Hold Fast – II Timothy 1:13

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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As a younger man, I worked for a year in a huge meat packing plant. My job was to trim sections of beef to be ground into hamburger. I worked eight hours a day, six days a week. I had to hold the knife so tightly and for so long, it took a toll. Each morning I awoke with a clinched fist in the hand that I held the knife. I could only open that hand by holding it under warm water and painfully prying it open with the other hand. It was as if I was still holding tightly to that knife.

Paul implored Timothy to “Hold fast the form sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 1:13). For two years, Timothy companied with Paul as he proclaimed new doctrines of grace. Timothy frequently heard Paul’s doctrines as he taught in the synagogues, the school of Tyrannus, and in local churches formed in places like Ephesus. But Ephesus was a dangerous and difficult place for Timothy to minister in Paul’s absence. It was notorious for their avid worship of Diana (Acts 19:19-35). A riot broke out over Paul’s teaching, forcing him to leave the city. It appears that some of the Gentiles who came to Christ were also seeking to integrate false teaching about Diana with the new doctrines of grace, because Paul warns about fables being taught in the church. Some of the saved Jews were also seeking to teach the necessity of observing the Mosaic Law in this grace assembly (I Timothy 1:5-10). It was in this setting Timothy is charged to hold fast to the doctrines he had learned at the feet of Paul. In fact, he was to charge others that they “teach no other doctrine” (I Timothy 1:3). Paul was counting on Timothy to be the guardian of the truth so that truth would not be compromised or lost. He would have to do so in the face of opposition, perhaps even alone. But he must stand for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.

We, too, live in perilous times when unsound doctrine finds it’s way into our assemblies. Like one refusing to lose his grip, God is counting on you to hold fast to the exclusive doctrines of grace and insist that all Paul’s teachings are followed. Even if you stand alone, hold on to the truth.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."