Stand Fast

Title: Stand Fast

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians 16 : 13-14

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Christian Living; Faithfulness; Church; Dedication


Stand Fast

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.  (NKJV)

Paul is writing to what was without dispute the most wicked city of his day. Corinth was so evil that to be called a Corinthian was a slander and an insult unprecedented during that time. To make matters worse, the Church at Corinth was marked with worldly problems that mirrored the society in which in existed. Note a list of issues that marked the Corinthian congregation:

  • The congregation was divided
  • Sin was rampant
  • Order was lacking
  • Selfishness was visible
  • Doctrines held by the church was problematic

To put in bluntly, the place was a mess. Paul sent the letter we have before us today into that place of sin, selfishness and spiritual confusion with the goal of calling the church members t become the light of Christ in that dark city.

As Paul came to the close of his letter, he gave the church five imperatives for remaining faithful while living in sinful company. These five imperatives actually translate into three major areas of responsibility for people dwelling in a depraved place and an immoral society. These issues are as real for us today as they were to Corinthian church in the day that Paul penned the words we read here.

No right thinking Christian would deny that we, in our own generation, are living in a very sinful era as well. Right is called wrong in our day and wrong is declared to be right. Evil is called good and what is actually good is called evil. We must remember what the Lord said in Isaiah’s day, as recorded in Isaiah 5:20,

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

In the era of Isaiah the Lord raised His hand against the people, mainly due to the fact that they reversed His truth and accepted the lies of the world. Let us resolve as God’s people to live and witness as faithfully as possible in our generation. If we carry out the three commands before us in this Scripture, we will fulfill our duty and bring glory to our Lord.

Note with me the three categories of conduct which must be a part of our lives for us to continue Standing Fast - Standing tall for the Savior in a Sinful generation.

I. Watching

1 Corinthians16:13a

The word used to describe being watchful and on guard means to be roused from inactivity, obscurity or sickness. It expands to project the idea of being fully alert. It can, in essence, mean to be revived. It is a very important word in the New Testament and is used 23 times to express the need for being alert, awake and revived. There was a time in America when Christians sought earnestly for true spiritual revival. Believers knew that spiritual energy has a tendency toward depletion. The world is often, as the poet once said, " ...too much with us." Wordsworth went on to write, "Getting and spending we lay waste our powers." Indeed, in our living, working, getting and spending, we grow weak in this world and need renewal, awakening, and true spiritual reviving. But you don't hear much about revival in the Christian life or in the Christian Church these days. Like the Church at Corinth it may be that we need desperately to be reminded of our need to keep a watch on exactly where we are in relation to our Savior and where we are in accepting the world's ideas, message and behavior.

Paul commanded the Corinthians, and all concerned and dedicated Christians, to take seriously the task of being alert, awake and dedicated at our place of service in the kingdom. In the New Testament the idea of being watchful addresses several areas of Christian responsibility.

A. It Speaks of the Danger of Satan

Satan knows that he can trick us if he can get us to become careless, even if we are careless about the smallest matters.
A stuntman named Bobby Leach went over Niagara Falls in 1911 in a specially designed steel drum and lived to tell about it. Although he suffered minor injuries, he survived because he recognized the tremendous dangers involved in the feat and because he had done everything he could to protect himself from harm. Several years after that incident, while walking down a street in New Zealand, Bobby Leach slipped on an orange peeling, fell, and badly fractured his leg. He was taken to a hospital where he later died of complications from the fall. He received a greater injury walking down the street than he had sustained going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He was not prepared for danger in what he assumed to be a safe situation.

So it is possible that great temptations that roar around us like the foaming cataract of Niagara Falls will leave us unharmed, while a small, insignificant incident can lead to our downfall. That is why we must remain alert.

1 Peter 5:8 reads, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Galatians 6:1 tells us about restoring a person who has fallen into sin, but note the warning attached. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

Satan will try to take advantage of us as stated in 2 Corinthians 2:11.

Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat. He desires to do the same to you. We must be alert by remaining steadfast in our faith. We must measure our decisions, not by our feelings or environment but by His holy truth found in Scripture and the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Note also that ...

B. It Speaks of the Disappointment of the Savior

Revelation 3:2 states, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.”

The Lord is disappointed when He finds His disciples sleeping in a dangerous world. He calls on us to, "Wake up."

