WHAT DOES, “QUIT YOU LIKE MEN,” MEAN?
by Shawn Brasseaux
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). What does our King James Bible mean when it admonishes, “Quit you like men?”
“Quit you like men” appears twice in our King James Bible—1 Samuel 4:9 and 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. We need not complain of “old-fashioned” verbiage; we need not run to lexicons or modern versions for clarification. What we need to do is let God’s Word define its vocabulary for us. When exhorting “quit you like men,” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 simultaneously defines the term for us. “Stand fast,” “men,” and “strong” convey the idea of maturity: only mature people stand fast, men are adults, only mature people (adults) are strong. The larger context of 1 Corinthians 16:13-14—the epistle of 1 Corinthians—explains why the Apostle Paul concluded that book with such an exhortation.
Corinth, a seaport near Athens, Greece, had a grace Christian church Paul personally founded in Acts chapter 18. Unfortunately, these believers ignored most of the doctrine Paul delivered them. Their spiritually immaturity was so severe that they could not resolve simple conflicts amongst themselves, they ignored God’s Word to them and embraced pagan philosophy instead, they fell into devil worship, they abandoned the doctrine of bodily resurrection that Paul had personally taught them, and they abused spiritual gifts—among many other errors that still plague Christendom today!
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). Paul wrote these Christians a lengthy doctrinal letter, 1 Corinthians, encouraging them to grow up! He concluded by telling them that they needed to act like spiritual adults (1 Corinthians 16:13-14); they needed to place their faith in that epistle, and stand fast in that doctrine, to gain the charity (love in action) they lacked (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). They were to “fight the good fight of faith” as mature soldiers of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:12; cf. 1 Samuel 4:9).
Saints, may we by faith obey 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 delivered us.