Stand Firm, Love Well Series
Rev. Nate Grace – April 22, 2020
Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. NIV
Exegeting the Scripture: The process of careful, analytical study of biblical text in order to produce useful interpretations of the text.
The apostle Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth and at the end of his letter, he provides concluding exhortations.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. NIV
The two english words, “stand firm” are transliterated from the one Greek word stēkō, pronounced “stā’-kō”
The meaning of stēkō is to stand firm, to persevere, to keep one’s standing
1 Corinthians 16:14– Do everything in love.
The English word love from this verse is transliterated from the one Greek word agapē
Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love
The concept of standing firm is also exemplified by many God-fearing men and women in the Old Testament.
One such example is found in the book of Daniel.
Standing Firm In A Bow Down World
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Standing firm takes COURAGE.
(Daniel 3:16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.”
– They crave acceptance from PEOPLE rather than from God.
– They do just enough in church to alleviate their GUILT.
– They gauge their spirituality by COMPARING themselves to others.
– They rarely WITNESS about the Lord to others.
– They only GIVE when it doesn’t hurt their standard of living.
– They want the BENEFITS of serving God but no responsibilities.
– They think more about life on earth than about ETERNITY.
– They only turn to God when they are in TROUBLE.
– They ignore any Scriptures that affect their personal LIFESTYLE.
– They are not very much different than the rest of the WORLD.
Standing firm takes faith
(Daniel 3:17-18 TLB) “If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected.”
Standing firm inspires others
(Daniel 3:28-30) Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Living a Stand-up Life in a Bow-down World
1.Stand in prayer.
(Ephesians 6:11) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:13-14) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…
2. Stand for my purpose.
(1 Corinthians 15:58) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
3. Stand for GOD.
When I Stand Firm, Jesus Stands With Me
(Matthew 10:32 Message) “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.”
(Colossians 3:1) …where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
(Acts 7:55-56) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”