(1 Corinthians 16:5-23)
In these last words of the chapter and book of 1 Corinthians 16, what we see for the most part are Pauls final greetings and closing remarks to the church.
However in among those words are a few gems we can take away and use ourselves in our walk with Christ Jesus.
And the ones that stand out most to me are the words of verse 13 where the Corinthian church are instructed to be watchful. We too need to be watchful, both for the same things they needed and for the return of the Lord as we are in the end days.
There are many places in the bible where we are encouraged to be watchful.
We need to watch out for the tricks and traps of the devil. We need to watch out for temptations that would lead us astray. We need to watch out for the dirty tricks of those who oppose the Lord who would try to drag us back into the world. We need to watch out even for our own mind and the passions of our flesh that would drag us down. We need to watch out for the false teachers that will arise in the church who will try to bring us into bondage, separating us from the truth of the gospel, which is freedom.
There are many things that we need to stand against and be watchful over as we walk the walk of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it seems as though everything in the world is out to get us, and in a way that is right.
The truth of it is that when a person comes to Christ, they are stepping away from the world. We are moving out of the kingdoms of this world and into the kingdom of God in and through Jesus Christ.
Many years ago the Christian gospel singer Larry Norman put out a song that described this very well. The song was called “only Visiting this Planet.” And that pretty much describes and sums up the life of the Christian. We are here for a time but at the same time our real life is no longer part of this world. Paul wrote about it this way.
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – (Colossians 3:1-4)
Our lives are no longer about the things of this world but our lives are hidden in the spirit with Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Jesus died and ascended to the Father, and when we are baptised into Jesus Christ, we are baptised into His death, putting on His death as our own and thus dying with Him so that we can be resurrected with Him to a new life. We are born again of the spirit and our lives on this earth no longer matter for our true life is the life in the spirit.
Change Your Life
To that end we need to change our lives being watchful over all that we do. And Paul said it this way in verse 13-14.
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
As we walk we must be watchful and we watch by standing firm in the faith we have in Jesus Christ.
It is by faith that we have been saved and by which we enter into the kingdom of God. Indeed everything that is good and worthwhile in the spiritual realm is built on a foundation of faith.
We must be strong as we watch and hold firm our faith. And above all, whatever we do we must do in love. In the end it is love that will last into eternity because God is love and we are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ in the spirit and Jesus reflects the nature of God.
Love covers all things and encompasses all things, whether of this world or the spiritual realm. The walk we walk in the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring us to perfection in Him. We must be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect if we are to see Him and enter His kingdom. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us: to transform us into the perfection of Jesus Christ and God.
And to do that and allow the spirit to do his work, we must be watchful. We must be always on the lookout for the traps and temptations that would prevent us being perfected in Jesus Christ so that we do not miss out.
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