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Standing Fast

Standing Fast

      We are hearing words of encouragement from many celebrities during this Coronavirus pandemic.  This is because they are also secluded in their homes and are not participating in some areas of life so common just a few months ago.    This lack of activity is necessary as we all do our part in combating this evil that has affected so many within our country as well as all over the world. 

    Often, these celebrities, sports stars, and others, who offer these reassuring words, do so that we might see that they too, are affected by this.   There is no doubt that this deadly situation will have far reaching ramifications.  There will be many other difficulties that will need to be faced and overcome as we as a people, continue to address this situation.   

      These urgings to unite people in times of difficulty and struggle are not new.    Down through the years there have been many situations in which people all over our great nation and the world needed comfort and hope during trying times.  There is no doubt in my mind, that if time is allowed to continue, this will not be the last difficult period in the existence of mankind. 

     Equally important is the need to be strong as Christians while continuing to serve God and do His Will.  There are five occurrences of the words “stand fast” in the New Testament.   Each of these are written to a congregation of the Lord’s church.   This shows that not only the individual, but also all those who make up the congregation in a specific locale, need to be strong, or “stand fast”.  

     I find it most interesting that the first time we read “stand fast” in the N.T. as written to a congregation, was to the church at Corinth.    We all know that this congregation had more than its share of difficulties.   In 1Corinthians 16:13, as we near the end of the epistle, the Spirit had Paul tell them as a body of believers, in what they were to stand fast in order to overcome their problems. 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.   They were to “stand fast in the faith”.   This means to stand strong in God’s Word. 

       As we read Jude vs 3 we can surely see that God’s N.T. message to man was that which was called “the faith”.    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.   It was also the meaning of the Words of Jesus as He spoke in John 8:32, to those that believed on Him as the Son of God.  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.   And, this is the same meaning of the Words of Jesus prayer in John 17:17.   Those who live by the Word of God are “set apart” from the world and strengthened by that Holy Word.   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

       In the Philippians letter we are told that their manner of life was to be one of “standing fast”.   Notice in Philippians 1:27 by what means the Spirit had Paul tell them they were to stand.   Only let your conversation (manner of life) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;   They were to be staying strong by standing fast in one spirit – one mindset – all based on, and supported by the Word of God.  If all follow the gospel of Christ, and are of the same mind, the decision to “stand fast” is an easy one to make.   In fact, all who have made the commitment to obey the gospel, have actually made a commitment to stand fast in God’s Word.    If we fail to “stand fast” in His Word, we have failed to live up to the commitment we made to God.   

     Is it not apparent from 1Thessalonians 3:7-8 that while we not only are to find comfort in affliction and distress by our faith, but also we live by standing fast in the faith?   Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faithFor now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.    Need we be reminded that the opposite of living is death?   Therefore, if we fail to “stand fast” in the Lord – We die!   Perhaps this is why the brethren in Thessalonica were admonished in the first letter written to them to avoid even the impression of evil.   In 1Thessalonians 5:21-22 we see these things.   Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.  

       This is the same concept passed on to Timothy by inspiration as Paul was directed by the Spirit to write in 2Timothy 1:13.   Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  It is impossible for one to “stand fast” until and unless they are standing on and following the Word of God.   

       As we seek to “stand fast” during the present situation, let us remember the words the Spirit as given to Paul in to those brethren in Philippians 4:8-9.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these thingsThose things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.    If we will do these things, we can still have peace in our lives, even during the tough times.

     Our prayer is that all Christians the world over remain faithful, stand strong, and continually focus on, and follow God’s Word.  

                                               Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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