Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.…
The apostle grounds this duty upon the heavenly citizenship and the hope of the coming Savior. Mark -
I. HIS ENDEARING ADDRESS. "My brethren beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast, beloved." The accumulation of epithets marks the intense affection and delight of the apostle in converts so worthy of his concern for their good. The twofold repetition of the term "beloved" in a single sentence marks love as the dominant feeling; the other terms indicate either his anxiety to see them, the joy which their Christian kindliness carried to his heart, or the triumph of Divine grace in their conversion which redounded so signally to his own final victory.
II. THE ABIDING ATTITUDE OF ALL TRUE BELIEVERS. "So stand fast in the Lord." It implies:
1. That they are exposed to influences calculated to mar the integrity of their walk. There is a threefold hostility always at work against a believer - the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 6:12), tending to shake heart or mind. Probably the apostle thought of the spiritual risks that threatened from the side of Judaistic zealotry.
2. The true spring of Christian steadfastness is in the Lord, as the element of the spiritual life. We are said to stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) and to stand in grace (Romans 5:2), but these phrases only represent the methods in which the believer finds his weakness linked with the omnipotence of Divine grace. The counsel of the apostle is needful in every age. The caprice of opinion was never more marked than in our time. There is a lifting of anchors that bodes no good, with a drifting any whither, but usually toward intellectual darkness. Therefore believers must, in the imbroglio of strange beliefs, "stand fast in the Lord." - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.