“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13
In our Bible study yesterday our pastor spoke of how the institution of marriage is changing. It is not just how society looks at marriage that has changed in recent years but how we view the elderly and the infirm, how we view the sanctity of life, and so on.
How am I to deal with all these worldly changes? God’s Word gives some advice in this Corinthians passage:
Be on your guard – We no longer can assume that our society will look at things in a Christian way. We need to watch out for those who want to twist God’s Word and misuse it. Much is being done in the spirit of “openness” and “tolerance” but while God wants us to be accepting and loving towards others, some behaviours are not healthy for us as Scripture indicates.
Stand firm in the faith – Sometimes, in this day and age, it seems easier to just let things roll on by, saying that they don’t affect us personally. We need to be firmly grounded in the faith, studying God’s Word so we can stand against those that would say it no longer applies to today’s world.
Be men of courage – It is not easy to stand up for our faith. Such courage can only come through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and hearts. The early Christians needed courage to face the many persecutions that came their way. In our society today, we again need such courage to speak out against injustice and ungodly behaviours.
Be strong – We cannot be strong in ourselves, we need God’s help. Our strength is not measured as the world measures, it is God working within us.
Many days I prefer to avoid the world’s problems rather than speak out about them or try to change things. Perhaps it is time for us Christians to be more vocal about matters of faith. We do the most damage when we are silent about things that go against Scripture.
I cannot do any of these things on my own. As it says in Philippians 4, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” I need the nourishment and provision from God my Heavenly Father. I need the saving work of Jesus. I need the Holy Spirit to sustain me and give me the words I need to speak.