CLXXIII. Christian Strength.

1 COR. xvi. 13. “Be strong.”

THIS whole verse has in it the ring of the battle-field.
These words of Paul are in themselves “half-battles,” and
send the Christian soldier forward with new eagerness
into the thickest of the fight. This command presupposes
life. There is no might in the dead. The new birth lies
at the foundation of all true strength of moral character.
These words also presuppose that spiritual strength is
in a very important sense under our own control. The
Divine strength comes in connection with the use of means
by ourselves.
I. To fulfil this injunction there must be an unwavering
conviction of the truth of Bible doctrines. Faith is at the
root of all earnestness or strength of character. If a man
believes anything thoroughly, whether it be truth or error,
he will become active and earnest. For the purpose
cultivate familiarity with the whole Scriptures. A merely
emotional piety may do well enough to beguile a leisure
hour, but if you want to build up a spiritual manhood, you
need principles, doctrines, and without the diligent study
of the word of God you cannot get these.
II. We must have a devotional spirit.
The intellect must not be stimulated to the neglect of
the heart. Amid the multifarious things which press them-
selves upon our attention, we are apt to neglect those habits
of devotional retirement so important to the growth of
piety.
III. We must regularly use the strength we have.
There can be no vigour of soul without faith and prayer,
but that vigour will have no growth if we do not constantly
exert it in the life-battle with sin in us and around us.
Exercise is essential to health. They become the strongest
who, in contending with the evil that is opposed to them
in the world, put forth all their strength.
W. M. Taylor, D.D.

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