1 Thessalonians 3:7-10
Therefore, brothers, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:…
1. Are you standing fast, by the assurance, of understanding, in the doctrines of the gospel?
2. There is danger of our not standing fast in regard to the adherence of our hearts to the doctrines of the gospel. That they be clearly apprehended by the mind is important, not in order to their becoming matters of idle talk or curious speculation, but in order to the sanctification of the heart, and the conduct of the life.
3. Endeavour to find out by another test whether you are standing fast in Christ. The test I mean is proposed by St. John, in his first epistle: "He that saith he abideth in Him (that is, in the Lord Jesus Christ), ought himself also so to walk even as He walked." I demand, then, whether you are taking Jesus Christ for an example, and following His steps? I proceed to point out some of the dangers which threaten your religious steadfastness.
(1) Beware of false teachers, who may "come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." "By their fruits ye shall know them."(2) Arm yourselves with the powerful hopes of the gospel against the hostility and terrors of the world.
(3) If your steadfastness is endangered by the terrors of the world, it is yet in greater danger of yielding to worldly stratagems and fascinations. Many a stout soldier, after successfully contending against the world as an embattled foe, has fallen by its enchantments.
(4) There is danger of losing our hold of Christ through disgust at the difficulties of a religious course. We find the road narrower, the enemies which infest it more numerous and troublesome, the seasons of refreshment less certain and frequent, than we had anticipated. And hence we grow faint and weary.
5. Moreover, spiritual pride is the stumbling block of many a soul. Lastly: I charge you to bear constantly in mind, that it is by the help of the Holy Spirit, and by that alone, that any one stands fast in the Lord.
(J. N. Pearson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: