Summary: There are several postures available to us in our Christian life but we are commanded to "stand fast".
STAND FAST IN THE LORD
"Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and my crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved." Philippians 4:1.
I. THE COMMAND IS TO "STAND FAST".
We have several options that are available to us in our Christian life.
We may lie down:
"Therefore He says: ’Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14
We may sit down: The four lepers did!
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 "If we say, ’We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die." 5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. II Kings 7:3-5 NKJV
We may flee: His disciples did!
In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled." Matthew 26:55-56.
But we are told to stand…and stand fast (firmly fixed) in the Lord!
There is much we can learn from the account of Gideon and his army of 300 in their victory over a vastly superior army. “Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.” Judges 7:12
(This verse tells us how vast the Midianite army appeared in the eyes of man.)
The secret to the success of Gideon’s army was God using a handful of brave men who obeyed Gideon’s command. “And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.” Judges 7:21
An interesting incident happened during the victorious march of Alexander the Great to conquer the known world for the Grecian empire. A young soldier became greatly frightened in the heat of battle, dropped his sword and shield and fled. An officer dispatched several soldiers to apprehend the fleeing soldier and bring him back to face execution. The soldier was caught and sent to Alexander for trial. Alexander the Great looked at the frightened young man and said: “What is your name soldier?” He replied, “Alexander, sir.” Alexander the Great replied, “Young man, change your ways or change you name.” In an act of mercy seldom shown, the monarch said, “Soldier, return to your unit and show the courage that your name implies.”
O what courage in implied in the name “Christian”. Church history tells us that every apostle except John died as martyrs for the cause of Christ. Thousands died at the hands of Nero rather than deny the faith. Well it has been said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
II. STAND FAST IN THE FAITH. The Right Doctrine Proclaimed in the Right Spirit:
The Right Doctrine
"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude, verse 3.
Delivered in the Right Spirit:
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love."
I Corinthians 16:13-14. Paul gives an evaluation of anyone who tries to share the message of God’s love for the world in an arrogant, prideful or showmanship manner. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal,” I Corinthians 13:1
Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist of another generation once said, “No one should dare preach or teach about hell or the judgment of God unless he does so with a broken heart.”
III. STAND FAST IN THE LIBERTY OF CHRIST
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14.
IV. STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT