Monday, March 19, 2018

Stand Fast and Hold Fast

The apostle Paul exhorted believers to "stand fast" six times in his epistles. In each case he was exhorting a church to stand fast in an area in which they were having problems. To "stand fast" is to take a firm, fixed, and settled position on a matter. It is to be "stedfast and unmoveable" (1 Cor. 15:58). This is a much needed exhortation in these last days of compromise and apostasy. While many are being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14), may God help us to stand fast! 

Stand Fast: 

1. In the faith (1 Cor. 16:13) - The Corinthians were listening to false teachers who denied the doctrine of bodily resurrection. Paul often referred to "the faith" which is the body of doctrine Christ revealed through him for this present age. We must stand fast in sound doctrine!

2. In the liberty (Gal. 5:1) - The Galatians were being moved away from the gospel of the grace of God and liberty in Christ back to the bondage of legalism.

3. In one spirit (Phil. 1:27) - The Philippians were dealing with strife as a result of not thinking with the mind of Christ (2:1-5). 

4. In the traditions (2 Thess. 2:15) - The Thessalonians were being moved away from the blessed hope of the pre-tribulation rapture that Paul delivered to them. The only traditions (that which has been delivered) were are to keep today are those given by inspiration of God in Paul's epistles.

5. In the Lord (Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 3:8) - The only way we can stand fast in the truth is to stand fast in the Lord. In other words, we must depend on His strength and not our own. All believers are in the Lord (position), but not all stand fast in Him (practice). We can stand fast in the evil day if we put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20). 

Paul also exhorted believers to "hold fast," which is similar to standing fast. 

Hold fast:

6. That which is good (1 Thess. 5:21) - Prove everything you hear with the word of God (Acts 17:11). Reject the traditions of men and hold fast to the truth of God. 

7. The form of sound words (2 Tim. 1:13) - The form of sound words (pure and wholesome) are found in Romans through Philemon ("heard of me"). Paul's epistles are "wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim. 6:3). It is apostasy in this age to deny the distinctive message and ministry that Christ gave the apostle Paul (2 Tim. 1:15). 

8. The faithful word (Titus 1:9) - The word of God is faithful, but it has many gainsayers (those who oppose and speak against it). As the gainsayers attack our doctrine, we just need to keep holding fast to it. By the sound doctrine of the faithful word we exhort the believers and convince the gainsayers. What are we to do when people will not endure sound doctrine? Keep preaching the word (2 Tim. 4:1-5)! 

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