Matthew 26:40 reads, “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.”

Peter failed the Lord by failing to be watchful. Actually, if you and I follow Peter to the moment when he denied the Lord just before the crucifixion we will see that his mistake was one of not being watchful from the very beginning. Peter was like the frog who is placed in a pan of water which is slowly heated. Since the body temperature of this little cold-blooded creature changes to correspond with the temperature of his surroundings, he is unaware of his danger. Before he realizes it, he's in boiling hot water and death overtakes him.

In much the same way, Peter's failure of our Lord didn't just happen; it was the result of a gradual decline. The apostle yielded to circumstances that contributed to his downfall. In the upper room he was overconfident when Jesus sought to wash his feet. Then, in the garden, he slept when he should have been praying. Failing to understand his Master's redemptive purpose, he resisted the idea that Jesus would have to suffer and die. As the Lord was being taken by the soldiers, the apostle impulsively drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. Finally, gripped by fear when identified by a maid, he denied the Lord he loved.

You and I will fail our Savior again and again unless we are watchful. We must be alert, awake and active for Him at all times.

Also, we see that ...

C. It Speaks of the Doom of the Sinner

Hebrews 12:15 reads, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

If we are not watchful, our behavior can lead to the downfall of unbelievers. We must be careful, lest someone misses the grace of God because of us and is doomed. What a sobering thought, that someone might actually refuse Christ because of me! Unless we are awake and fully revived, we may be the cause of someone missing heaven.

Then, notice also that ...

D. It Speaks of the Destiny of the Saint

Matthew 24:42 records that Jesus said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

Jesus taught us to be ready, for we do not know when He may return. We must be ready at all times. This does not mean that we put on white robes, sell our property, quit our jobs and go sit on the hillside waiting for Him to return. It does mean the very opposite. Since He is coming, we must be about the business of living faithfully for Him. We should put aside our worries and live in the reality that our destiny is with the King of Kings! This should prompt us to be alert and active.

So, first we are to be watching, and that means alert, awake and spiritually revived at all times.  Next, we see that he mentions ....

II. Growing

1 Corinthians 16:13b

The Christian is always to be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and His work in and through our lives.

In what ways are we to grow?

A. We should be Growing Up - Fullness

We are to ever be growing into a more mature and complete Christian. It is said of Jesus when He was a child, that he grew " wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).”  God's plan is for us to continue in grow throughout our Christian lives.

Paul puts it like this in Ephesians 4:14-15 reads, “Then 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. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

Furthermore Peter writes, “(as found in 1 Peter 2:2) “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”

We are to grow up, lest we act like children rather than mature Christian adults.

A mother was having a hard time getting her son to leave for school one morning. "Nobody likes me at school," said the son. "The teachers don't and the kids don't. The superintendent wants to transfer me, the bus drivers hate me, the school board wants me to drop out, and the custodians have it in for me. I don't want to go." His mother said, "You've got to go. You're healthy. You've a lot to learn. You've got something to offer others. You're a leader. Besides, you're forty-five years old and you're the principal at the school!"

If we do not grow up, we will shirk our Christian responsibilities and act like children, even when God is expecting us to be servants and leaders. Some parents say to lazy children, "When are you going to grow up and be responsible?" I wonder if the Lord is asking us that today.

 Not only are we to grow up, but ... 

B. We should be Growing Down - Faith

In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 Paul wrote, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” Paul was thankful because their faith was growing DEEPER. That is what God desires in us.

Plutarch, in writing about the king of Sparta, tells how an ambassador on a diplomatic mission visited the famous city. Knowing that its strength was acclaimed throughout all of Greece, he had expected to see massive fortresses surrounding the town, but he found nothing of the kind. Surprised, he exclaimed to the ruler, "Sir, you have no fortifications for defense. Why is this?" The ruler replied, "Ah, But we are well protected. Come with me tomorrow and I will show you the walls of Sparta." The next day he led his guest to the plain where the army was drawn up in full battle array. Pointing proudly to his soldiers who stood fearlessly in place, he said, "Behold the walls of Sparta -10,000 men and every man a brick!"

We are to grow in our faith, till we become like a brick in the wall of God’s Church, standing bold and tall in a wicked generation. This requires continual growth in our faith. If we do not grow in our trust of Christ, we will run when the battle begins.

