Stand Fast

1Thessalonians 3:6-10 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that you have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 

‘Good tidings of your faith and charity, and that you have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us.’ The only place (except Luke 1:19) where euangelizo does not refer to the gospel. The good news Timothy brought back to Paul was: their faith, their love, and their affection for Paul.

‘If you stand fast in the Lord.’ We live only if we stand fast in Christ (Heb. 3:6, 12-14). We must at all times be aware that we can backslide and that no amount of preaching “once-save-always-saved” can cancel what the Word of God clearly states. There are seven stages of apostasy: Refusal to hear God (Heb. 3:7). Hardness of heart through refusal to hear and obey God (Heb. 3:8, 13, 15). Unbelief is a consequence of hardening the heart against God (Heb. 3:12). Departure from the living God. Open rebellion against God to provoke and tempt Him (Heb. 3:8-9, 16). Habitual sinning, careless living, and flagrant violation of God’s laws (Heb. 3:10, 17). Apostasy – all faith in God and His redemptive work thrown overboard – beyond all hope of repentance because of no more faith (Heb. 3:11, 18-19).

‘Perfect’ [Greek: katartizo] arrange; adjust, to adjust; put in order again; restore; repair; settle by mediation. Translated “mend” (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19); “restore” (Gal. 6:1); fit (Rom. 9:22); “prepare” (Heb. 10:1-39); “frame” (Heb. 9:3); “perfectly joined together” (1Cor. 1:10); “be and make perfect” (Matt. 21:16; Luke 6:40; 1Thess. 3:10; 2Cor. 13:11; Heb. 13:21; 1Pet. 5:10).

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