Stand Fast In the Faith

1Corinthians 16:12-18 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That you submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helped with us, and laboured. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge you them that are such. 

‘I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren.’ This shows Paul was not jealous of the popularity of Apollos (1Cor. 1:12; 3:5). A shortened name of Apollonius. An eloquent Christian of Alexandria (1:12; 3:4-7; 16:12; Acts 18:24-28; 19:1; Tit. 3:13).

‘Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.’ Six final commands to Christians: [1] Watch – be continually on your guard: For Christ’s coming (Matt. 24:42); that you enter not into temptation (Matt. 26:41); that you may be worthy to escape all these things (tribulations, Luke 21:36); for grievous wolves (Acts 20:29); in prayer (Col. 4:3; 1Pet. 4:7); in soberness (1Thess. 5:6) and in all things (2Tim. 4:5). [2] Stand fast in the faith (Gal. 5:1; Php. 1:27; 4:1; 1Thess. 3:8; 2Thess. 2:15). Keep rank. Do not be disorderly or retreat. Keep unity. Let nothing divide you so that satan can defeat you. [3] Behave like men (1Cor. 14:20; Eph. 4:14). Do not flinch in the fight. Maintain your ground at all costs. Resist, press forward. Strike deadly blows. [4] Be strong (Luke 1:80; 2:40; Eph. 3:16). Keep yourself fit. Learn how to conquer. Die in the contest or win. [5] Do all things in love (1Cor. 13:4). [6] Submit to all true workers (1Cor. 16:15-16).

‘Firstfruits of Achaia’ – First converts in Greece.

‘Addicted’ [Greek: tasso] determined to minister to the saints (Acts 13:48). This is a great ministry in itself, for when one does anything for a saint he does it for Christ (Matt. 25:34-46).

‘I am glad of the coming of Stephanas …’ When anyone can make a true servant of God glad, he is doing good work. ‘Stephanas’ – It was by these that the Corinthians had sent a letter asking Paul the many questions starting from 1Corinthians 7 about: The unmarried (7:1-9); the married and unmarried (7:10-17); circumcision – servitude (7:18-24); virgins (7:25-40); things offered to idols (8:1-13); Paul’s apostleship or ministry (9:1-27); the Mosaic and Christian dispensations (10:1-11:1); customs for women (11:2-16); the Lord’s Supper (11:17-34); spiritual gifts (12:1-14:40); the resurrections (15:1-58); collections for the poor and his coming visit (16:1-9).

‘Lacking’ [Greek: husterema] Elsewhere (Luke 21:4; 2Cor. 8:14; 9:12; 11:9; Php. 2:30; Col. 1:24; 1Thess. 3:10). This either refers to information Paul got from these brethren from Corinth or to material help from the congregation. It could refer to both. Whatever it was it refreshed Paul’s spirit and gave him courage as well as the congregation (1Cor. 16:18).

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