walk in the word
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love
(1 Corinthians 16:13–14, esv).
Paul’s words above are directed toward all believers to reflect the strengths that are relative to masculinity. While these characteristics are also to be seen in each of us, they should come most naturally and are needed most urgently in men.
“What a man believes about God is the most important thing about him.”
Just as a lineman in football will dig his cleated toe into the turf to leverage his forward momentum once the ball is snapped, so the phrase “stand firm in the faith” leverages a man’s watchful urgency over those he loves. This directive is to focus the urgency God has given to men. We’re to aim it at things that matter, and in a way that partners with what God is accomplishing.
Note the location for standing firm—it’s in the faith. Paul doesn’t just mean your personal trust in God; he means “faith” as the body of truth entrusted to us in the Word of God. Paul understood that alongside the Old Testament Scriptures, God’s Spirit had inspired revelation for the church going forward. He urged Timothy, “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:14).
Likewise, when Jude said, “I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude v.3), he was calling men to fight for what is true and stand for what has been revealed in the Bible.
What a man believes about God is the most important thing about him. You can’t just make it up. If you are struggling to believe, struggling to persevere, struggling to carry the heavy weight God puts on many men’s shoulders, you need strong biblical theology. Someone has said, “We pray for easier paths when we ought to pray for stronger shoes,” and the stronger shoes of the Christian life are robust, biblical theology. Your ability to act like a man will be a product of how well you really know God’s Word.
Standing firm, when it comes to the faith, means holding the biblical ground without compromise. It is active, not passive—not leaning or sitting or retreating, but standing. This is military language that calls to mind events like the Alamo or Thermopylae, and it’s about having a band of brothers who will stand with you.
As men who follow Jesus Christ, we are called to protect the faith, no matter how daunting the opposition. Stand for the truth of God’s Word, whatever it takes, and don’t try to do it alone.
We need to be men who will stand together for the faith as it has been entrusted to us. And we need to be men who understand that if we fail, we are doing grave damage to the next generation.
Father, I admit I am sometimes intimidated by Your Word. But I want to be among those who stand for it and base their lives on it. Help me not to use my lack of knowledge as an excuse for failing to pursue more. Keep me from confidence in what I know while increasing my confidence in what You have said in Scripture. Remind me that the Bible remains true even when I don’t yet understand it. Draw me by Your Spirit into continued faithful study of Your Word, that I may be able to not only stand firm but also share with my family how it is making a difference in my life. Guide me into the truth. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
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