January 14, 2019 ● 19-04
2 Thes. 2:15: So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
One of the greatest challenges I had to face in Navy boot camp was the “confidence course”. It used to be called the obstacle course but “confidence course” sounds more encouraging – didn’t work for me! Actually it was not the entire course that was the challenge, but one particular “confidence builder” (obstacle!) – the rope climb. The rope climb was simply a large rope hung from a cross bar hanging over a sand pit (the sand provided more of a cushion for those who fell – like me!). The goal was to climb the rope, hand-over-hand, to the top and ring the bell at the top, then hand-over-hand back down. When I joined the Navy I was not the picture of physical fitness, so this rope climb was my nemesis. Getting the “hang” of the rope climb meant you had to have a firm grip in the rope to pull yourself up. Eventually I got it, but it was not easy. And I was confident I would not willingly do any rope climbs once I graduated from boot camp!
Paul’s challenge, command, to the church at Thessalonica was to have a firm grip on God’s Word and not let go. This was not a physical grip, but to have God’s Word embedded in your heart to cause life transformation. False teachers had infiltrated the early church and Paul wanted the church at Thessalonica to be firmly established in God’s Word so they would be able to recognize false teaching when they heard it.
What is the value of having a firm grip and holding on to the Word of God? Let me use seven words that may help you:
1. TRUTH. God’s Word does not contain the truth, it IS the truth. When we say that God’s Word contains the truth we are saying it contains other information as well, and God’s Word does not contain anything that is not the truth.
2. LIFE. God’s Word teaches us the fact that God CREATED life itself, that He SUSTAINS life, and that through faith in Jesus He gives us ETERNAL LIFE.
3. SIN. God’s Word teaches us we are all sinners in need of a savior, and that by faith in Jesus and only in Jesus can we be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life.
4. JESUS. God’s Word teaches us that God Himself came down to this earth in the person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate revelation of Himself to sinful man.
5. SACRIFICE. God’s Word teaches us that Jesus Christ came as the sacrifice for all sin for all time. His Word teaches us that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that He was raised from the grave on the third day proving that faith in Him is victory over sin, death, and the grave.
6. LIVING. God’s Word teaches us how to daily live a life that honors Him.
7. THE END. God’s Word teaches us that one day He will return with power and in great glory, and until that day we are to be ready at all times, serving Him and sharing the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want to encourage you to allow God’s Word to equip you to stand firm in your faith because you are holding on to the infallible, inerrant, inspired, and holy Word of God.