"So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter." 2 Thessalonians 2:15
At times of uncertainty and change, the Apostle Paul’s words to the Church in Thessalonica in Northern Greece are very helpful. They come in a letter that points forward to the hope of Christ’s return, whilst encouraging living for Christ here and now.
As a fellowship, we have been blessed and encouraged by the teaching brought by the Holy Spirit to us through Don’s ministry. It has been teaching based on the both the words and letters of the apostles and centred on Jesus.
As we look for God’s leading for both ourselves as a fellowship and for Don and Melody, we would do well to listen to these two commands:
Stand Firm and Hold Fast.
The Church in Thessalonica was facing persecution. Perhaps Paul is using familiar military imagery, similar to Ephesians 6, with a soldier standing with knees bent, feet apart, with his weapon firmly in his grasp, ready to receive the coming attack.
Clearly, we have had the training - now we are to be prepared!
We need to set ourselves on the solid ground of the Biblical teaching, ready to meet what is ahead – which may not be easy.
Then, we are not to let go of what we have been taught.
Within all the clamour of emphasis and advice, we need to grip tightly to what we have been taught:
Every aspect of our human lives has been distorted by the effects of our innate rejection of God as our master, but in his grace, God has selected some of these rebels to become royals. By taking God at his word, with nothing added, and accepting the incredible swap of Jesus’ perfect standard of living for our messed-up way of life, we stand protected by God, secure, not just for now but beyond time!
Without a tight grip on this we will be easily dis-armed and very vulnerable!
So, as a Church and individually, we pray that God would lead us by his Spirit as we Stand Firm and Hold Fast.