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Feb 3, 2020

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose
you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this
He called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then,
brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or
by our letter. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave
us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every
good work and word.

This morning we will hear the Apostle Paul encourage us to “stand firm” on God’s Word, both in the sermon text from 2 Thessalonians as well as the “whole armor of God” passage from Ephesians (which includes the “sword of spirit which is the Word of God”). Quite a few times, the hymns and psalms we sing this morning mention “standing.” We confess that we stand on a “rock” (My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less; I Waited Patient For The Lord—Psalm 40), and we seek the Lord to help us to remain standing (Precious Lord, Take My Hand) and steadfast (Lord, Keep Us Steadfast In Thy Word; God Be Merciful To Me—Psalm 51). The hymn that I think best captures this beautiful doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints” is the beloved classic How Firm A Foundation. The first stanza echoes 2 Thessalonians 2:15, reminding us of the “firm foundation” we have in the Bible. The next three verses are written as if God were speaking directly to us (paraphrasing Isaiah 43), reminding that He will be with us through all “fiery trials” and “deep waters.” Through the instrument of His Word, God will “strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand.” —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Thanks, Chose, Saved, Stand, Hold, Grace, Comfort
Keystone Verse: So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us.