Ilagan Baptist Church       

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strength-giving Virtues    

Text: I Corinthians 16:13    Community Baptist Bible Church 13th Anniversary   April 5, 2009

By Pastor Jose B. Cabajar

      

       Everyone desires to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually strong for many varied reasons. Nobody wants to become weak because weakness exposes a person to degradation, danger and humiliating failure. For such simple truth, it is then our responsibility to guard our whole existence from any harmful elements. Strength is a must-have for a man living in this troubled world fighting for survival. And it is evident that stronger people have the capability to become superior over their weaker opponents in various arenas of human life.

 

       In spiritual realm, a spiritually weak person is an easy prey of the devil, but a strong believer who puts his trust in the Lord will truly experience good success for the glory of God. The Lord wants us to be strong and He uses the Bible in encouraging us to be firm in Him. In Ephesians 6:10, Paul said, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (KJV) The source of our strength is the Lord, and through His power, we could overcome our adversary and achieve significant victories.

 

       During the time of Joshua, the LORD encouraged the Israelites to be strong and of a good courage. In Joshua 1:9, it is written, Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (KJV) The expression "Be strong" is not only a great encouragement from the LORD but also an inspiring command to be obeyed by His people. We may be dismayed when our expectations fail, and we may feel intimidated and afraid when we see our enemies surround us, but one thing we should not forget is God's protective hand upon His people. Following His instruction always assures us of His protection and the wonderful blessings He prepared for us.

           

        In I Corinthians 16:13, it is written, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (KJV) This passage shows us a progressive flow of qualities necessary for a believer to successfully achieve an unquestionable and victory-producing strength. Having such spiritual strength could set us off to fight a good fight against the devil and his followers.

 

       As we study the Word of God, the Lord will give us a wider understanding concerning the expression; "Be strong". We really need to encourage other believers to be strong in the Lord and to stir up one another to desire to have those strength-giving virtues so we may contribute influence that could build up the force we need in our spiritual battle.                  

 

(I)              Watchfulness

I Corinthians 16:13   

"Watch ye"

-Wakefulness against spiritual slumber and blunder

  I Corinthians 15:34  

 

       Watchfulness is a must-have in the life of a Christian. A strong man who is not watchful will surely fall. Strength without watchfulness is feebleness. In I Peter 5:8, it says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (KJV) We should not underestimate our adversary, but keep an eye on him because he is more devious than we could imagine.

 

       Many lives, families, Local Churches and Christian Ministries are being destroyed by the devil because of believers' spiritual slumber and blunder. Christians must be serious in their spiritual life and be aware of the advantage of being watchful and prayerful. Be watchful of your thought life, heart's desire, words, activities and investment. Be reminded also to guard your sound doctrine, holy walk with the Lord, Biblical conviction, godly goals in life and the spiritual heritage we received from our forefathers of faith.

 

       In II Timothy 4:1-5, Paul said to Timothy, 1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (KJV) What a relevant reminder for us to take heed. We must keep on encouraging others to be watchful and prayerful as we live in this sin-darkened world.    

 

       Be watchful and contribute strength to the Church.        

    

(II)                Firmness In The Faith

I Corinthians 16:13  

"Stand fast in the faith"

 

-Don't be a "tossed to and fro" person

 

       Firmness in the faith is what every Christian needs today. A firm believer contributes strength to the image of true Christianity, but a shaky believer blurs and deforms the good image of Biblical Christianity.

 

       In Ephesians 4:14, it is written, That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (KJV) Pondering this verse from the Bible will make us realize the importance and blessing of having Biblical pastors, preachers and teachers in our Local Churches today. Without them, who will guide us in the way of truth?

 

       Sad to say, but "tossed to and fro" people are heartbreaking results of indifferent attitude toward God-appointed preachers of the Word, lack of interest in Biblical Truth, and obviously, lack of love for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible warns us about such kind of attitude. In I Corinthians 16:22, it is written, If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV)  

 

       It is true that the more a believer loves God, the more he will desire to know Him, and the more he will respect His Word. As a direct result, the more he will become stronger even in the end times. In Daniel 11:32, it is written, And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (KJV)   

 

       True Christians must love the Bible, stand firm for the Truth and live unquestionably by its principles. Contending earnestly for our precious faith will create more influence on the lives of others if our Biblical beliefs are being confirmed through our practices in a consistent manner. We strongly believe that strict adherence to the Bible teachings will pave our way to Christ-likeness and victory-giving strength. Live by faith and gain more milestones of success.

 

       Stand fast in the faith and contribute strength to the Church.

 

(III)               Courageousness

I Corinthians 16:13

"Quit ye like men"

-Be valiant in the spiritual battleground 

 

        We cannot imagine how shameful a man would be if he looks so strong, yet so afraid to face his opponent. A strong man who lacks inner strength will never win a battle. In I Kings 2:2, David said to Solomon, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; (KJV) David knew the value of courage and so he encouraged his son to take courage and face the challenges of life.

 

       Great opportunities come and go; time after time challenges of life stand before us; great rewards are waiting for us; but without watchfulness, firmness in the faith and courage, great success will never be achieved. Quitter has no place in any awarding ceremony. Quitters' names are never written in the "hall of fame" but in the "hall of shame".

 

       Be courageous and contribute strength to the Church. Don't give the devil an opportunity to weaken your spiritual life. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Remember that the battle is the Lord's and what He requires of us is just to be watchful, to stand fast in the faith, to take courage, to be strong and to do things in charity for the glory of God.

 

       Be strong and keep on shining for the Lord Jesus Christ till He comes.

 

 

   

   

                  

 

 

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