“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
Watch! Stand! Act! Be Strong! These are pretty strict and straightforward commands. They are also simple commands based on the foundation of doing all things with love! In a lot of ways, it is a good summary of the Christian religion.
“Watch ye”, the word “watch” in the New Testament often times has a much deeper meaning than to just look at. In its present context it is more of a metaphor for to, “give strict attention to, be cautious, active” and to “to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one”. (Strong’s)
Watch is a powerful word. It is something that Jesus said to Peter, James and John at Gethsemane. We need to take, “watch” to heart for it is our “On-guard”, our, “shields up” and keeping our “eyes peeled” to use a few euphemisms.
“Stand fast in the faith”. You have to stand somewhere during the watchful battle and it better be standing in faith. All things hang on the peg of faith. Faith is an expression of our love for Christ. We walk by faith and not by sight. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can remove mountains and cast them into the sea (Hebraism). We must stand in the comfort and joy of reaching into tomorrow and grabbing a hold of God’s promises. The believing will be the relieving of the problems of today.
“Quit you like men” comes from the Greek word, “andrizomai” and it means, “to show one’s self a man, be brave” (Strong’s). We could simplify the phrase to read, “Act you like men”. It’s a blunt statement. But it has to be blunt if we are to “watch” for the evil waiting to attack. Some people get uncomfortable when the Bible is straightforward with commands. They shy away from the responsibility we have as a Christian. Yes, we are about love. But that love needs nurture and protection. That requires responsibility and effort. Act like men and do it!
“Be strong”. Strength in the Christian religion is a contribution. It gives, never takes. A strong, enabled Christian becomes the leaning post for others when they are weak. The strong also become the teachers for to be strong one must overcome. Only those who have removed the beam from their own eye can teach others how to remove the twig from their eye.
“Let all your things be done with charity”. All things, not some things, but rather all things are to be done with charity, or love.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love never fails. We are to do all things in love. Now that takes a strong man to do!