During a practical exercise at a military police base, the instructor was giving the class instruction in unarmed self-defense. After presenting a number of different situations in which they might find themselves, he asked one student, "What steps would you take if someone were coming at you with a sharp knife?" The student replied, "Big ones!"

Courage is not the absence of fear. Someone has said, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Indeed, we talk to the Lord, trust Him completely, and then we can be faithful in every situation.

We are to grow up, and we are to grow down - deeper - in our faith. But also ...

C. We should be Growing Out - Fruit

Colossians 1:10-11 reads, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience ..."

Growth is important when it comes to bearing fruit. Who desires an apple tree that never produces any apples? You might as well cut it down. Who plants a grapevine and never looks for grapes? You are God's vineyard and He is looking for fruit in your life and mine.  He invested the best heaven had into your life and He expects the best you can produce. Is He getting that? He certainly deserves it.

First, we are to be watching, second we are to be growing, but thirdly Paul says we are to be ...

III. Loving

1 Corinthians 16:14

We are to grow n God's love. Paul states that all who do service for Jesus must do that service in LOVE. In what way can I love properly?

A. Loving the Savior

Our first love must be Jesus. When Jesus visited John on the Isle of Patmos, He spoke to him about the Church at Ephesus. His one judgment against that church at Ephesus was that the Christians there had left their first love. They were busy, believed the right things and blocked upbelievers from being part of their fellowship, yet Jesus was ready to remove their lampstand - their light. Why? All because they had stop loving the Savior as they had and should. They had LEFT their first love. This means their love for Jesus had dissipated. How about your love for Jesus? Do you love Him now as greatly as any other time in your Christian life?

We reach the supreme responsibility when we come to love. Paul wrote so masterfully about this subject in 1 Corinthians 13. As he closes his letter, he commands once more than love be preeminent among believers. Just what does he mean when he says that we should "do all " in love? It means that love is the only attribute which can help us to fulfill our duty. For example, we might be bold, but if we lack love, of what value is our boldness? We might give great gifts, but if we lack love, our gifts mean nothing. We must love, that is what will help us to watch and to grow.

Love will cause the Christian to remain close to the Lord and will help the believer keep focused on Him in this wicked world. Love will cause us to love one another. Love will cause us to love the lost and our enemies. Love will remind us that our fight is not with people but with the devil himself!

Ephesians 3:16-21 covers this entire idea better than any passage in the New Testament. It reads, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Wow! That is exactly what We need to remember. This calls for revival and renewal in our love for Christ.

B. Loving the Saved

Jesus told His followers to love one another, and He said that by this the world will know that we are truly Saved. Dear friends, we must love the people of God - we must love the Church. When someone tells me that they can be a Christian and not attend a church, I wonder what kind of Bible they are reading - it can't be the real one. Again and again we are told to love one another, to work together and to never forsake the attendance among the people of God. There should no division, no grudges and no ill will among God's people.

Also, we are to always practice ...

C. Loving the Sinner

Without any doubt, there must be a love in us for the lost world. God so loved the world, we are told. Since He is in us, and we are in the world, we must love the world the way He loved it. This requires a submission to Him and to His desires. No Christian and no church can stand tall if they cease to have a burden for those without Christ. Is there in your heart any soul for which you are burdened today? Is there any love for a lost family,   a lost city or a lost nation? That burden is in the heart of Jesus, and when we get close enough to Him, we will have that love in us.

Let me wrap up the command for us to "stand fast" in this world for our Lord.


This is a time to stand tall. Let us not just sing, "Stand up, stand up for Jesus," but let us do so. Let me share a story in closing.

A few years ago a man attending a major league baseball game caused a bit of commotion with the people around him. No matter which team made a hit or a run, the man would cheer. Finally, someone asked him, "Why are you rooting for both teams?" The man explained, "Well, I live way out in the country, and I don't get to many games, so I pull for both sides. That way, no matter who wins, I go home happy."

You don't have to be a sports fan to know that if you have a strong loyalty for a team you never root for both sides. Yet that's what we do if we talk and act like Christians when we are around fellow believers but act as if we don't know Jesus when we are with unbelievers. This kind of behavior may indicate that we really aren't sure which side is right, or that we lack the courage to be identified with Christ.

Today is the day to Stand Fast - Let us do that right now.

Posted in


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top