1Co 16:12-14 “As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”
It seems apparent by the division that Paul had named among the brethren at Corinth that Apollos had been with them. Not only had he been with them, but he was very well thought of by some. This was clearly seen when Paul rebuked them because some said they were of Paul, others of Apollos, still others of Peter, and finally some of Christ (1Co 1:12).
Knowing that Apollos was well respected among them, Paul had entreated him to go and visit the church at Corinth. It was not Apollos’ mind to go to them at the time of Paul’s choosing, which may be part of the reason why Paul spoke to them about receiving Timothy if he came. It would appear that Apollos was not against visiting the church at Corinth again, but just not at that time.
There is an important lesson for us all to learn in this. We must all go according to the leadership of the Spirit. While it was Paul’s desire for Apollos to go straightway to Corinth, Apollos obviously felt the Spirit was bidding him to do something else at that time. It is not for any of us to attempt to send one of God’s servants to any congregation of people, no matter how well-intentioned we might be.
After all the things that Paul has admonished them in and rebuked them concerning, he tells them to watch. He did not mean by this that they should merely be looking for something. They were being admonished to stay alert and be on their guard to keep those things which he had committed to them through the gospel of Christ. By being alert, they would be able to stand fast (be steadfast) in the faith.
Paul’s comment that they should “quit you like men” would be labeled as sexist in today’s atmosphere of political correctness. Paul is telling them us to be of good courage, to be valiant, to not be overrun by our carnal nature. We need to look to God, who is the source of our strength. However, there is a particular way in which we are to demonstrate our strength and steadfastness in the Lord.
We need to take to heart Paul’s instruction to do all our things with charity. We can be strong without being overbearing. We can be steadfast without being offensive. We can be valiant and brave without being mean-spirited. The wonderful truth of Jesus Christ and all that it entails should be presented with the same love that He displayed while He lived here in a body of flesh.
May it please God to lead us by His Holy Spirit that we prove our love for Him by showing our love for one another, even as Paul showed his love for the saints at Corinth!