1 Corinthians 16: Truth and Love
As Paul closes his first letter to the Corinthians, Interpol style, he greets many people as he usually does, and he left them with a few very short pieces of advice.
1Co 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
1Co 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.
Since this was Paul’s last advice in this particular letter, it is probably rather important. After all, he would have wanted this message to remain in their minds now that they had finished the entire letter.
There are two important things. We need to remain strong and faithful to what we have been taught. We need to do everything with love. That really sums up the Christian life in my opinion.
We have beliefs that we have been taught, and it would be ridiculous to not see the importance of those beliefs. I understand that Christians have differences of opinion on certain issues, but think about something like the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you are not a Christian. We need to remain faithful to the core beliefs of Christianity. Part of me thinks that today many people want to keep parts of Christianity, but they want to discard the parts they don’t like. You simply can’t do that. If you’re going to call yourself a Christian, you need to follow the teaching laid out by the Bible.
At the same time, Paul also made sure that the people understood that love needed to characterize all of their interactions. We might have all the right doctrine and the right answers. However, if we turn everybody away because we are the most unpleasant people on earth, how is that helpful whatsoever? The truth is still serious, but nobody will want to hear it if we don’t explain that we care. Why do we share the gospel? Because we love people.
Paul knew this stuff was important, so even though these ideas had been interwoven throughout his entire letter, he thought it was wise to mention them one more time. Hold to the truth, and love other people.