Summary: A talk on Paul's instruction to remain strong in the Lord amidst temptations in a worldly-culture.
Text: 1 Cor 16:13-14, Title: Where the Deer and Antelope Play, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/29/12, AM
Background to passage: All of these words are present tense imperatives.
Main thought: Paul gives them a final word of exhortation as he closes out the letter
Maintain spiritual alertness (v. 13)
The word Paul uses here means to stay awake. “This exhortation to vigilance presupposes that Christians are always in danger of reducing their full commitment to God through Christ and of allowing themselves to be seized by things of lesser value.” It also means to maintain a constant state of readiness or alertness. He knew that any church has the potential to grow complacent. They can become comfortable, and begin to lose their edge, their passion, their vigilance. And he knows how deadly this can become to any group, organization, institution, or business.
Pro 27:12, 1 Pet 5:8, 1 Thess 5:6,
Illustration: Picture a driver trying to wake himself up while drifting off, “Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. “Good enough” becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course—downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.”
How many times as fathers do we think: what is short-circuiting my children’s faith? Am I accomplishing my desired end in being a husband? How many times do we think: I am going to love God less, or go to church less, or read my bible less? As a church, do we look out for ways that division might be creeping in? Or do we perceive how our love is growing cold or our vision growing dim? How do we do it? Have regular times of evaluation. Have brothers and sisters in Christ who will watch out for you and confront you. Will they help you see things from a different angle? How are your prayer times? Sense of God’s presence? Are you taking kingdom oriented risks?
Maintain spirtiual foundation (v. 13)
Next Paul says to stand fast or firm. The idea here is that hold diligently in a conviction or belief. He wanted the Corinthians to not forsake the things that they believe. He didn’t want them to step over into a works salvation, or a libertarian license salvation. He didn’t want them forsaking the essentials or majoring on the minors. Correct theology is not a minor thing.
2 Thess 2:15, Phil 1:27, Eph 4:14, 1 Cor 12:3, Col 4:2
Illustration: “Satan cannot take saving faith away from us, but he can, and often does, obscure the content of our faith, the sound doctrines of God’s Word. If we do not hold fast to right interpretations of Scripture, we are certain to slip into wrong thinking, wrong belief, and wrong behavior.” –JM, Charles Templeton and his doubt about the veracity of scripture, Rob Bell’s book that rocked the evangelical world a year or two back that teaches universalism because of his aversion to hell, the SBC’s drift in the 60’s and 70’s related to evolution and Genesis,