Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.…
The exhortation, "stand fast," occurs six times; and still more frequently the duty is enjoined in equivalent terms.
1. The duty, therefore, is of primary importance.
2. There are two requisites — a foundation and strength. A man may have his foot upon a rock, yet if he be weak he cannot stand; and no matter how strong he may be, if his feet are on quicksand he cannot stand.
I. THE GROUND TO STAND UPON.
1. The stable foundations are —
(2) Right principles.Truth is permanent, error is changeable, and therefore in every department, unless a man's views are correct, there is no security for his stability. But as our subject is Christian stability, the truth demanded is religious truth, the truth of the Bible.
2. The unstable foundations.
(1) Traditions. Those of the Pharisees have passed away; those of the Church change from age to age.
(2) Speculation results in philosophy, than which nothing is more unstable: e.g., the different schools of Greek philosophy, of the Middle Ages, of our own day, as Rationalism, Pantheism, Materialism, Atheism, and now Pessimism.
(3) Feeling. Many believe in God: they believe in His mercy, but not in His justice, not in salvation by blood, not in depravity, etc.
3. The only stable foundation is the Bible; the firm conviction that it is God's Word and that what it teaches is infallibly true. The only ground of this faith, which is stable, is the witness of the Spirit. True experimental religion is the only security against error, and the only security for stability.
4. Right principles are necessary; not expediency, self-interest, or the interest of parties, but what is right.
II. THE STRENGTH BY WHICH TO STAND. There is much difference naturally among men, but the strength needed is not our own. It is of the Lord. It is His and His gift. If we trust in ourselves we must fall.
(C. Hodge, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.