1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.…
I. THINGS WHICH ARE NOT MANLY.
1. To believe without evidence. Credulity, the readiness to receive every assertion for truth, is childish; and it is worse than childish, when evil reports are easily credited and at all welcomed. We must believe much which we can never comprehend, and therefore cannot prove; but we must be sure that the witness is true.
2. To neglect known duty. Excuses are not arguments. "That servant which knew his Lord's will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes," etc. From which it is evident that every one's duty is according to the knowledge which he has, might, and ought to have.
3. To prefer pleasure to business. In this generation there is neither honour nor hope for the idler. And why should not this principle hold as to heavenly things?
4. To find fault with any one unless it be needful, and then face to face. "I withstood him to the face," says Paul about Peter, "because he was to be blamed." If mankind would but obey this rule, the happiness of the world would be doubled at once. The apostle is very severe against "whisperers, backbiters and inventors of evil things."
5. To live only for the passing day. Brutes live for the present, men for the future. Forethought and prudence distinguish our nature from theirs. The wise man sent men to school to "the ant": and that provident little creature is a very good tutor even for Christians.
II. THINGS WHICH ARE MANLY. There are strange ideas abroad upon this subject, some concluding that scepticism, self-will, and swearing itself is manly. Some think that the more heartless, the more daring, the more manly. I give every one of sound mind at least the credit of knowing better. I am persuaded that there is truth in the saying, "I dare do all things that become a man; and he who dares do more is none." It is manly —
1. To find out and hold fast the truth. All truth is precious, and "the truth" is of all things most precious. "Little children, I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth." Surely in knowledge and discernment these little children were men.
2. To be serious about serious things. Men were made to laugh as well as to weep; but there is also abundant reason in the charge, "Be sober." Some affect to smile at those who are religious for looking grave and speaking solemnly; but life and death, sin and holiness, are matters for deep thought; and the gospel which delivers from sin and death, and entitles to life through righteousness, is in its very nature matter to make men serious.
3. To be kindly to all, and most to the weakest. The manliness of Christ consisted largely in His gentleness.
4. To fear God more than any man or all men. "Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear."
5. To overcome the devil himself by God's help.Conclusion:
1. You need not despair of doing this very thing.
2. By doing this you will recommend Christianity.
(J. De Kewer Williams.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.