“ Be on guard; stand firm in your faith in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound. Act like mature men and be courageous; be strong “- 1 Corinthians 16: 13.
And then all the apparatus of warfare is put away out of sight, and the Captain’s word of command is softened into the Christian teacher’s exhortation:
“ Let all your deeds be done in charity. For love is better than fighting, and is stronger than swords. “
On Paul’s lips it generally referred to the attitude of expectation of His coming judgment. Paul uses sometimes the figure with the same application, but here, distinctly, it has another. As I said, there is the military idea underlying it.
” What become an army if the soldiers go to sleep?
And what chance will a Christian man have of doing his duty against his enemy, unless he keeps himself awake and keeps himself alert?
Watchfulness in the sense of always having eyes open for the possible rush down upon us of temptation and evil is no small part the discipline and the duty of the Christian life.
Furthermore, how beautiful the apostle here puts the great truth that we are all apt to forget that the strongest type of human character is the gentlest and most loving, and that the mighty may be not the man of intellectual or material force such as the world idolizes but the man who is much because he loves much. If we would come to supreme beauty of Christian Character there must be inseparably manifested in our lives, and lived in our hearts, strength and love might and gentleness.
That is the perfect man, and that was the union which was set before us, in the highest form, in the strong Son of God, immortal love, whom we call our Savior, and whom we are bound to follow.