Summary: In the closing of st Corinthians, Paul lays out some very practical advice on Christian living, calling for Christian men to “man up”. While his focus is primarily toward men it is also great advice for anyone within the Body of Christ.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
William Jones, captain of the Marines on the 28-gun frigate the Providence, advertised in the March 20, 1779 Providence (R.I.) Gazette the need for "a few good Men" to engage in "a short Cruize" giving the Marine Corps a recruiting slogan they would use two hundred years later." In Ezekiel 22, God was looking for a man who would stand in the gap to lead the nation of Israel in His way. Among all Israel, God found none who would stand up and therefore God allowed national destruction and degeneration to occur. I believe that God is looking for a few good men to “man up” and stand in the gap for Christ today. Pastor Bill Kryger of Smokey Hill Baptist Church in Ellsworth, Kansas wrote, “As I examine the state of the Church I am finding that it is the men in our churches that are not standing in the gap. Men, we are not stepping up to the plate and fulfilling our God-given responsibility to be the men that we need to be." Paul in the closing of his first epistle to the church at Corinth lays out some very practical advice on Christian living, calling for Christian men to “man up”. While his focus is primarily toward men it is also great advice for anyone within the Body of Christ.
I. Be Watchful
A. As believers we must “Be on the alert”
B. The word, watch, was a term used by the military in the orders given to those who were posted as sentinels instructing them that it was their duty to keep awake, to be vigilant, and to observe the motions of an enemy seeking to infiltrate or attack the camp. There was to be no sleeping at the post or while on duty.
C. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant (watchful, on the alert); because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
D. Paul in telling the Corinthians to be watchful was saying (1) wake up and stay awake. He alo was saying keep your eyes open to the activities and tactics of the enemies of your soul.
E. We need to wake up and be aware that we are in the midst of a spiritual war: that there are enemies seeking to spiritually shipwreck Christians, to destroy their lives, kill their testimonies, and steal their joy.
F. Just because as a Christian believer you everything may be going smoothly and everything in your life appears peaceful and tranquil, that does not mean there isn't a battle raging all around you. Satan would like you to have you think that there is no conflict raging.
G. Far too many of us claiming to be followers of Christ are slumbering along having been lulled to sleep by the lullabies of the world and Satan.
H. Paul was telling the Corinthian Christians that they “were to watch, or be vigilant, against all the evils of which he had admonished them--the evils of dissension, of erroneous doctrines, of disorder, of false teachers, etc. They were to watch lest their souls should be ruined, and... lest the enemies of the truth and of holiness should steal silently upon them, and surprise them.” – Albert Barnes
I. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober: for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”
II. Stand Fast
A. If you fail to be watchful you will not be able to obey the command to stand fast. Men who are asleep just don’t stand very well.
B. Paul’s command is again a military command that would be given in the heat of the battle – Stand Firm! Don’t break ranks!
C. As a young man Philip was kidnapped and held as a hostage in Greece. There he remained for several years. During this time he received a military education. Then he returned to his homeland, which had conceded many defeats and had lost much land. Within five years he had become king. Philip II of Macedon desperately needed his army to stand firm. He is remembered for two major innovations. First is the sarissa, a very long spear. Second is a rectangular military formation known as a phalanx. A core of highly-trained infantrymen armed with Philip’s longer spears stood shoulder to shoulder in files normally eight men deep. As long as they stood firm and did not break rank they were virtually invincible and struck fear into the hearts of their enemies. Using this tactic, Philip united the city-states of Greece and took the city of Philippi (which is named after him) in 356 BC. - copied