But that which you have already hold fast till I come.
But that which ye have already hold fast till! come. These few words give us three ideas concerning Christian excellence.
I. CHRISTIAN EXCELLENCE IS AN ATTAINMENT. The words are addressed to Christians at Thyatira, and they are represented as having "charity," or love to Christ, and "patience," or holy fortitude and magnanimity under all the trials of life. These are all elements of Christian excellence, and these they are represented as having attained. They had reached the goodness they possessed by holy efforts in the use of means.
1. Christian excellence is an attainment in contradistinction to a native growth. It does not spring up in the soul as an indigenous germ. It is a seed that has been taken in and cultivated.
2. Christian excellence in contradistinction to an impartation. In a sense it is a gift of God; not in the sense in which life, and light, and air, and the seasons of the year, are the gifts of God, - blessings that come upon us irrespective of our own efforts; but rather in the sense in which the crops of the husbandman, the learning of the scholar, the triumphs of the artist, are the gifts of God, - blessings that come as the result of appropriate labour. We shall neither grow good nor be made good. We must become good; we must struggle after it.
II. CHRISTIAN EXCELLENCE IS AN ATTAINMENT THAT REQUIRES FAST HOLDING. "Hold fast" whatever is attained. Little or much should be retained:
1. Because it is worth retaining. Its value will appear by considering three things.
(1) The priceless instrumentality employed to put man in possession of it. The mission of Christ.
(2) Its essential connection with man's spiritual well being. There is no true happiness apart from it.
(3) Its capability of unlimited progress. It may be as a grain of mustard, but it can grow. What glorious harvests are enfolded in one grain of true goodness! It should be held fast.
2. Because there is a danger of losing it.
(1) Men who have had it have lost it before now.
(2) Agencies are in constant operation here that threaten its destruction. Hold it fast, therefore.
III. CHRISTIAN EXCELLENCE IS AN ATTAINMENT THAT WILL BE PLACED BEYOND DANGER AT THE ADVENT OF CHRIST. "Hold fast till I come." An expression this implying that it will be secure enough afterwards, he comes to every Christian at death. "I will come again, and receive you unto myself." When he thus comes:
1. He crushes forever our enemies. He bruises the head of Satan under our feet.
2. He removes from us everything inimical to the growth of goodness.
3. He introduces us into those heavenly scenes where there will be nothing but what ministers to the advancement of goodness. Take heart) Christian; the struggle is not for long! - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
WEB: Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come.