Qualifications for Leadership

When the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1519 he was intent on conquest. To assure the devotion of his men, Cortez set fire to his fleet of eleven ships! With no means of retreat Cortez’s army had only one direction to move, into the Mexican interi … More

Commitment

Paul begins a series of closing remarks, exhortations, challenges, and greetings. Faith, conviction, courage, and love are essential ingredients for success and victory. As the Corinthians wait for Paul’s next visit, he exhorts them to a fivefold commitment:

  1. Watch ye“ - (Be alert!  Be on your guard!) - (v. 13).
  2. Stand fast in the faith“ - (Have mature stability) - (v. 13).
  3. Quit you like men“ - (Act like men, not children) - (v. 13).
  4. Be strong“ - (not physically, but spiritually) - (v. 13).
  5. Let all things be done with charity“ - (love) - (v. 14).
As Paul comes to the close of his letter, he talks about some of his friends who have helped him in the ministry. Stephanas and his family were the first people to be won to Christ in Achaia (v. 15). Achaia was the Roman province extending over central and southern Greece, of which Corinth was the capital. They became important leaders in the church, for they committed themselves to the service of Christ. It seems that whenever they saw a need, they went to work to meet it without having to be asked. They were Paul’s helpers and labored with him faithfully in the church. Paul recognized them as ordained by God and he encouraged the others to submit to their leadership (v. 16). He also recognized Fontunatus and Achaicus as those who refreshed his spirit and brought him a blessing (vv. 17-18). All of these were part of a committee sent from Corinth to Ephesus to confer with Paul about church problems. It is so easy for us to share only problems and burdens with our spiritual leaders and rarely share the blessings. One primary qualification for leadership in the church is a willingness to serve. Many people want to be served rather than being a servant.

Application

As a Christian, I need to remember that true manliness does not do away with tenderness and love for the Lord and other people.

I Corinthians 16:13-18 (English Standard Version)


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