The final portion of Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth includes a lot of personal instructions and greetings, and a discussion of travel plans– his own, Timothy’s, and Apollos’.
Right in the middle of these personal notes, we find his parting instructions to the believers; “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 13,14 NLT
As in the days of the early church, so today the true Gospel is under attack. The Enemy uses persecution, ridicule, and false doctrine incessantly in his attempts to keep us from continued faith in Jesus Christ. Paul urges us to remain on guard, to keep the faith.
Having just written at length about the Resurrection, the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death which He shares with the believer, Paul has given the church a robust foundation for his next instructions; “Be strong. Be courageous.” For without the fear of death and the rule of sin in our lives, we can boldly serve Jesus in whatever He puts before us.
But overarching all the vigilance, the guarding of the faith, the courageous fighting in the army of Jesus Christ, comes this instruction: “Do everything with Love.”
“God is Love,” John tells us, “God so loved.” And again, ” We love, because He first loved us.” The truth and steadfastness, the courage and strength of Jesus Christ were put on display for men when He walked this earth two thousand years ago; and all of that was done because He loved. In Paul’s final instructions to the church at Corinth, we see the true goal of the saint– to become more and more like Jesus.