Some Final Words
Some Final Words
Words of Faith 8-11-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Corinthians 16
 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.
So what were Paul's concluding thoughts? How did he want to leave this? Having taught so extensively on the issues of division, immorality, idolatry, worship, Body life and love, Paul began his conclusion and farewell with several final exhortations.
1 - Be on your guard. The Greek means "keep awake, watch, and be vigilant". It might be rendered "be diligent" in carrying out the will of God. Be watchful for the things that could pull you down or pull you away from the Lord. Be watchful and awake for the things that divide the Body and pit believer against believer. Be on guard for the attacks that can come from the Enemy.
2 - Stand firm in the faith. This probably referred to the Corinthians' susceptibility to false teachers. Paul would later write-- "I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3). Don't be led astray! At the conclusion of chapter 15 Paul wrote-- "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (15:58).
3 - Be men of courage. This is actually one word-- andrizo-- meaning "be the man" or "play the man". This is not suggesting a gender issue as much as it was a command to act like a grown up. Take the role of manly leadership. Leave the childish stuff behind. The believer is to be a person of courage marked by maturity. As Paul wrote earlier, "Stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults" (14:20). Or as he wrote to the Ephesians "We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (4:14).
4 - Be strong. This is not the same exhortation as "be the man". It means literally to be empowered or to increase in vigor and resilience. It speaks of receiving the strength of God by continuing to grow in God. This was a call to continuing standing in strength with growing vigor and resilience. We are called to be stronger in the Lord today than we were yesterday. We are called to be more vigorous tomorrow than we are today.
5 - Do everything in love. Paul urged above all the exhortation to love. Do everything in love. Chapter 13 was more than a wedding masterpiece; it was the heart of Paul's teaching for the church. Be on guard, be courageous and strong, be mature-- all in love. Without love none of it matters. Be diligent in your love for others and for God. Be resilient in your love for the Body.
Are you watchful? Are you standing firm in the faith? Are you walking in maturity? Are you increasing in vigor and resilience? Are you doing everything in love? This is the walk of a disciple growing in relationship with God.
Father, I want to walk in freedom and in victory. Keep me close to You. Strengthen me as I seek to walk after You. Fill me with the power that I need for daily living. Give me your resilience and your love. In Jesus' Name.