13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
The Christian life is not passive. There are imperatives (commands) given to us that speak to how we are to conduct ourselves in this life as ones who have put faith and trust in the one who has saved us from our sin. So Paul here give the Corinthian church and us five words of command as he wraps up his letter to this church. Be watchful – be on your guard. There are dangers in this world which deceive and distract us from Christ. We also have an enemy who is out to destroy us. Be watchful of these things as one who stands guard always scanning the horizon looking for the enemy. Stand firm – trials will come that can have the effect of shaking our faith, but we must stand firm in the faith given to us, but more importantly in the one who gave us that faith. He has promised to never leave or forsake us so when the storms of life come stand firm in the assurance that he is there. Act like men – have courage, don’t faint in the sight of trouble, be faithful, have the boldness of a lion (Prov. 28:1). Be strong – not in our own strength, but knowing that the strength of the Lord is with us. Our flesh is weak, but in the Lord we can have strength to look to him, to not give up, to not falter or fail, but if we do we also have the strength to turn to him for help in our time of need. Do it in love – we have one motive in this life as Christians, the motive of God’s love. We love him (and our neighbors) because he first loved us. This does not mean that we cannot be firm in our convictions and speak words of rebuke, but it does mean that we need to express those things in a spirt of love. Love must be at the heart of all we do, but we can only have that kind of love when we look to the one who has loved us with such great love by dying in our place that we might have life. Don’t be passive, be a Christian.