“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
The four admonitions in our title above might be something a general would require of his soldiers going out to battle. A soldier needs to watch and be alert to the constant danger war brings. He must stand fast in his duty to defend his position. Soldiers are constantly referred to as brave; as they must face the uncertainty and the danger of war. They also must be strong mentally and physically to endure the trials and horrors of war.
Our Christian walk is similar in many ways to that of a soldier going off to battle. We must be constantly aware that we are in enemy territory. Our enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Regarding our enemy, the devil, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us of this danger, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about, seeking whom he may devour.” In other words, be aware and watch out for this enemy. We are to be vigilant at all times.
We are to “stand fast in the faith”, but what does that actually mean? Second Corinthians 11:14 tells, “… For Satan, himself is transformed into an angel of light.” We are to stay in the Word and know what it says. Satan will come to us with false doctrine through his emissaries to lead us astray if we do not know the Bible.
We are to be brave, for Ephesians 6:12 tells us that: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in places.” It exhorts us to put on “the whole armor of God”.
We are to be strong! We are in a battle to the death with the world and its ways, the flesh (our inner battle against sin ), and the devil. We are to be “strong in Lord and power of His might. ” But how are we to do that? We are up against strong enemies! Just how do we access, and stay in “the power of His might”.
A soldier must trust and have confidence in his commanding general. The soldier’s life depends on it. He must believe the general will bring him through the battle with victory being the end result. Jesus is our general and we must place our faith in Him, believing that He will bring us through to victory. Victory over the schemes of the devil, a world opposed to the Lord and the Gospel message, and our inner battle over the sin in our lives.
The answer for victory in every area of our lives is found at the cross. Jesus paid the price at Calvary. We are saved by placing our faith in His great work at the cross, and we are kept “by the power of His might” in the same manner. In our own strength, we are no match for our enemies. The following verse shows us the way to victory in our daily lives:
“For the Law (a Law of God) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit – the way He works) of life (newness of life) in Christ Jesus (what He did at the cross) has made me free (given me total victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (a powerful law we cannot overcome in our own strength).” (Romans 8:2)
Again, we cannot live a victorious life in our own strength and by our own means. We must place our total faith in Jesus, our general, and His victory at the cross. The Holy Spirit works exclusively in our lives through the finished work of Christ. Placing our faith in our great savior will ensure the victory we seek over the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are saved by faith in Christ crucified and we live a victorious life in the same manner. Jesus told us as much when he said the following:
“If any man will come after me (what it takes to be a disciple), let him deny himself (our own ability, strength, willpower) and take up his cross (what Christ accomplished there which will meet our every need) daily (renew our faith in what Jesus has done for us each day), and follow Me (can only be done by constant faith in Christ and him crucified).” (Luke 9:23)
So our victory comes by faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. We fight the good fight of (the) faith by keeping our faith in His great work. This gives us the victory we seek over the world the flesh and the devil. As Romans 8:2 explains: our faith in the cross allows the Holy Spirit to come and work mightily in our lives. What a savior. As Jesus exclaimed on the cross before dying; “It is finished”. Peter speaks of the benefits Christ provided us at the cross:
“According to His divine power has given us all things pertaining unto life and godliness (everything we need) through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to glory and virtue (the divine nature in us due to what Christ did at the cross is the source of our new life and victory).” (2 Peter 1:3)
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