Four Ways to be a Better Man
1 September 2019 AM – 1 Corinthians 16:13 – Father’s Day – Scott Childs

Introduction: When I was a child, occasionally Dad and Mum left us kids with Mrs Meitz, an elderly neighbour lady, while they went somewhere. Typically, their last words to us were “Now you be good!” That short, compact order was very important for us to obey. How many of you had parents that said that? __

As you may recall, the Corinthian church had many problems. They had divisions within their membership, moral disorders, marriage and divorce misunderstandings, members who were eating meats offered to idols, confusion about the Lord’s Supper, false ideas about the resurrection, and need for teaching about giving. As the Apostle Paul closed this letter of instruction to them, he gave them a short, compact order found in our text, 1 Corinthians 16:13. Though this verse is not exclusively for men, I believe it has a primary application to men.

Transition: In 1 Corinthians 16:13, God lists four ways to be better men that every man here needs to pursue passionately.

1.        Be Watching
a.         What was Paul commanding?
1)         This command literally means to stay awake and to watch.
2)         This is the command received by military guards.
a)         They must be watchful, constantly looking for approaching enemy.
b)         They must be attentive, giving close attention to every movement around them.
c)         They must be vigilant or very observant of any potential danger.
d)         They must be circumspect, heedful of anything suspicious.
3)         For the soldier, this order is a matter of life and death. To fall asleep may endanger many other soldiers. If less than vigilant, a sniper may even take the soldier’s life.
b.         How are we to apply this command?
1)         Men, especially fathers, must constantly be watching. The devil is creeping up to destroy you and your family.
2)         We must stay awake and watch. (1 Thessalonians 5:6) “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” Soberly watch for danger.
3)         We must watch for Satan’s traps. (1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
4)         Guard your heart. (Mark 14:38) “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Think right! View right! Keep pure!
5)         Protect your wife and children. The devil’s snipers are sneaking up on your children through cartoons, demonic video games, the Internet, evolutionary teachings, immodest styles, and lustful temptations. BE WATCHING!
2.        Be Standing
a.         What was Paul commanding?
1)         He is challenging men to stand firm, to be consistent and to persevere. It is a command to be stationary and not to move. Hold the fort! Do not compromise!
2)         This command is the opposite of sitting, reclining, falling or changing.
3)         The specific command is to stand fast in the faith. “The faith” refers to the doctrines of Christianity. These doctrines include:
a)         Doctrines of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
b)         Doctrines of salvation and baptism
c)         Doctrines of the local church
d)         Doctrines of sin and separation
e)         Doctrines of angels and Satan
f)          Doctrines of future events
²  Many areas where cyclones frequently blow with tremendous force, men build houses of reinforced concrete to enable them to stand firm during storms. This is God’s spiritual command for us.

b.         How are we to apply this command?
1)         The winds of life are blowing strong to knock us down and blow us off course. We must stand firm!
2)         Men, we must be prepared to stand firm on the Bible! You cannot stand firm on something you do not know well. (2 Timothy 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Open the Book!
3)         We must develop convictions based on the Bible. Based on Bible principles (not opinions), know where you draw the line with music, modesty, separation, viewing, etc.
4)         Do not be a lazy Christian letting the world dictate your choices. (2 Thessalonians 2:15) “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
5)         When tempted to compromise, STAND FIRM!
3.        Be Leading
a.         What was Paul commanding?
1)         The phrase “quit you like men” literally means be manly, brave, strong, fearless, courageous (opposite weak, tender, delicate).
2)         When facing frightening experiences we are to act like men. We are not to be babies or childish. We must be men. We are not to be soft and effeminate.
3)         Contrary to the thinking of many feminists today, God created men with bodies designed to be stronger than that of women. God gave men a drive to lead bravely and provide for their families. God created women tender, equipped for mothering, and prepared to complete her husband. Satan wants to confuse God’s plan.
4)         Men, if we hear a noise in the house at night, we are not to whisper in our wife’s ear, “Go see what made that noise, I will stay here and pray for you.”
5)         God wants men to be manly, brave, leaders.
6)         Great leaders lead by example. They do not tell other what to do while they sit back and relax.
b.         How are we to apply this command?
1)         We are to be the man of the house. We are to be the brave and spiritual leaders of our homes. Many women complain that their husbands are poor spiritual leaders.
2)         As men, we must teach, guide and direct our children spiritually. Though the wife should help, God places the weight of this on fathers. (Ephesians 6:4) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
3)         As men, we must set a godly example for our wives and children to follow.
4)         As men, we must do everything in our power to provide the needs of our family.
4.        Be Growing
a.         What was Paul commanding?
1)         Be strong. Lit. “Allow yourself to be strengthened”.
2)         Paul is not commanding us to lift weights and become muscular. He is talking about spiritual strength.
3)         God is not commanding YOU to make yourself strong. He is commanding you to allow Him to do the work in your life. God wants you to grow spiritually.
b.         How are we to apply this command?
1)         We must allow God to strengthen us so that we may grow spiritually. God desires to strengthen you spiritually. He has given you the Bible to strengthen you spiritually. If you are a Christian, He has given you the Holy Spirit to aid your spiritual growth. However, you must allow God to strengthen you.
2)         Our part is to study the Word and obey the Lord. As we study and God shows us an area that needs built up, we must yield and obey. We must BE GROWING!
Conclusion: Men and fathers, God has given us four commands to improve our character and usefulness for Him. Be Watching! Be Standing! Be Leading! Be Growing! Now that we know what God said, it is our job to obey. None of us is all that he could be, but as we obey God, each of us can improve.

If you have not yet trusted Christ, that is where you must begin. You will need God’s help to fulfil these commands.

Ladies, many of these commands have applications for you as well. In addition, you can pray for your husbands and dads that they will obey these commands.

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337