Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16.13-14
These words in the final chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth have a continuing relevance and challenge in every age and the warning that lay behind them was brought home powerfully at CFC on Sunday when the passage preached was Matthew 10.16-25. Our preacher yesterday brought home Jesus’ warnings about three types of (If you were not able to hear the sermon it can be found at www.cricciethfamilychurch.org under the ‘Resources’ menu and then ‘Talks’). Was it a coincidence I asked myself that I had planned to comment on the words above before I knew what would be preached? I think not!
Paul penned the words of today’s scripture, not long after Jesus had issued the warnings and teaching of Matthew 10 as already the church was under attack (cf. Paul’s warning to the Ephesian Church in Acts 20) and it has continued to be so to this day and the means of countering the attacks all these years later still apply.
1 Be on your guard.
Wise words for we are told that our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5.8. So be eternally watchful and on the lookout for those things which Jesus warns about
2 Stand firm in the faith
What we believe is of vital importance, and when we articulate our faith we will be attacked, and under attack it is easy to falter and even fall back. So know your faith! Encourage one another in the faith.
3 Be people (men and women) of courage.
Unafraid to stand against the powers of darkness which abound in the world. Courage shows in actions and all the challenges before us this morning imply action.
4 Be strong.
Our human strength won’t be sufficient for this warfare which is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6.12. So we need the strength which God supplies.
5 Do everything in love.
That may sound slightly incongruous but it is key for loving a person as God loves has the potential to turn that person from their evil ways. James 5.20 and 1 Peter 4.8.
Do not be deceived we are in a battle, a battle for the allegiance of people’s souls,hearts and minds and this requires wholehearted commitment.