"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." 1Cor. 16:13
The first time we see the phrase, “quit yourselves like men”, it is found in 1 Samuel 4:9. The Philistine army had just routed the nation of Israel, smiting 4,000 of the soldiers of Israel. The children of Israel were shocked at their defeat and began looking for a mechanism to defeat the Philistines. They fetched the ark of the covenant from Shiloh and carried it to the battle field. This put fear in the hearts of the Philistines but instead of retreating in fear, they resolved to forge ahead.
Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight. 1 Samuel 4:9
Sadly, for the nation of Israel, they were defeated by the Philistines and the ark of the covenant was seized as a great spoil and trophy of war. However, it was not long before the Philistines learned that God didn’t need Israel to defend him and they were plagued greatly until they gave the ark back to the nation of Israel.
It is interesting that the apostle Paul chose to use this phrase, “quit ye like men”. No doubt Paul understood the context of this phrase and it was exactly what the Lord wanted him to say to the Corinthians and to us in the church age. The word “quit” doesn’t mean to give up or stop, it means to prepare yourself as a man and prepare to fight. I don’t know how well that phrase was received among the Corinthians, but it isn’t a charge that is common in the church today.
If there is a time to call out men to identify with the victorious and resurrected nature of Christ and exercise themselves in preparation as warriors of faith, today is the day. What it means for Christian men to be watchful, to stand fast in the faith and prepare ourselves to be strong is different in definition than that which the world offers. Paul is not calling men to go hunting, lift weights and work out at the MMA gym, though there is nothing wrong with those things.
Christian men need to be disciplined and exercised in doing the heavy lifting of memorizing God’s word, living God’s word, Loving God’s word and loving others by sharing the word of God in a way that God uses to get results in every heart of every people group left on this planet. We are not to be locked down in fear but propelled by faith! That is why God desires our obedience to take the next right step because he is looking for a few faithful men.
Paul needed to rally the troops, starting with the men in Corinth. In the first century, Greece was the intellectual standard for the world. They were affluent in culture and wealth. Outside of Rome, Greece was a nation of people God could use to reach the world. It would be in the language spoken by the Corinthians, among others, that God would preserved the New Testament in the first centuries of church history. Today, we find ourselves in the heart of America.
We live in the last remnant of Gentile power that was spawned from the great revival of Biblical literacy that occurred after the inventing of the printing press in 1440. We live in the greatest mission-sending nation that has existed in the past several hundred years, though we are not the only missions nation, we have enjoyed as special place in fulfilling the great commission all over the earth. It is in this rich context, we could find great discouragement as the churches stray, allow winds of doctrine to snuff out their light as the candles in the tabernacle during the ministry of Eli in Judges closing their Bibles as the first step in making them entirely irrelevant to the culture within a generation. We are not called to be relevant but revolutionary. Not with military might, but with spiritual might.
I am looking forward to this year’s Men’s Conference and call all men everywhere to attend. If you need to sign up, follow this link and you can get registered. If you need to make arrangements for payment, please contact the office at 816.380.3033 and we will set up terms that will allow you to attend.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13