There is no greater privilege than to join with Christ in giving our lives to benefit those who may hate us. As we share Christ, we make clear “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes 2:14).
The victory is won. Those who stand with Christ can rest assured, for “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes 5:9).
With the promise of a shared glory and full assurance, Paul exhorts the believer to “be continually standing firm,” or “to persevere, or be faithful no matter what.” Paul’s disciples would face severe pressure from persecution, false teachers, temptations, discouragement, and apathy. It might cost them everything, as it did Paul.
They were to “continually be holding on,” or “grasp with all your strength.” The meaning is “keep in mind, give power or rule to” the teachings. Believers always need to be encouraged and exhorted (1 Cor 15:58; 16:13; Eph 6:11, 13, 14; Phil 4:1) not to be weak or vacillating but to continue to follow Paul’s example and commands.
Believers were to follow the “traditions that we taught,” or “teaching or commandments handed down.” They were to obey them “just as [Paul] delivered them” (1 Cor 11:2). Paul is referring to divine revelation (2 Thes 3:6; 1 Cor 11:2), especially during the period of the church age before these revelations had been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This would be called the “oral tradition,” carefully differentiated from the “tradition of the elders,” or the practices of the early church leaders.
However, this is not the message of this passage. The Thessalonians were to hold fast to what God had revealed through the apostles as in Acts 2:42, where they met to “persevere in the doctrines of the Apostles.”
Believers must refresh and obey the “faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3), which was “committed to their trust” (1 Tim 6:20). We are to obey by the power of the “Spirit who dwells within” (2 Tim 1:14). Today, renew your commitment to obey the Scriptures.
“Lord, teach me to distinguish between man’s legalistic traditions and biblical traditions that Your commands teach us. I love Your instructions; Help me remember them today to honor You.”