Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (II Timothy 1:13).
We live in a society with so many voices, so many ideas, and so many opinions that clamor for our attention. Many times we are being told, not only what to say, but what to think. Sorting it all out is nearly impossible and somewhat frustrating. Therefore, we have to hold fast to what we already know to be true — the non-negotiable aspects of our faith.
The Apostle Paul spoke of being appointed by God as a preacher and apostle of the gospel. He wrote often about suffering for the cause of spreading the gospel to as many as he possibly could reach. Because of men like Paul, we have faith in God today. It is more than a shallow faith — it is a deep, heartfelt conviction that we must embrace.
No matter what religious backgrounds we may have — if we are truly Christians — there are certain truths we all share. Let us look briefly at some truths we absolutely are sure about.
We know that God is Creator of all things. God the Father spoke everything into existence and saw that it was “good.” The Holy Spirit moved over the face of the waters in splendid, creative power. Jesus was in the midst of it all as John 1:1-3 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Jesus, the Word, was involved in creation. 1 John 1:1 says this, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” Though we have not seen the Lord, we have heard the Word of life. We know Him as Creator and Sustainer of all. We also know Him as the God who loves us.
John 3:16 is familiar to us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This one verse will never grow old; this one verse is something we can hold fast.
Along the same vein, we know Jesus died for our sins. 1 Peter 3:18 declares, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” This verse covers important territory. We were separated from God and deserving of punishment. Jesus took our place and died for our sins in order to bring us to God.
Finally, we know Jesus is coming back. Oh, there are voices that say it will never happen — it is just some fairy tale not worth listening to. However, we hold on to what we know — Jesus is coming for us. We hold fast to the words of I Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Let us comfort one another with the Word of God. These are the words we have heard and the words we have read. These are the words we know. Let us hold on to what we know.
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.