Summary: Paul gets personal with the Corinthians (vv. 5-12). 1. He tells of his plans for the future and his intended visit. 2. He speaks of an opportunity. 3. He tells them that they may receive a visit from Timothy. 4. He speaks of Apollos. Then
PAUL’S PRINCIPLES FOR LIVING
A. Paul gets personal with the Corinthians (vv. 5-12).
1. He tells of his plans for the future and his intended visit.
2. He speaks of an opportunity.
3. He tells them that they may receive a visit from Timothy.
4. He speaks of Apollos.
B. Then Paul gives several principles that apply to them and to us (vv. 13, 14).
I. Be On Your Guard.
A. This can mean to guard against things that would be a threat to the church and the Christian life.
B. It could also mean to be alert.
1. Alert to false teachings.
2. Alert to opportunities.
3. Alert to the Second Coming.
II. Stand Firm in the Faith.
A. This, I believe, has to do with doctrine.
B. What we believe determines our lifestyle.
C. Later, Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16).
III. Be Men of Courage; Be Strong.
A. He is telling them not to give in to the pressures of this world.
B. The Christian is to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2).
C. The Christian is to set his, or her, heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2).
IV. Do Everything in Love.
A. Love is the great problem-solver.
B. His teaching in Chapter 13 would enable every church or individual to solve their problems.
A. He greets people who have served with him and who have refreshed him (vv. 15-18).
B. He extends greetings from others with a special mention of Aquila and Priscilla (vv. 19-20).
C. He closes this epistle with a greeting written in his own hand (vv. 21-24).
Verses 13 and 14 have been very meaningful to me. There have been several times in my life when I have been tempted to compromise my doctrinal position for the sake of opportunities, popularity, or profit. It is at those times that I have remembered statements like, “be on your guard; stand firm in the faith.” The principles Paul stated here have been a source of strength to me.
I often think of Nehemiah who faced great obstacles to faith in the power of God. When he was threatened by enemies, he was ready to fight in order to continue his work. When he was tempted to compromise, he said, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3).
“Be men of courage; be strong,” commanded the Apostle Paul.