Summary: The message Paul gave to the Church in Corinthia is the same message he would give to the modern day Church, to the men of the Church- be watchful of demonic attacks, stand fast like Christians in a fallen world, behave like men at all times and be strong always.
1Co 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
The message Paul gave to the Church in Corinthia is the same message he would give to the modern day Church, to the men of the Church- be watchful of demonic attacks, stand fast like Christians in a fallen world, behave like men at all times and be strong always.
Paul was the only Apostle to tell us to follow him, or to take his life as an example:
1Co 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1Co 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
So all my Christian life I have taken this command as a straight edge. We don’t listen to the ten thousand instructors who contradict Pauls teachings we follow his example. So what example did he give us as men?
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
2Co 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
He also said:
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
So Paul paints a picture of behaving like men, how are we to conduct ourselves?
Nicholas Ridley was born in 1500 in the extreme north of England, very near the Scottish border. The Ridleys were an ancient house of knights whose bravery was known and admired throughout the border country. They could meet an enemy with calm courage, keep their heads in the heat of battle, and endure pain without flinching. These qualities would be seen in Nicholas Ridley, but he was a knight of a different kind, a knight who wielded the Sword of Truth with unflinching courage. He was resolved to win the victory, though he must die an agonizing death. The steps of Ridley’s conversion are not known. He was not converted in a moment, like Hugh Latimer or Saul of Tarsus. His conversion was slow, gradual, but just as sure. We know from his writings that he began, in the halls and gardens of Cambridge, to commit large sections of Scripture to memory. What the sword was to the ancient house of Ridley, the Bible was to be to Nicholas. He was arrested by Bloody Mary Catholic Queen of the Scots and on their way to be burned at the stake Latimer his fellow condemned said: “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.”
The candle that was lit by Latimer and Ridley that day, is still burning brightly. If you hold an English Bible in your hands, if you sing hymns from an English hymnal, if you worship God in Spirit and Truth, then you owe these men a debt of gratitude. Truly, they did light a candle that has never gone out. That shining candle is now entrusted to us. Don’t let it be extinguished. Don’t compromise the Word of God. Don’t give up the truth for which these men died. Even if you too must burn for it, remember Master Ridley and “play the man.