Summary: Paul encourages the church to “Stand up for Jesus.” Apostle Paul warns the Corinthian Church that Christian believers are always in danger of attack. Satan, the adversary, comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan has a way of attacking us on many accounts
Subject: Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Text: I Corinthians 16:13-14
Introduction: Using these verses of Scripture, I want address the subject: Standing for Jesus. “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus” is the theme song for the Life Member’s Council of the AME Zion Church. The hymn is really a call to service, but it is also the challenge of every believer. How do we stand up for Jesus in a generation that is not willing to stand for much? In this closing chapter of I Corinthians, Paul gives directions as to the collection for the saints in Jerusalem and his desires for the Corinthian Church. He promises to visit them, and even to winter with them. He then makes a series of tender personal references, and so brings the great epistle to a close. First, he is concerned about the ministers who would follow him, especially Timothy. He encourages the church to receive him, help him and be a blessing to him. Then Paul encourages the church to “Stand up for Jesus.” Apostle Paul warns the Corinthian Church that Christian believers are always in danger of attack. Satan, the adversary, comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan has a way of attacking us on many accounts. He attacks us spiritually causing us to struggle in our relationship with God. He attacks us socially causing us to struggle in our relationships with each other. Satan attacks our finances, physical bodies and our minds in an effort to cause us to faint, to give up or to quit. Paul knew that this church was in need of encouragement, especially while he was absent from them. The Corinthian Church had been plagued by division and factions. Some claimed to follow Paul, some Apollos, others Cephas and Christ. There were also irregularities in their worship and shameful practices during communion. There was confusion about the resurrection. Some of the Corinthian Christians were practicing open sin. In such an environment, Paul sends this wonderful exhortation for those who were faithful in Christ Jesus. The faithful Christians in the service of the Lord must not allow themselves to shaken by the practices of those around them. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Paul understood that Christians sometimes become weary. They become weary because there is so much opposition; there is so much to be done; there are so many calls on their time and their money; and there is so little appreciation and gratitude shown them that they become disheartened. Paul exhorts them and us not to give up nor stand down, but to stand up and persevere. Listen to the scripture again:
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity” (I Corinthians 16:13, 14).
If we are going to “Stand Up For Jesus”, Paul charges us to do several things: (1) be watchful, (2) be steadfast, (3) be strong and (4) be loving.
1. Be Watchful or Watchfulness. Being watchful is a necessary duty because we cannot be safe one moment without it. The Bible teaches us to watch and pray! There are some things that we must watch over: our relationship with God, with others and ourselves. We must be honest and truthful with God, with others and with ourselves. There are some things we must watch against: sin – the appearance of sin, the occasion to sin and the temptation to sin. We were taught to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” And finally, there are some things to watch out for: Opportunities to glorify God and to benefit mankind. Another writer has said, “Watch ye for you have many enemies; be continually on your guard: watch against evil; watch for opportunities to receive good, to do good and watch over one another in love. To Watch means to be continually on your guard, lest you be surprised by your enemies; keep your scouts out and guard up.
2. Be Steadfast - Standing fast in the faith has to do with where you are standing, how you are standing and why you are standing. To stand fast means to keep in your ranks; do not be disorderly; be determined to keep your ranks unbroken; keep close together. We are standing on the word of God. We are standing because we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We are standing in unity and harmony. “Together we stand and divided we fall.” We are called to stand up for God, on the word of God, and with the saints of God. If our enemy succeeds in breaking our ranks, and dividing one part of our army from another, our defeat will be inevitable.