1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.…
I. IN BODY. Purity and (where God gives health) strength of body seemed ever to St. Paul one ingredient in his estimate of true manliness. What is brutal and sensual in your bodies Christianity tells you to conquer, so that that body and its merely animal propensities shall not become your master. All that is innocent and pure in the manly exercise of it, all that is fearless in the brave uses of it, you should cultivate, ennoble, strengthen. If you have to fight for country, truth, or right, then be utterly indifferent to danger or to death.
II. IN SOUL, i.e., in intelleet. "Be not children in understanding, but be ye men." The empty boast that there must be a divorce between intellect and religion is false. True "unsanctified intellect" has become too common a phrase; but there is such a thing too as "unsanctified stupidity"' and perhaps the Church has suffered just as much from one as from the other. There is a poor weak thing that calls itself "advanced thought" — in which the thought is imaginary, and the advancement retrogressive — and which is, after all, merely the ghosts of old heresies, coming forth from their graves to frighten the nervous and unthinking. But real science, real philosophy, may ever win the homage of the holiest and most reverent souls. The truth they discover can never contradict the eternal truth of God. Antagonism between intellect and religion! Why the ablest thinkers have been Christians. The noblest high priests of science have also been the devoutest ministers at the altar of God.
III. IN SPIRIT. The influence of the spirit of man, acted on and illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, will raise him to the true dignity of manhood in all his nature. There is nothing "manly" in being irreligious or indifferent. Would you consider him a man who was guilty of the basest ingratitude? And shall we consider the ingratitude less base — shall the unmanliness be diminished, because towards Him who "emptied Himself" of the splendour of the Godhead and died for us!
(T. T. Shore, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.