(NASB) 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Paul is giving a series of quick commands much like a military officer. Although these commands may already be operative in the reader and hearer of his letter , his purpose is for the solider of Jesus Christ to continue to persevere.
Be on the alert,
Why? Two reasons.
FIRST: As much as we humans would love to know the date and time that Jesus plans to return, the Bible is very clear: only God the Father knows and He did not even tell Jesus His son and He certainly will not be telling us. The Lord Jesus can be expected to return at any moment and suddenly without warning.
SECOND: We must remain watchful and fully alert to the deceptions of spiritual forces in darkness and thuart them. A few sentences later Paul states strongly (verse 22) “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha.” Not all in the Corinthian Fellowship were loved Jesus. There are several places in his letter where he addresses those in the church who deliberately undermine the gospel.
stand firm in the faith,
Paul repeats in a solider-like command a previous exhortation: “(NASB) 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” This could really be summary statement for why he is writing. Then, as now, we live in a pagan culture under a constant onslaught of a plurality of beliefs. He warns them to not waver. He warns them to be unmovable … The pagan culture around them will not loosen them from their moorings. This is not a call to the status quo! “Standing firm in the faith” means acting like a solider who defends his nation to the death; we as believers stand firm on the teachings of Jesus, not with subjective but objective faith.
act like men,
It is imperative that I conduct myself in a satisfactory manner especially under stressful conditions. No solider in the Army of Jesus Christ may be faint hearted; when He is present there is no reason pr place for cowards or weak-willed men.
God leads us through experiences to test and shape our trust in Him alone. This is how we are made strong and how we discover first-hand that we are more than conquers’…
Let all that you do be done in love.
God has not sent us into the world as an aggressive force like the Crusades. We are to battle sin but love the sinner.