13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
The next few verses give five final, machine-gun, rapid-fire exhortations – five divine directives. These terse, crisp, clear commands set forth what God expects of the believer operating in the local church.
The first command is to “watch.” The New Testament uses this word 22 times, which translates as awake, be vigilant, watch. Paul warned the Corinthian church about internal problems throughout this epistle. They needed to guard themselves from this. Spiritual stupor is a serious problem. This world is rife with spiritual danger, so be alert. Avail yourself of anything that is necessary to advance and strengthen your Christian life. When the Christian lets his guard down, he puts himself in spiritual jeopardy.
Christians are to stay on guard spiritually.
God’s commands are not good advice. They are not optional. God’s imperatives are not like a cafeteria where we can pick or choose what we want. All five commands are incumbent upon the believer.
It does not take much for a believer to grow cold and eventually develop spiritual rigor mortis. There is little desire to fellowship with God’s people, read the Bible, or present ourselves to God in prayer.
Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Ro 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
1 Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Ep 5:14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
1 Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.