Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.…
is enforced by —
I. THE UNION BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE.
1. Legal. By His Father's appointment and His own love Jesus was so identified with those He came to save as to be treated not according to His own deserts but theirs, whilst they are so identified with Him as to be treated not according to their own deserts but His. This legal union is the fundamental blessing of the Christian salvation, all the others rest upon it.
2. Spiritual. This is the community of spiritual life — of thought, feeling, and enjoyment — existing between Christ and believers. This is produced by the Holy Spirit through that faith by which we enter the legal relation, or are justified — "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit."
3. Manifest. The life of Christ will reveal itself in the graces which characterized Christ. Stand fast, then "in the Lord," because you are in the Lord.
II. Christian steadfastness is further enforced by one CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. "Therefore," "so," point back to the previous statements.
1. The Christian is responsible for his privilege. He is a citizen of heaven and must maintain the dignity of his citizenship, and stand fast in it against temptation and in trial.
2. The Christian is responsible for his hope. He expects a Saviour who will change the body of his humiliation. This expectation should give a deep sense of responsibility for our treatment of our body as an instrument of our moral nature. Dare we use the lips, which are to sing Christ's praises day and night, and the limbs which are to render unceasing service, as instruments of frivolity or vice? "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself as He is pure." Holiness is the proper fruit of Christian hope, therefore stand fast.
III. This injunction is enforced by THE MOST ENDEARING EPITHETS.
1. Brotherhood in Christ.
2. Ardent love.
3. Joy and glorying in previous steadfastness.
4. The hope of rejoicing in it in the days of Christ.
(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.