea (Rom. 15:25–27). The principles involved may be applied to Christian giving in general: our giving should be voluntary, in proportion to God’s blessing, systematic, and handled honestly.
Love for leaders (5–12). We have the privilege of encouraging God’s work as we pray for His servants. Even men like Paul, Timothy, and Apollos needed the help and encouragement of God’s people. Are you praying for leaders?
Love for the church (13–18). Love, steadfastness, and submission make for a strong church. When you have people who are devoted to the work of the Lord, people who refresh you in the Lord, God is going to bless. What a joy to be a part of a church family that ministers in love!
Love for Christ (19–24). “O Lord, come!” is a prayer that reveals Paul’s daily anticipation of the return of the Lord. When he made his plans (vv. 5–8), he included the blessed hope. Do you love Him and love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8)?
13. Be on your guard (grēgoreite), like all the verbs in these two verses, is a present imperative. Paul is not speaking of momentary attitudes, but of continuing states. The word denotes more than the mere absence of sleep. It implies a determined effort at wakefulness: ‘Be on the alert’ (Barclay). It is often used of watching for the second coming (Matt. 24:42f.; 25:13; Mark 13:34ff.), and this may well be in mind here. Stand firm in the faith (or perhaps ‘in faith’, Barrett) points to the stability of the Christian firmly grounded in Christ, a stability distressingly absent from the Corinthians. Andrizesthe, ‘act as men (andres)’ may refer to courage (as NIV, be men of courage), but more probably it is meant to counter the immaturity so manifest in some of the Corinthians. Paul wants them to act like responsible adults. Moreover, they are engaged in a desperate strife with the forces of evil, and it is imperative that they play the part of men. Be strong (cf. Ps. 31:24) may be passive, ‘be made strong’. The strength of Christians is not something native and inherent in them; they derive it from God.
16:13. From a logical point of view, this verse stands without much connection to its context. Paul appeared about to close the section with some final exhortations. But he decided to say more in 16:14–18. Such non-sequiturs appear in Paul’s epistles from time to time (Rom. 16:1, 17).
As a proleptic ending to this section, 16:13 gave five central Christian exhortations. First, Paul told the Corinthians to be on … guard. In the New Testament, this terminology frequently describes the expectation of Christ’s return (Mark 13:35; 1 Thess. 5:6). Paul may have wanted the Corinthians to remain expectant of Christ’s second coming. Looking vigilantly for the return of Christ implies a readiness that includes a lifestyle of holiness and service to Christ. Those who disbelieve give up hope of the return of Christ, but those who believe keep their eyes fixed on his return and live with that end in mind. On the other hand, Luke quoted Paul as using this language to exhort the Ephesian elders to guard against false teachers (Acts 20:31), and Paul himself used it to encourage alertness in prayer (Col. 4:2).
Second, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to stand firm in the faith. Paul frequently used this terminology to indicate the constancy with which believers should hold their commitments in the face of adversity and strife (Phil. 1:27; 4:1; 2 Thess. 2:15). The early church faced many challenges that tested believers’ faithfulness to Christ. So Paul encouraged the Corinthians to persevere in their faith.
The third and fourth exhortations are closely related. Paul told the Corinthians to be men of courage and to be strong. These expressions derive from several Old Testament passages in which people were encouraged to be strong and courageous as they faced opposition (Josh. 1:6–7; 2 Sam. 10:12). God calls Christians to a way of life that incites opposition from the world. He calls his people to enter a spiritual war in which opponents seek believers’ destruction and fight against believers’ goals. In this hostile world, it is essential that followers of Christ be courageous and strong. Christians can do this in the face of strong opposition because their victory is sure in Christ, who has already overcome the world (John 16:33).
Ver. 13. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith.”
Not in the wisdom which is without: for there it is not possible to stand, but to be borne along; even as “in the faith” ye may “stand.” “Quit you like men, be strong.” “Let all that ye do be done in love.” Now in saying these things, he seems indeed to advise; but he is reprimanding them as indolent. Wherefore he saith, “Watch,” as though they slept; “Stand,” as though they were rocking to and fro: “Quit you like men,” as though they were playing the coward: “Let all that ye do be done in love,” as though they were in dissensions. And the first caution refers to the deceivers, viz., “Watch,” “stand:” the next, to those who plot against us, “Quit you like men:” the third, to those who make parties and endeavor to distract, “Let all that ye do be done in love;” which thing is “the bond of perfectness,” and the root and fountain of all blessings.
But what means, “All things in love?” “Whether any one rebuke,” saith he, “or rule or be ruled, or learn or teach, let all be in love:” since in fact all the things which have been mentioned arose from neglect of it. For if this had not been neglected, they would not have been puffed up, they would not have said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos.” If this had existed, they would not have gone to law before heathens, or rather they would not have gone to law at all.
Quit you like men. Gr. andrizō, “to act like a man.” In earlier English “quit” meant “to conduct oneself.” To be a Christian requires courage, boldness, perseverance, fortitude—in short, all the qualities of a real man. There is no place for cowardice, timidity, or fear. A noble character is developed only by those who place themselves unreservedly under the Saviour’s leadership (see Eph. 6:10).
“Be Strong”, September 27
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13.
Let all bear in mind that the Christian ministration is not a work for drones. God calls for men who will do and dare danger. Hold no parleying with Satan, but meet him with “It is written.” “Quit you like men, be strong.” Faith alone, unfeigned, can be the basis of our actions and prove by a clean, pure example that it is possible to be active, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11), and then all commercial enterprises will be conducted on Bible principles.…
Quit you like men. Be courageous. Be strong. Characteristic of Paul, he sees the Christian life as though he were in the arena. Faith, conviction, and courage are the essential ingredients for success and victory.